A delegation from the University of Darussalam Gontor (Indonesia) has visited St Petersburg University. The partners have discussed the possibility of organising teaching exchanges and cooperation in the field of Islamic research.

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Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and Methodological Support of St Petersburg University, thanked the guests for their visit and emphasised that St Petersburg University is not only the oldest university in Russia, but is also among the leading Russian universities represented in international rankings. She noted that St Petersburg University is a classical university, which presents the whole range of educational and scientific fields of study: from physical and mathematical and natural science to humanitarian, including Asian studies. At present, about two thousand foreign students are studying at the University. International cooperation is especially important for St Petersburg University, who is interested in the development of all fields of study: the University has more than 400 agreements with universities around the world.

Mr Akrim Mariyat, the Head of the Board of Trustees of the University of Darussalam Gontor, said that the fact that they have the Faculty of Islamic Economics is one of the advantages over other Indonesian universities. This field of study consists of a whole range of disciplines: in addition to economics, students study Arabic, theology and other subjects. Besides, it is becoming increasingly popular in Western countries. It was in the field of Islamic studies that representatives of the University of Darussalam Gontor offered to cooperate with St Petersburg University. In particular, Russian and Indonesian scientists will be able to conduct joint research, the results of which will be published as articles in high-rating journals. Another area of ​​interuniversity interaction can be the exchange of academic staff and the invitation of professors to give lectures. According to Mr Mariyat, in recent years, Russian universities have been attracting more and more applicants from Indonesia, and many citizens of the country are beginning to study Russian.

~ 600

Indonesian students are currently studying in Russia.

Marina Lavrikova reported that St Petersburg University maintains close ties with the Russian Muslim community. For example, St Petersburg University has a partnership agreement with the Bulgarian Islamic Academy in Kazan. Professors-Orientalists of the University advise colleagues and participate in joint scientific conferences. Traditionally, Arabic is studied at a very high level at St Petersburg University, and the Master Degree programme «Islamic Studies» has recently been opened. It has served as the basis for creating a new online course on the history and culture of Islam. This course has aroused great interest and is in demand with students.

During the visit, representatives of the delegation of the University of Darussalam Gontor visited the Department of Asian Studies of M. Gorky Scientific Library of St Petersburg University.