A New Step Towards Strengthening Relations with China: SUSU to Join the University Alliance of the Silk Road

South Ural State University is to join the University Alliance of the Silk Road (UASR). SUSU’s joining the Alliance is to take place in September in the frameworks of UASR-2019 events in the city of Xi’an. This step will bring the development of the university’s international relations with higher education institutions of China to a new level.

University Alliance of the Silk Road is a non-governmental non-profit organisation intended to provide openness and develop international cooperation in the sphere of higher education. Creating the Alliance was initiated by Xi’an Jiaotong University, a partner of SUSU, together with local government bodies of Shanxi province in May of 2015 within implementation of the One Belt One Road project. Agreement between SUSU and Xi’an Jiaotong University was signed on May 12 of 2019 at the 4th International Silk Road EXPO in the city of Xi’an, People’s Republic of China.

The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by People’s Republic of China and supported by Russian government calls upon development of new mechanisms of regional economic partnership, promotion of economic prosperity of the countries involved, strengthening cultural exchanges and relations in all spheres between different civilizations, and contribution to peace and sustainable development. The issues regarding development of higher education are very important for implementation of this intergovernmental project.

The goal of the University Alliance of the Silk Road is to create a platform for partnership in the sphere of higher education, contribution to regional openness and activation of cooperation between universities of the countries and regions located alongside the Silk Road. Among primary goals of the Alliance is contributing to the development of student exchange programmes between the universities, arrangement of cultural communication and holding events targeted at strengthening of friendly relations between different nations, establishing connections in scientific, political and economic research directions, and training of cadres. All this contributes to improvement of the quality of education in the Alliance countries and favors economic growth of the new economic belt of the Silk Road in the Eurasian region. At the moment, the Alliance includes about 150 leading universities of the world.

SUSU Vice-Rector for International Relations Olga Yaroshenko is going to take part in the UASR 2019 events in Xi’an on September 17–20. In particular, Vice-Rector of the university is going to visit the Presidential Forum and deliver a report regarding the experience of SUSU in the issues of integration into the global scientific and learning environment and the university’s internationalization. She will also visit Working Meeting of the Executive Council, at which the issues of SUSU’s participation in the Alliance are to be discussed. Participants of UASR 2019 will have a chance to extend their contacts and establish bilateral and multilateral partnerships.

Let us note that the concept proposed by South Ural State University reflects the university’s aspiration to be in the middle of development of new social and economic interrelations between European and Asian countries. Especially actively developing relations and relations with higher education institutions of China. SUSU concluded 86 agreements with higher education institutions in People’s Republic of China and is cooperating with 40 partners. Presently, the university has 186 students from China studying on the main education programmes. At the beginning of 2019-2020 academic year, 335 more Chinese students are planning to start their training at SUSU: 196 are to apply to the main education programmes; 139 are to get enrolled for pre-university training.

Azaliya Sharafutdinova
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