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St. Petersburg Mining University will open a representative office in China

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On Wednesday, July 20, the rector of St. Petersburg Mining University Vladimir Litvinenko and the president of China University of Mining and Technology (CUMT) Song Xuefeng had a working meeting. The parties discussed online prospects for intensifying cooperation. Particularly speaking, the growth of academic mobility through the exchange of students, graduate students and teachers, as well as the creation of joint research teams to work on priority research areas.

However, the main issues on the agenda were the creation of a consortium of higher educational institutions of the two countries and the opening of representative offices of both universities on the platform of the partner university. As Vladimir Litvinenko noted, it is the latter task that will be the best guarantee of the success of the integration processes.

“The main focus is not to delay decisions and start acting right now, despite the restrictions that are still in effect in China due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It is imperative that our offices (and we have already selected appropriate premises in Mining University) begin functioning no later than in late September or early October of this year. They must be headed by authorized rectors, whose status will make possible to promptly fix any problems that inevitably arise during remote interaction,” said Vladimir Litvinenko.

His Chinese colleague confirmed that he would send at least 2 or 3 people from CUMT to St. Petersburg, who would coordinate the activities of the Russian and Chinese sides. Mr. Xuefeng is ready to host a similar team from the city on the Neva in Xuzhou and create most favorable conditions for its fruitful work. The parties agreed to exchange the respective lists of candidates by the end of July.

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“Mutually beneficial relations between Russia and China should intensify, and this applies primarily to the universities that train mining engineers and do research related to improving the efficiency of the mineral resource complex. This is not a trend, but a response to one of the most serious challenges of our time, which is the desire of the collective West to establish control over all the resources of the planet and remain the international financial dominant. The problem is that for us in this world is destined, at best, the role of the market of cheap labor. This means that cooperation with the purpose of training competent personnel who are ready to work professionally with mineral deposits, implementing innovations capable of raising the profitability of field development and reducing the manmade impact on the nature, finding the most effective model of state regulation of mineral resources is a matter of our national security and sovereignty,” Vladimir Litvinenko said.

Song Xuefeng referred to the creation of the Consortium of Universities of the People's Republic of China and Russia as one of the most promising tools for enhancing cooperation. At the first stage, he suggested that Mining University should join the Union of Chinese Universities of Jiangsu Province, many of which rank high in reputable international rankings.

“For three years, the Chinese University of Mining and Technology will be the main coordinator of this project. And, as we have already seen, this is an excellent platform for intensifying cooperation. In this regard, we could intensify the work to involve first the Mining University and then other universities with which you work within the Nedra University Consortium,” - suggested the president of CUMT.

The lecture by the Rector of the St. Petersburg Mining University was one of the highlights of the 9th International Conference on Energy, Resources, Environment and Sustainable Development (ERESD 2022), which was held in the People’s Republic of China.

Vladimir Litvinenko noted that the St. Petersburg university is “fundamentally interested” in this kind of partnership and “theoretically ready for it”. But to put this aspiration into practice “it is necessary to understand the exact list of tasks that the Union is solving.” The parties have decided to discuss the proposal of their Chinese colleagues more substantially during a personal meeting in the autumn in Xuzhou or in St. Petersburg if the sanitary and epidemiological situation prevents it.

Mr. Xuefeng cited increased academic mobility among the most important tasks facing CUMT and the Mining University. In particular, he referred to the exchanges of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as the implementation of a dual-degree program, which involves the unification of educational programs.

"We could start with a one-time internship at the Mining University for your graduate students of five to eight people. This will allow young people from China to better evaluate our university in terms of infrastructural capabilities, the quality of the faculties, and to understand what areas of research we could work together for mutual benefit. In my opinion, the most promising topics are state regulation in subsoil use, thermodynamic processes taking place in the Earth's depths, reduction of carbon footprint and search for deep oil", - said Vladimir Litvinenko.

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The CUMT president confirmed that the scientists in his university are involved in these topics and are ready to cooperate with their colleagues from Russia to get new fundamental knowledge. Chinese scientists are especially interested in exploration of deep oil deposits, because due to geological peculiarities hydrocarbons lie farther from the surface than in many other regions. In addition, their production is associated with adverse environmental conditions, in particular, with high temperatures.

Vladimir Litvinenko suggested coordinating the list of prospective areas of research of interest to both sides by the end of July, and then creating the joint research teams. He also suggested holding a scientific workshop in the nearest future where Russian and Chinese scientists could tell about their achievements in these fields of scientific knowledge.

Another promising area of cooperation is increasing publication activity. The parties agreed to increase the number of joint scientific articles to at least 10, as well as to publish more actively in the publications of the partner university.

It should be noted that the meeting was held with the assistance of the International Competence Center in Mining Education under the auspices of UNESCO.