The prospects of collaboration were discussed online with Ghafurzoda Abdukhalil Davlatali, the Rector of the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan.

St Petersburg University has currently established cooperation with partner universities from 67 countries from all over the world. Among them there are representatives of the Commonwealth of Independent States: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Uzbekistan, Belarus and Moldova. However, it is the first collaboration agreement with a Tajikistan university. 

During the meeting Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs, spoke about the collaboration between St Petersburg University and the Academy of

Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan. He said that it will stimulate development of academic interaction in the fields of law, public relations, management, political studies, philosophy and some other areas.

Collaboration with the Commonwealth of Independent States is one of the key priorities of the University. We have no doubts that cooperation with universities and research centres of Tajikistan is an important area of our international collaboration. Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs

Participants of the meeting discussed projects that could become a platform for development of collaboration between St Petersburg University and the Academy of Public

Administration under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan. Among them there are:

participation in local and international conferences; creation of bilateral Dissertation Boards; mutual research and publications; development of teaching manuals; and participation in grants competitions.

Ghafurzoda Abdukhalil Davlatali, the Rector of the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, expressed interest in developing either joint master’s programmes in 1+1 format, or a joint degree. Today, in St Petersburg University there are twelve joint Master’s programmes with universities in France, Germany, Finland, Italy, Austria and China. Sergey Andryushin agreed that both universities can benefit from such format of collaboration.

During the negotiations the representatives of the universities outlined the spheres of academic interests that will be suitable for collaboration. The Rector of the Academy of Public Administration highlighted such topics as gender equality, domestic violence, fighting corruption, fighting terrorism, diplomacy and public relations. Sergey Andryushin expressed confidence that researchers from St Petersburg University will be interested in cooperative study of these issues. Also, he pointed out that he would expand the range of suggested issues.

The representatives of the universities placed an emphasis on the importance of sharing library resources of St Petersburg University and the Academy of Public Administration of the Republic of Tajikistan. During the two centuries of research in the area of oriental studies, the University has acquired a unique collection of Eastern rare books and manuscripts, that comprises over 700 units. The Director of M Gorky Scientific Library Marina Karpova believes that such a collection requires a great deal of academic attention and needs studying. Creating joint research groups can be very useful. Apart from this, St Petersburg University and the Academy of Public Administration of the Republic of Tajikistan will have free access to electronic informational resources of academic libraries of both universities.

It is necessary to mention that another important question of the discussion were possible formats of student exchange and academic mobility. Elvira Zeletdinova, the Head of the

General Office of Academic Activities and Teaching Methods, underlined that St Petersburg University has the full range of possibilities for academic exchange, from short-term training programmes to full-time University programmes for foreign students. According to Elvira Zeletdinova, this is why it is crucial to thoroughly develop joint online and offline educational programmes and academic mobility programmes.

We are ready to join work teams to define future formats of collaboration. There can be various options, including those that are tailored individually to a certain researcher or a postgraduate student. This is why we think these questions should be discussed not only by administrative staff of the universities, but also by experts who carry out the academic programmes.

Elvira Zeletdinova, Head of the General Office of Academic Activities and Teaching Methods

Both parties emphasised the need to create a roadmap of collaboration between St Petersburg University and the Academy of Public Administration of the Republic of Tajikistan. In the future the universities plan to arrange video conferences and face-to-face meetings of researchers and experts of both universities for a more detailed discussion of joint projects. This will encourage successful realisation of the suggestions and events that were announced at the meeting.