St Petersburg University has partnered with one of the largest universities in China – Tsinghua University. The document was signed online as part of the opening ceremony for the Years of Russian–Chinese Scientific, Technical and Innovative Cooperation (2020–2021).
The ceremony was attended by the chairmen of the Russian–Chinese Intergovernmental Commission on Humanitarian Cooperation, chairmen of the national organising committees for the preparation and implementation of the Years of Cooperation: Tatyana Golikova, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation; Sun Chunlan, Vice Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China; Valery Falkov, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation; and Wang Zhigang, Minister of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China.
During the ceremony, several key agreements were signed between Russia and the People's Republic of China concerning cooperation in the field of science and innovation. The cooperation agreement between St Petersburg University and Tsinghua University was signed by: Elena Chernova, Senior Vice-Rector of St Petersburg University; and Qiu Yong, President of Tsinghua University. The document confirms the interaction between the universities in the field of training specialists with knowledge of the Russian language in the field of innovation. Therefore, as part of the agreement, St Petersburg University will open its own testing centre for Russian as a foreign language at Tsinghua University. Both universities will also host a joint start-up contest.
It should be noted that St Petersburg University has been developing comprehensive cooperation with China for several years. The University is also the first Russian university that has a direct agreement with the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, as well as an agreement with the People’s Government of Heilongjiang Province.
St Petersburg University has established contacts with more than 50 Chinese partners, including such large universities as Tsinghua University and Harbin Institute of Technology. Over the past six years, in the framework of cooperation with Harbin Institute of Technology, several joint research centres have been opened. These include the Centre of Plasma Physics and the Centre for Environmental Safety and the Russia–China Legal Centre. In 2020, St Petersburg University and Harbin Institute of Technology started building a joint campus in China.
Among the partners of St Petersburg University there are more than 30 commercial organisations with Chinese capital, including leaders of the innovation market. For example, within the framework of the long-term partnership of the University with Huawei, the St Petersburg University – Huawei Laboratory of Mathematical Problems of Multimedia Technology has been established in 2020. On the basis of the laboratory, scientists and students of St Petersburg University carry out mathematical research in the application of multimedia technology: reproduction of colour images and sounds.
At present, every 10th academic programme of the University contains a Chinese component. All in all, there are more than 40 of them. Also, new programmes are being implemented at St Petersburg University. These include: Economics (with Advanced Study of the Economy of China and the Chinese language); Jurisprudence (with an In-Depth Study of the Chinese Language and Legal System); Organisation of Tourist Activities (with Advanced Study of the Chinese Language); International Management (with Study of Modern European and Oriental Languages); and many others. Every year, over 2,000 Chinese students study at St Petersburg University and over 1,000 Russians study the Chinese language. Researchers from St Petersburg University are implementing joint projects with 150 research and educational organisations of the Peoples Republic of China. More than 700 academic papers have already been co-published. In 2019, St Petersburg University awarded the diploma of an honorary doctor to President of China Xi Jinping. The event was attended by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.