Ministries of Education of Russia and Belarus Signed Agreements in the Field of Science

On June 28, at the X Forum of the Regions of Russia and Belarus in Ufa, the Head of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation Valery Falkov and Minister of Education of the Republic of Belarus Andrei Ivanets discussed key areas of cooperation between countries in the scientific field.

At the meeting, they discussed the development of the Strategy for the scientific and technical program of the Union State – the supra-state entity of Russia and Belarus. The main goals of the Strategy are the formation of a unified scientific and educational space, the creation of mechanisms for the functioning of a unified infrastructure and legal framework.

“For the Union State, the priority is the scientific potential development. We are bringing our own technologies to a new level in microelectronic, mechanical engineering, information technology, and industry spheres. We believe that this will launch the initiatives in areas of mutual interest, in particular, fundamental research in the field of genetics, the peaceful use of atomic energy, as well as nuclear medicine,” said Valery Falkov.

The Minister of Education of Russia drew attention to the fact that the draft Strategy for the Scientific and Technological Development of the Union State is now ready for signing.

In addition, Valery Falkov and Andrei Ivanets discussed the launch of new scientific and technical programs: the Congress of Young Scientists of Belarus and Russia and the III Congress of Young Scientists, which will be held on November 28-30 in Sirius.

The Minister of Education of Belarus also stressed the importance of supporting talented young scientists within the Union State.

“Last year, at the joint board, decisions were worked out on the establishment of prizes in the field of science and technology of the Union State for youth. I am sure that within the existing adult award, we can make a separate nomination for young scientists.  This will be an important step,” Andrei Ivanets emphasized.

In the context of the Union State, it is also important to preserve historical memory and counteract the falsification of history.

“The youth of the Union State can create a foundation for understanding the historical commonality of our truth that exists between Belarusians and Russians. This is about, for example, a visit to iconic places (Brest Fortress, Khatyn, Buinichsky Field, Rzhev Memorial and many others),” Andrei Ivanets stressed the importance of developing the historical and cultural activities of the Union State.

Valery Falkov and Andrei Ivanets touched upon the issue of signing a new Intergovernmental Agreement on the conditions for the activities of the Belarusian-Russian University in Mogilev. Also at the forum, more than 20 cooperation agreements were signed between the universities of the two countries.

The heads of departments paid special attention to the issues of admission of Russian graduates to Belarusian universities and Belarusian schoolchildren to Russian universities.

“Now more than 6 Belarusian universities are implementing about 17 educational programs in Russia. The potential that we have is largely undiscovered by students from Russia. 13 thousand students from Belarus study in Russia. Belarus is fully prepared to accept exactly the same number of Russian students on a parity basis,” Andrei Ivanets said.

Of the 13,000 Belarusian students studying in Russia, more than 2,000 study under the quota of the Russian Federation’s Government.

“Training qualified personnel is the basis for the development of any state. Russia seeks to simplify as much as possible the rules for the admission of Belarusian citizens who would like to get higher education in the Russian Federation. And a lot has been done in this direction,” said Valery Falkov. Concluding his speech, the Minister of Education of Russia emphasized that the countries are aimed at productive work in the spirit of brotherhood and mutual understanding.

Photo source: Aglaya Kovaleva

Academic Degrees to be Mutually Recognized in the EAEU States

At the booth of the Ministry of Education of Russia, which was presented at the Eurasia is Our Home exhibition, a number of panel discussions and cooperation agreements signing took place. The exposition itself was held on the territory of the Sirius Science and Art Park as part of the Russian representation in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

During the meeting, an intergovernmental agreement on the mutual recognition of documents on academic degrees in the EAEU member states was adopted.

Early as this summer, at the sites of three Russian universities – Ural Federal University (UFU), Siberian Federal University (SFU), Kazan Federal University (KFU) – a large-scale project “Summer University” will start to educate students from Russia, near and far abroad. This will be a platform for foreign youth to get acquainted with the potential of Russian education.

