The delegation from Association of Private Brazilian Universities (Associação Brasileira de Mantenedoras de Ensino Superior, ABMES) began their visit to Russia on the 4th September.
The first meeting with rectors of Russian private universities was held at the International University in Moscow. The Russian side was represented by the heads and rectors of member-universities of the Association of Non-State Universities of Russia (ANVUZ)), representatives of the State Duma and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. The Brazilian delegation included members of parliament of Brazil, heads and employees of higher education institutions, including 13 owners of 80 Brazilian universities providing education to more than 300,000 students.
The meeting was opened by the Rector of the International University in Moscow Lenar A. Yunusov who yielded the floor to Antonio Luis Espinola Salgado, the Ambassador of Brazil in the Russian Federation.
"Russia and Brazil have a lot in common – huge territories and population, national and religious diversity," said Antonio Salgado. – Now Brazilian students who study in Russia focus on studying medicine and engineering at Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kursk and Belgorod universities. We hope that this meeting will contribute to the expansion of student exchange as well.
First Deputy Chairman of the Education Committee of the State Duma Oleg N. Smolin also expressed his hope that the meeting would result not only in creative communication, but also in practical benefits:
— Our countries can learn a lot from each other. However, we are united by a good quality of education in our universities, which is substantially higher than that shown by various international ratings. — "Despite all the difficulties of recent years, Russia has maintained a high quality of higher education," Oleg Smolin said. "We are closely watching the experience of Brazil and I hope that we will find a common language with our Brazilian colleagues. We have a mutual interest in good education.
The deputy of the Brazilian parliament, Rodriguez Da Silveira, spoke about the difficulties which Brazil's education is facing, and about the benefits of cooperation development between Russian and Brazilian universities (80% of Brazilian universities are private).
The president of the ABMES Association Jose Janguie Bezerra Diniz discussed the activities of this association; he also mentioned the state of the Brazilian higher school:
— In 1996 the Brazilian government adopted a university support programme that made it possible to establish more than 2,000 new educational institutions, – said Jose Diniz.
—Now more than 70% of Brazilian students study at private universities. The most popular areas of study are jurisprudence (14%), management (9%) and civil engineering (6%).
— We should help each other to enhance our competitive ability, – noted Vladimir A. Zernov, the Rector of RosNOU and Chairman of the ANVUZ association. – We’re planning to discuss in detail ways of further cooperation at our meetings. The standard of Brazilian universities is quite high and we’re interested in the opportunities for creating "dual degree" programmes, student and professor exchange programmes. We thank our Brazilian colleagues for taking the time to visit Russia. I hope our diplomacy between universities will promote the development of partnership relations at the state level because our countries are BRICS members.
—The University is the main tool that helps a person to adapt to changing circumstances of modern life," said the president of the International University in Moscow Gennady L. Kostrov. — It seems to me important to achieve the highest level of international interaction as this will allow our children to live in this world. On the same day, the head of the ANVUZ association Vladimir A. Zernov and the head of the ABMES association Jose Jangui Bezerra Diniz met with Vyacheslav A. Nikonov, the Chairman of the Education Committee of the State Duma.
In the next three days the Brazilian delegation is going to visit «Skoltech», RosNOU, Rosobrnadzor, RUDN, the Lenin Library, Moscow State University and the St. Petersburg University of Technology, Management and Economics.