The online course at St Petersburg University ‘Japanese for Beginners 1’ is ranked number one in the list of online courses offered by European universities and third in the world on the Coursera platform. According to the international platform Class Central, the course in Japanese offered by St Petersburg University is ranked among the world’s top 20 most popular online courses.

Participants of the event included representatives of major higher education institutions from Russia and Japan, translation and interpreting companies, language and culture centres, and professional associations and communities from Moscow, St Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk, Tokyo and Hokkaido, and other cities of Russia and Japan.

The round table ’Japanese-Russian collaboration on training interpreters/ translators and language teaching’ is held annually in cooperation with St Petersburg University, Hokkaido University and the Association of Universities of Russia and Japan. At the online meeting, leading specialists, scholars and businessmen of both countries discussed current issues in teaching Russian and Japanese, in particular the principles of training translators and interpreters. They examined employers’ specific requirements in selecting specialists and shared new methodological developments in foreign language teaching. Particular attention was paid to combining the efforts of universities, translation companies and public institutions in the educational process, taking into account the needs of the labour market.

Speaking at the round table, Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs of St Petersburg University, emphasised the efforts of the University to develop bachelor’s and master’s programmes with foreign language proficiency. ’Today the University has developed 83 academic programmes with a language component. Most of these programmes are not related to the training of specialists in linguistics, Asian and African studies or Japanese studies, but rather to the spheres of economics, law, management and social sciences,’ said the Deputy Rector.

Such programmes include ’Jurisprudence (with an In-Depth Study of the Japanese Language and Legal System)’. Moreover, some of them are taught in a foreign language, for example, ‘International Management (with study of Modern European and Oriental Languages’, which includes the Japanese language.

Sergey Andryushin also mentioned the active involvement of translators and interpreters from professional organisations in the teaching and learning process. Each teaching methodology committee for the development of such programmes consists of two to six members of professional organisations, partners of St Petersburg University. They participate in shaping the content of the programme and determining the need for additional disciplines from the employer’s point of view. Such programmes provide young graduates with the skills and knowledge that make it possible for them to apply for positions in large organisations and international companies immediately upon graduation.

Nikolay Kropachev, Rector of St Petersburg University, took the decision to develop such programmes in response to a demand from major consumers of educational services. We believe that this approach will enable St Petersburg University to achieve the best results and the highest quality of training of highly qualified specialists.

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

Svetlana Rubtsova, Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Languages of St Petersburg University, noted that such meetings: open new prospects for cooperation between Russian and Japanese universities; promote the Japanese and Russian languages; and contribute to active exchanges between students and experts in the field of translation. Atsushi Yokota, Executive Vice President of Hokkaido University, added that the round table provided a platform for exchanging ideas and strengthening relations between St Petersburg and Hokkaido.

We are proud of the contribution that St Petersburg University has made to the development and strengthening of relations between Russia and Japan.

Svetlana Rubtsova, Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Languages of St Petersburg University

Inga Ibrakhim, Associate Professor in the Department of Japanese Studies at St Petersburg University, also shared her experience of using online technologies in teaching Japanese during the lockdown. Ms Ibrakhim pointed out that the online format enabled all the students of St Petersburg University to attend classes regularly, showing almost 100% attendance. She also emphasised the high pace of work, the possibility of involving more online resources, reviewing classes in recordings and the effectiveness of working in small groups.

At the end of September, the School of Translation and Foreign Languages of St Petersburg University will host The Third International Conference ‘The Synergy of Languages and Cultures: Interdisciplinary Studies’ in a mixed format. To register for the conference, please click here.