The Summer University project will be able to provide a new point of growth for the social and economic development of the EAEU. For the participants there were prepared 18 educational programs, including those in English. At least six educational programs of each university await the students, as well as professional development programs for teachers. Moreover, a cultural block with excursion programs and master classes was developed for the participants.

The value and significance of this project is in uniting students and in their further productive learning:

“This is the purpose of the university – to be the place that unites talented students, gives them a high quality education, introduces them to scientific research and develops them comprehensively. We see examples of how our graduates have succeeded in various industries,” said SFU’s Rector Maxim Rumyantsev.

It should be noted that in 2023 the Summer University project will cover 24 countries and bring together about 1.2 thousand students.

Photo source: Aglaya Kovaleva

Ukraine’s Future Discussed at the Russia Today’s Foresight Forum

On June 1 Students of the Faculty of Journalism of Lomonosov Moscow State University visited the foresight forum “What kind of Ukraine do we need?” on the Russia Today’s press centre base. 

The panel discussion “Crisis of the World Order and Ukraine” was attended by the editor-in-chief of the multimedia “” Iskander Khisamov, philosopher, Doctor of Political Sciences Alexander Dugin, Acting Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine (2002-2007), Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine (2010-2014) Dmitry Tabachnik , political scientist, publicist, writer Semyon Uralov.

The foresight forum was organized to discuss the development of modern relations between Russia and Ukraine, the modern world order and issues of language policy.

Dmitry Kiselyov, General Director of the Russia Today agency, outlined the topic of the discussion in the opening speech:

“Of course, we are talking about both Ukraine and Russia. Recently, we have been carried away by the geopolitical confrontation between Russia and the West. And it all started with Ukraine. We are probably the only ones to whom Ukraine is really important. Important with its embroidered shirts and with its language. This is our common culture”.

Continuing the topic of the two countries’ future, the speaker of the discussion Alexander Dugin spoke about his vision of the multipolarity of the world and the West’s part in it:

“We are very slightly proactive, we predict little. We need to imagine the future of Ukraine, Russia, the world order and the victory of Russia. I cannot imagine the defeat of the West. I can imagine how it can achieve its goals. It created almost irreducible paths of split. If we allowed this, then the West has already won”.

Speaking of the West’s strategy, Dugin added:

“They, of course, are leading the way to our complete annihilation, extermination. We fight to be, they fight to have. If we win, they won’t lose. This, as our Chinese colleagues say, is a win-win situation”.

Dmitry Kiselev, specifying the future of Ukraine, emphasized:

“Ukraine must always be, I must say, so that we cannot be caught by the tongue.  Ukraine forever. The only question is in what form”.

The foresight forum, organized by the multimedia, have been hosting journalists from CIS countries, China, Japan, Iran, Slovakia and a number of Arab countries. It was dedicated to the ninth anniversary of the muiltimedia’s creation.

Photo source: Aglaya Kovaleva

Russian language ranked fifth in the world

At the end of 2022, the Russian language ranked fifth in terms of competitiveness in the world. Andrey Shcherbakov, Candidate of Philology, Associate Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Philology of the Pushkin State Institute of the Russian Language, announced this at a Kostomarovsky forum’s press conference on the Russia Today media group basis:

“There is an index of the global competitiveness of the Russian language in the world. And here, in fact, there are no major changes – despite all the external circumstances of a geopolitical nature, the Russian language has retained the fifth position in the world. Of course, in terms of the number of speakers, the Russian language, for example, is still inferior to English, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish and some more. This year, by the way, in our index we recorded that there are slightly more Portuguese speakers in the world. And the Russian language in this sense has lost one position, ” said Shcherbakov.

Moreover, the number of Russian-language sites on the Internet is growing, while the number of media published in Russian in different countries of the world and the number of scientific publications remain unchanged:

“The number of, for example, Russian-language content sites in the world is growing. The number of media published in Russian in different countries of the world remains somewhat stable.  <…> The number of scientific publications, which is also very important, is fixed. It has not undergone significant changes. There is even a slight increase, ” said Shcherbakov.

