A delegation from the North China Institute of Science and Technology (NCIST) paid a working visit to Empress Catherine II St. Petersburg Mining University. The guests familiarized themselves with the infrastructure of Russia's first institution of higher technical education and discussed with the host country the prospects for cooperation.
Rector Vladimir Litvinenko dwelt in detail on the issues related to the modernization of the domestic system of higher education, which is currently underway at the university as a pilot project. He also noted that the process of integration of academic communities of the two countries is still not developing intensively enough and obviously needs to be accelerated.
"We are not afraid of competition, we are absolutely open for cooperation and are happy to have new worthy partners. It is not easy to create a collaboration that would enrich all its participants, even in business. And even more so in a conservative academic environment. But if the leaders are sincerely interested in joining efforts, in doing together what can never be done alone, it is already a huge advantage, allowing us to count on the successful realization of the plans", - emphasized Vladimir Litvinenko.
He also told the guests that according to the results of this year, the share of state funds in the total budget of Mining University has dropped to 28%. The rest is earned by the university independently, at the expense of scientific research and development work. That is, it has a huge practical experience both in the training of engineering personnel and in improving the efficiency of technologies related to subsoil use and involvement of raw materials in deep processing.
Zhang Ruixin, President of the North China Institute of Science and Technology, who led the delegation, noted that Mining University is known as the premier institution of higher learning in the field of natural resource extraction and processing. Taking into account that NCIST specializes in training engineers in the field of technological safety of mines and emergency management, he suggested as a first step to establish an exchange of teachers and scientists who work in this field. Projects in the area of "Smart Mine" are of the greatest interest to the representatives of China, as 60% of electricity is generated by coal.
Zhang Ruixin also told that today 17 thousand students study at 15 faculties of the Institute of Science and Technology. There are more than a thousand teachers on the staff, half of them are professors and associate professors. During the conversation, Mr. President also spoke highly of the new concept of higher education being implemented at Mining University.
"We know that in Russia they want to replace bachelor's degree with specialization and we welcome these changes. In our opinion, there should be a balance between theory and practice, which is impossible to achieve within the framework of four-year curricula," said the head of the delegation.
Vladimir Litvinenko said that he was ready to send up to five specialists from St. Petersburg University to China to assess the prospects of cooperation between the parties in specific areas. He also expressed his readiness to host Chinese students at Mining University and organize short-term educational courses (summer schools) for them on work safety at drilling ranges, geo-navigation, combating dust accumulation and gas formation in mines. Such programs include both lectures and practical training with visits to the production sites of the university's partners and its own sites.
"One of the most urgent tasks that every higher education institution faces is to work on improving the level of teaching staff. In my opinion, a very promising vector of cooperation could be joint programs to improve pedagogical competencies. This will allow us to integrate the best of our and your curricula, traditions of relations between students and their mentors," suggested Vladimir Litvinenko.
The parties agreed that the visit of the delegation of St. Petersburg Mining University to Langfang city, where NCIST is located, will take place soon after the Chinese New Year. Within its framework a roadmap of interaction will be developed.