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First Taiwan–Russia Higher Education Online Roundtable

Keng Chung-Yung, Sergey Petrov, Prof. Su Huey-Jen, William Lu, Prof. Chen Mei-Fen and international affairs officials from universities in Taiwan and Russia. The photo was provided by FICHET

Keng Chung-Yung, Head of the Representative Office in Moscow for the Taipei–Moscow Economic and Cultural Coordination Commission (TMECCC), and William Lu, Secretary of the Education Division of TMECCC, took part in the First Taiwan-Russia Higher Education Online Roundtable, on April 14, 2021. The Roundtable was initiated by the Moscow–Taipei Coordination Commission on Economic and Cultural Cooperation (MTC) in Taipei and jointly held by the Russian Rectors’ Union and FICHET (the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan). Russian Vice-Rectors for International Affairs at universities in seven regions in Russia and Taiwanese Vice-Presidents for International Affairs at universities in six regions in Taiwan took part. 

In his opening remarks, Sergey Petrov, the Head of MTC, spoke about bilateral academic exchanges in the fields of scholarships, and language teaching (of Chinese and Russian) and said that he looked forward to furthering and deepening educational cooperation between Taiwan and Russia after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Keng Chung-Yung then pointed out that the Memorandum of Understanding in the Fields of Education and Culture between Taiwan and Russia, signed in 2007, provides the legal basis for bilateral cultural and educational cooperation. He outlined the four categories of academic cooperation—1. provision of scholarships, 2. mutual visits of various levels, 3. joint scientific research projects, and 4. signing of documents related to educational exchanges—and said he looked forward to such cooperation in fields associated with Taiwan’s Five Plus Two Industry Innovation Plan. The “Five Plus Two” refers to seven innovative industrial pillars: the Asia Silicon Valley, smart machinery, green energy technology, medical biotechnology, national defense, new agriculture, and the circular economy.

Their opening remarks were followed by two sessions in which the participants exchanged ideas and views. Session 1 was on: Educational and Scientific Cooperation between Russian and Taiwanese Universities: Achievements, Priorities and Plans for Long-term Cooperation. 
Session 2 was on: Russian and Taiwanese Universities and the Challenges of COVID-2019: Experience and Best Practices. 

Prof. Alexander B. Bedny, Vice-Rector for International Affairs at Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod, expressed his university’s gratitude to Taiwan’s Ministry of Education and the Education Division at TMECCC for the longtime support provided by sending Mandarin Chinese teachers from Taiwan since 2016. In his concluding remarks, the Russian Moderator, Prof. Yuri Mazei, Vice-Rector for International Affairs at Lomonosov Moscow State University said that dual-degree programs, programs that combine scientific reseach and exchanges, and professional summer camps or schools can all be viewed as key possibilities for strengthening bilateral scientific and educational coopearation in the future.

This online roundtable served as an excellent platform for dialogue and exchange of points of view in education and the Education Division will take into account the feedback received there as it continues working to promote and further educational interaction and cooperation.