Through mutual projects, student and academic exchange programmes between St Petersburg and Belgian universities and organisations European people can gain deeper insight into Russia, and Russian people, into Europe, said the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium in the Russian Federation Mr Jean Arthur Regibeau at SPbU. He also said that we should develop our relations and was offered to study Russian at SPbU.

Mr Jean Arthur Regibeau was appointed as an Ambassador only three months ago, anditishisfirstvisitas an Ambassador to St Petersburg. — I know little about Russia, but I am eager to learn it. What is more, I also want my compatriots to stand more chances to learn it better, — said Mr Regibeau. The first step to understand people in foreign countries is to learn their language. If the Ambassador is going to learn Russian, he and his compatriots can do it on-line, as we offer a new on-line course on the Russian language, said the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic, Extra-Curricular Affairs and Methodological Support Ekatreina Babeluk.

SPbUoffersoverahalfahundredof main educational programmes and nine additional educational programmes with a particular focus on Belgium, its official languages, and regions. Besides, SPbU has signed agreements with nine Belgium universities and organisations.

TheAmbassadorwasaccompaniedbytherepresentativesfromthe Free University of Brussels, which SPbU has signed a framework agreement on collaboration and supplementary agreements on student exchange with. TheBrusselsUniversityhasundergonesomechanges, openedanewfacultyoftranslationandcommunications, thuswehavetoamendtheagreements, said Dean Deputy for International Affairs of the Free University of Brussels Kristin Demacer. The Free University of Brussels is interested in student exchange programmes, she said.

StPetersburgUniversityofferedtodeveloptheprogrammesbothwithregardtothequantityandqualitaty: throughincreasinganumberoftheexchangestudentsandengagingstudentsfromtheInternationalRelationsandManagement, ratherthanonlyPhilology, astheyalsostudyFrench.

— OurUniversitywasestablished293 years ago, and we are making all the endeavours to preserve what was originally unique to our University: educational diversity and interdisciplinary approach. Today, theUniversityoffers 30 fieldsofstudy, — said the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic, Extra-Curricular Affairs and Methodological Support. — We develop our educational programmes as to meet labour market needs. TheEuropeancultureobviously attracts our young people, but they are pragmatic as well. Theywanttounderstandwhereandhowtheymay be employed with the French language. We need to cooperate with perspective employers to ensure students they will be employed. In 2016, all SPbU Attestation Commissions comprised from the employers, and 1,700 outer experts evaluated our graduates, many of whom straightaway received a job offer.     

 — Some10–20yearsago, theBelgiumentrepreneurs sent managers to work in Russian branches. Today the situation is just the opposite: they employ Russian people who know French. Belgium is a small country, still is well integrated into the European economy, — said Mr Jean Arthur Regibeau.

Mr Jean Arthur Regibeau accepted an offer from the Rector Deputy for International Affairs Sergey Andrushechkin to meet with the SPbU students and deliver a lecture, which is scheduled for February 21.