The delegation of Chonbuk National University, one of the largest Korean universities, has visited SPbU. Rector Lee Nam Ho arrived to St Petersburg to discuss face-to-face the memorandum of collaboration in detail, which is to be signed this autumn.

The Russian part was represented by the Deputy Rector for International Affairs Sergei Andrushin and Director of the Research Park, Acting Vice-Rector for Research Sergei Mikushev. It is important to activate contacts in research and academic exchange between Russia and South Korea, says Sergei Andrushin. A sufficient proof is the Russia-Republic of Korea Dialogue forum, with SPbU’s Rector Nikolay Kropachev being a chairperson of the Coordination Committee.

“Our relationships with the Korea’s universities are gaining momentum. We have signed collaboration agreements with all the leading Korea’s universities, — said Sergei Andrushin. — We have an agreement with the Chonbuk National University, but unfortunately we haven’t developed academic collaboration between our universities”.

Mr Lee expressed his gratitude to the University for the warm welcome and hoped that signing the agreement would be a matter of several months. “We signed the agreement as far as 5 years ago. I am sorry that we didn’t collaborate as actively as we could under the previous administration of the Chonbuk University”, — said Mr Lee Nam Ho. Chonbuk National University has 15 faculties and institutes; it mainly focuses on the outer space exploration, nano-technologies, medicine, and biology. Chonbuk National University is the largest university in the Asian region to study the relation between humans and animals in pharmacy and medicine.

The Research Park’s Director Sergei Mikushev told about the research exchange between the universities. The last years have seen some changes in how the research is organized at the University, says Sergei Mikushev. You don’t have to go to another university to carry out your research projects. Besides, the SPbU’s resource centres are available to anyone who is interested in science and research and popular with scientists in Russia and abroad. “First, we are planning to define the key vectors how we can develop our collaboration in science. Initially, we can focus on some of the research areas, and then expand our collaboration”, — said Sergei Mikushev.

The Rector of Chonbuk National University suggested developing academic exchange in the Korean studies: Chonbuk National University is located in Jeonju, a provincial capital of the province North Jeolla Province that is rich in Korean traditions and values. So, if you study there, you can gain a unique experience and get insight into the Korean society.

Besides, our honoured guest invited Nikolay Kropachev to come to Korea for the 70th-anniversary of the Chonbuk National University in October this year. The University, in its turn, invited the Korean colleagues to the conference on the 120th-anniversary of the Korean studies at SPbU.

At the end of the trip, Mr Lee Nam Ho said that he was mesmerized by St Petersburg: he visited the Hermitage and saw “The Swan Lake” at the Mariinsky Theatre. Sergei Andrushin told that SPbU is not just a neighbour of the world’s cultural centres in St Petersburg, but actively collaborates with them: the Hermitage’s Director Mikhail Piotrovskii is the head of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, while the Art Director of the Mariinsky Theatre Valerii Gergiev the Faculty of Arts.  

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Chonbuk National University is among the top universities in the annual rankings of the South Korean universities (total 456). It is considered the second state university in south Korea and among the top 10 universities in the country. Today it is seeking new ways to develop ite research projects, and academic exchange programmes.

In June, Vice-Rector for International Affairs Prof Un Mensuk visited SPbU to discuss the academic exchange programmes.