The opening ceremony of the St Petersburg University Language Testing Centre for Russian as a foreign language has taken place at Tsinghua University in Beijing. It was part of the 2nd Forum dedicated to the Strategic Alliance between Russia and China.

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In his welcoming address, Vice Chairman of the Council of Tsinghua University Mr Yuan Si said that the decision to open a Russian Language Testing Centre in China was made in August 2020 when agreements were signed between Russia and the People’s Republic of China about cooperation in the field of science and innovation.

I am glad to see that today, thanks to the joint efforts of our two universities, we officially open the Russian Language Testing Centre in Beijing, which addresses China’s strategic needs.

Mr Yuan Si, Vice Chairperson of the Council of Tsinghua University

‘Using it as an important tool, Tsinghua University, together with researchers and representatives of various sectors of society, will make every effort to develop a solid educational base for training multidisciplinary Chinese-Russian professionals. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to St Petersburg University for the active assistance,’ noted Mr Yuan Si.

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At the end of his speech, Mr Yuan Si wished continued success to the Russian Language Testing Centre to achieve significant results in order to provide our countries with worldclass professionals.

On behalf of the Rector and the entire academic community of St Petersburg University, the opening ceremony participants were greeted by Deputy Rector for International Affairs of St Petersburg University Mr Sergey Andryushin.

He noted that for over 20 years St Petersburg University has been among the leaders in the field of language testing, authorised to conduct a state test of Russian language for foreign citizens. The Language Testing Centre at St Petersburg University was created in 1997. To date, more than 200,000 people have been tested there and at Language Testing Centres of St Petersburg University overseas. At present, there are more than 100 centres for testing of Russian as a foreign language opened by St Petersburg University in 40 countries — from Buenos Aires to Tokyo.

The opening of the Russian Language Testing Centre at Tsinghua University is one of the most important results of the Years of Russian—Chinese Scientific, Technical and Innovative Cooperation (2020–2021). The decision to hold the Years of Cooperation was made at the highest level by the leaders of Russia and China in 2019, Mr Andryushin emphasised. At the Russian Language Testing Centre at Tsinghua University, all interested individuals will be able to receive an objective and reliable assessment of their level of proficiency in Russian and obtain an internationally recognised certificate. The certificate, in particular, is required for admission to Russian universities. Additionally, Language Testing Centres of St Petersburg University overseas actively work to inform the public about education opportunities in Russia. There one can find information about Russian language programmes, possibilities of studying remotely, attending public lectures and seminars, and enrolling in online courses.

‘Currently, cooperation between our universities has gathered momentum,’ said Mr Andryushin. ‘We founded a joint Russian Research Institute of St Petersburg University and Tsinghua University, held Tsinghua University Days at St Petersburg University and St Petersburg University Days at Tsinghua University, and launched a joint start-up competition for innovative business ideas. I am confident that, despite the many global challenges of our time, including the Covid-19 pandemic, this partnership will develop further implementing our joint research and academic projects.’

I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of St Petersburg University to congratulate our colleagues at Tsinghua University on the 110th anniversary of this world-leading centre for science, education and research. This is a significant date indeed. Tsinghua University has achieved remarkable results and we are proud of our cooperation and strategic partnership and look forward to its further fruitful development.

Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs, St Petersburg University

The plaque of the Russian Language Testing Centre of St Petersburg University was inaugurated by Vice Chairman of the Tsinghua University Council Yuan Si and former Deputy Head of the International Liaison Department of the CPC Central Committee Zhou Li.