It is important to note that the Russian language occupies a fairly strong position in the CIS countries. And this is due, first of all, to the fact that it is represented in education systems:

“About 90 percent of candidate and doctoral dissertations in Kyrgyzstan are defended and written in Russian. This is a really serious indicator,” Shcherbakov emphasised.

As a part of the study, we found out in which countries the Russian language occupies a leading position in the field of culture. Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan are the countries in which the Russian language is most represented in museums, libraries and theaters. Also, the Russian language is developed in the sphere of culture of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Abkhazia and Turkmenistan.

Earlier, Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin said that the English language has become dead, instead it is necessary to learn other languages ​​of interethnic communication.

Photo source: Aglaya Kovaleva

Bloggers in Kazakhstan to be taxed

The lower house of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Majilis) has adopted the bill “On Online Platforms and Online Advertising”. Members of the Majilis are discussing the introduction of the concept of “influencer” into the law. Importantly, influencers will be forced to pay taxes and label their content to warn users of the sponsored post:

“The bill will not concern users, but first of all the very concept of online advertising. Because, as we know, huge flows of financial resources, including advertisers’ money, flow into the Internet today. We know that legal relations and relationships in this area are mostly in the shadows or in the gray area. It is known that many active users receive money in envelopes and so on. They use the Internet to create financial pyramids, engage in illegal charity, etc.,” Mazhilis deputy Aidos Sarym commented on the bill.

In addition, the law also introduces concepts related directly to advertising:

“We are introducing the concepts of “native advertising”, “targeted advertising” and other things. That is, the money that flows there must be understandable and visible to our tax authorities. We are now introducing this into the legislation, and when the Tax Code comes, all these norms will sit in it,” said Sarym.

The draft law also introduces the concepts of “inaccurate information” and “illegal information”. The penalty for the dissemination of such information will be 2 MCI (Monthly Calculated Index) – 6900 tenge.

It is important to note that the Majilismen also touched upon the topic of automatic translation of content on online platforms into the Kazakh language:

“We want to continue our work. In what area – the first, the state language. We want to have systems for automatic translation of content into Kazakh. And so that the online platforms themselves can moderate content in the Kazakh language,” Sarym emphasized.

Online platforms with only a certain number of users are required to comply with the new rules:

“These rules apply to social networks, platforms with over 100,000 users. A number of social networks, Tik-Tok, for example, they are already imported to Kazakhstan. They are already creating representative offices. Our market is interesting for them. I want to remind some of our colleagues: two years ago there were discussions that all these social networks will run away, that Kazakhstan is a country that is not interesting for platforms. All these predictions did not come true,” the deputy summed up.

As representatives of the lower house of the Republic of Kazakhstan noted, all innovations are aimed at protecting the citizens of Kazakhstan in the Internet space.

Photo source: Aglaya Kovaleva

Higher Education’s Structure in Russia to Change

On May 12, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on launching a pilot project to change the levels of higher education.

“In order to promote the improvement of the higher education system, the training of qualified personnel to meet the long-term needs of the sectors of the economy and the social sphere,” the text of the document says.

This project establishes new levels of higher education: basic and specialized. The basic level of higher education replaces the bachelor’s and specialist’s degrees. The term of study is four to six years. The next level is specialized higher education, which will replace the master’s degree, and the term of study, depending on the training program, will last from one to three years. Postgraduate study will complete the three-level system of education.

According to the presidential decree, the pilot project will be implemented in 2023–2024 and 2025–2026 academic years at the following universities: Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University (Kaliningrad); Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University);  National Research Technological University “MISiS” (Moscow); Moscow Pedagogical State University; St. Petersburg Mining University; National Research Tomsk State University. By June 30, these universities must develop and submit educational standards and requirements for new levels of education, as well as relevant programs. The outcome of the pilot projects will influence the further development of new levels of higher education in Russia.

The number of budget places, benefits, rights and diploma standards will be developed by the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation within three months.

It is important to note that under the new decree, students who have completed specialist programs will be able to enter the magistracy as the next step. This will not be considered a second higher education. Now graduates who received a specialist diploma after 2012, according to the law, can enter the magistracy only for paid places, because this applies to the second higher education.

Photo source: Aglaya Kovaleva