The founding ceremony of the joint Russian Research Institute of St Petersburg University and Tsinghua University has taken place in Beijing. The Institute will become the centre for comprehensive cooperation in the field of strategic and applied research into Russia and Russian-Chinese relations.

The Institute was founded in the framework of the cooperation agreement. It was signed in the Kremlin by the Rector of St Petersburg University Nikolay Kropachev and the President of Tsinghua University Qiu Yong during the Russian–Chinese negotiations on 5 June 2019. Among the subjects that the scientists of the centre will study are the issues of industrial policy and sectoral development in education, science, technology and culture.

The parties agreed that the Institute will also become a platform to: implement research and innovative projects; carry out joint research financed by grants; and have applied interaction with industrial partners of the two countries.

‘At present, the partnership between Russia and China in the field of education and science is showing unprecedented activity,’ Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs of St Petersburg University, said at the founding ceremony of the Institute. ‘St Petersburg University is part of this grand-scale and dynamic process. Its interaction with public authorities, universities, and institutions in China is developing in line with the political and economic partnership of our countries. I am sure that the creation of the joint Russian Research Institute of St Petersburg University and Tsinghua University can give a fresh impetus to the development of inter-university cooperation and take it to a whole new level.’  

Representatives of St Petersburg University and Tsinghua University also signed a letter of intent to create joint double-diploma academic programmes.

Projects for these programmes will initially be developed in economics and management. However, further cooperation of the universities in other areas is also possible.

‘It is important to underline that in order to achieve significant results in cooperation, we adhere to a systematic approach when organising strategic partnerships. This includes: exchanges of students and scholars; creation of joint centres; launch of a joint start-up competition; and development of joint academic programmes in economics and management. All this has become possible thanks to the decisions of the Rector of St Petersburg University Nikolay Kropachev and the President of Tsinghua University Qiu Yong,’ emphasised Sergey Andryushin.

It should be remembered that in 2017 St Petersburg University and Tsinghua University extended their partnership agreement. This opened up new prospects for the implementation of joint projects. At the end of 2018, Tsinghua University hosted St Petersburg University Days, which saw the presentation of the almanacs of contemporary Russian prose in Chinese. Additionally, Chinese students were introduced to a wide range of academic programmes at St Petersburg University. They were also informed about student mobility programmes and extracurricular activities at the oldest university in Russia. In the summer of 2019, Tsinghua University Days took place at St Petersburg University. During these days the President of Tsinghua University Qiu Yong delivered a public lecture, and rare books were officially presented to the St Petersburg University library.