The Forum of Rectors of the leading universities of Russia and the Republic of Korea was held in an online format in 2021. It focused on the issues of scientific and technological cooperation between the universities in the post-covid period.
The leaders of ten Korean universities took part in the event: Kangwon National University, Kyung Hee University, Sungkyunkwan University, Ajou University, Ewha Womens University, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, and Hanyang University. The Russian side was represented by sixteen universities including St Petersburg University, Far Eastern Federal University, Far-Eastern State Medical University, Irkutsk National Research Technical University, Irkutsk State University, Moscow State Linguistic University, Novosibirsk State University, Sechenov University, Sholom-Aleichem Priamursky State University, RUDN University, Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University, Northern (Arctic) Federal University, North Eastern Federal University, Pacific National University, Ural Federal University, and Khabarovsk State University of Economics and Law. The practical session was attended by specialists of the Gamaleya National Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation and Chumakov Federal Scientific Centre for Research and Development of Immune-and-Biological Products of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Nikolay Kropachev, Rector of St Petersburg University and Chair of the KRD Coordinating Committee on the Russian side, opened the session. ‘This year, a practical session for specialists will be organised within the framework of the forum. It will be attended by specialists in the field of healthcare from our countries, who will discuss the issues of immunology, epidemiology, vaccination, vaccine development, and COVID-19 prevention,’ said the Rector. Rector Nikolay Kropachev paid special tribute to the Russian vaccine developers and their Korean colleagues, who accepted the invitation to take part in the session.
I'm sure that during the practical sessions the specialists of our countries will certainly share the latest achievements and, which is especially important, will define the areas of joint scientific research.
Nikolay Kropachev, Rector of St Petersburg University, Chair of the KRD Coordinating Committee on the Russian Side
Lee Kyu Hyung is Chair of the KRD Coordinating Committee on the Korean side and exAmbassador of the Republic of Korea in Russia. He noted in his address that although the Forum did not take place in 2020, it was the pandemic that became a stimulus to hold it in 2021. ‘This Forum consists of two sessions: rectors will discuss university tasks during the age of coronavirus; and specialists will talk about the plan of bilateral cooperation in the field of medicine and education in the post-covid period. The “Dialogue” contributes to the comprehensive development of bilateral relations based on the principle of strategic partnership between Korea and Russia. It considers the Forum one of its most important events,’ added Mr Lee Kyu Hyung.
The expansion of cooperation between the universities of our countries that share a common vision and global education goals is directly related to the construction of the right future for our relations.
Lee Kyu Hyung, Chair of the KRD Coordinating Committee on the Korean side, ex-Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Russia
Anatoly Nikolaev, Rector of the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, spoke about the importance of holding the Forum in 2021. He noted that even with the ending of the pandemic, the online format of the events will remain: part of them will be held distantly or in a hybrid format. ‘All of us have become not only witnesses, but also participants of a unique transformation in the area of university education in our country and in the whole world,’ remarked Professor Nikolaev. ‘Today, all universities face the major task of learning from the experience of working in extreme conditions of the new coronavirus infection pandemic.’
Kim In Chul, President of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Chair of the Korean Council for University Education, underscored the need for joint efforts in overcoming the consequences of COVID-19. ‘It is a good opportunity to jointly discuss the approaches and alternatives connected with the sudden transition to online education,’ noted Kim In Chul.
Hur Seung Chul, Professor at Korea University, Executive Secretary of the KRD Forum on the Korean side, acted as a moderator of the opening ceremony.
Andrey Kulik, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Korea, greeted the Forum participants. ‘I would like to express confidence that your active contribution will further promote this format as one of the most important and demanded platforms of building bridges between the scientific and academic circles of the two countries. It will strengthen friendly relations in the field of scientific and technological cooperation. Moreover, it will create an additional window of opportunity to establish close friendly ties that will be key to fostering our partnership in the future,’ added Andrey Kulik.
In his turn, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Russian Federation, expressed gratitude to the organisers for holding the Forum this year. ‘The sphere of science and technology and the sphere of innovations have been key in the Russia–Korea practical cooperation over the past 30 years. We should expand cooperation in other prospective fields, such as healthcare, medicine, transition to new energy sources, as well as create new points of growth for our countries,’ noted Mr Lee Sok Bae. ‘Russia has developed the first vaccine against coronavirus in the world, which proves its potential in research and development. Our countries cooperate in the fight with coronavirus: Sputnik V vaccine is also produced in Korea.’
Anatoly Nikolaev, Rector of the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, was a keynote speaker at the plenary session. He spoke about the cooperation between the universities of Russia and Korea aimed at reaching the goals of sustainable development. Another keynote speaker, Vice President at Korea University, made a presentation about the tasks of university education in the age of coronavirus. The plenary session was moderated by the Directors of the KRD working groups on ‘Science and Education’ – Sergei Ivanchenko, Rector of Pacific National University, and Chung Kyu Sang, President Emeritus of Sungkyunkwan University. During the session the heads of the Russian and Korean universities shared their experience of adjusting the educational process to the conditions of the pandemic.
The practical session was titled ‘The Plan of bilateral cooperation in the field of medicine and education in the post-covid period’. It was moderated by Bae Yong Soo, Vice President of the Korean Society for Virology, Professor in the Department of Biological Science at
Sungkyunkwan University, and Liubov Sydykova, Associate Professor, Candidate of Science (Medicine), Head of the Department of Propaedeutical and Faculty Therapy with Endocrinology and Rehabilitation Exercises at the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk. The keynote reports were made by the following experts:
- Vladimir Gushchin, Director of the Reference Centre on the coronavirus infection of the Laboratory studying the mechanisms of pathogenic microorganism population variability at the Gamaleya National Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, with the presentation on ‘Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine against COVID-19 based on rAd26 and rAd5’;
- Kim Woo Joo Professor at Korea University, employee of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Korea University Guro Hospital, with the presentation on ‘Controlling the COVID-19 pandemic with a mass vaccination campaign: achievements and challenges among many uncertainties’;
- Sergei Netesov, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Biology, Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology, Head of the Laboratory on Bionanotechnology, Microbiology and Virology at the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Novosibirsk State University, with the report titled ‘COVID-19: diagnostics, vaccine development, vaccination in Russia and biomedical education at Novosibirsk State University’;
- Shin Eui Cheol, Professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) with the report on ‘The specific reply of T-cells for SARSCoV-2’.
Other specialists on the Russian and Korean sides made brief presentations. The topic covered the issues of immunology, epidemiology, vaccination and pharmacology. In particular, many reports were devoted to the development and research of vaccines, T-cell immunity, immune response mechanism, and bacteriophage therapy.
At the end of the practical session, the participants proposed holding similar practical events with the experts from Russia and the Republic of Korea in the future.