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NOVO OGAREVO, April 1 (Itar-Tass) - President Vladimir Putin said Baltic Federal University should not confine itself to medicine and bio-medical technologies only and should develop activities in all areas.
The University’s Vice Rector for Development and Innovations Timur Gareyev said the creation of a special economic zone in Kaliningrad Region had allowed the University to work out its own socioeconomic development programme geared to the region’s needs. The University will focus on medicine, biology and bio-medical technologies.
Gareyev asked Putin to support the University’s development strategy.
Putin said “that success not only in the medium term but also in the long term depends on the quality of human resources. And therefore biology, medicine, fundamental medicine and everything related to that are very important,” the president said.
“If this is the choice you have made, it is justified and marketable,” he added.
However Putin doubts that the University should be converted into a medical institution. “I am not sure you should become a medical institution. You are a federal university and a university means a range of disciplines. The status of medical institution will narrow down your scope,” the president said at a meeting with the students, post-graduate students and faculty members of Baltic Federal University on Monday, April 1.
He believes that university multi-disciplinary education is most needed in the present-day world.
Putin said there would be a series of such meetings with students and teachers of all federal universities.
“A series of such meetings with the students and faculty members of federal universities has been scheduled. There are nine of them,” he said.
The president noted that the leadership of the country had paid much attention to education lately, including in his election articles and his first presidential decrees issued in May of last year.
“We still pay it a lot of attention to improve the quality of education as such and to make our education more innovative and geared to the needs of the country and the labour market,” Putin said.
He noted that by 2018 university teachers’ salaries should be raised to the double average monthly salary in the respective region. He also stressed the need to strengthen ties between universities and schools, on the one hand, and between universities and business, on the other hand.
Putin said he would be waiting for proposals regarding publication of philosopher Immanuel Kant’s works in Russian.
“His works can surely be published in Russian. Clearly, that will take time, including for translation. Prepare your proposals,” he said.
“I agree with you and it’s great that you pay so much attention to this. We have to look at what can be done at the federal level. If you want to know my opinion, Kant should be a symbol of not only your university but of the whole region,” Putin said.
He recalled that Kant’s first essay “Perpetual Peace” was basically the first attempt to give substantiation to the unification of Europe after the Seven Years’ War. “In this respect, Kant is symbolic for the whole of Europe,” the president stressed.
Putin also promised to solve the question of benefits for small enterprises created at federal universities.
He stressed that the benefits should also apply to small enterprises that were created before the resolution became effective.
Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University is a leading educational and scientific centre in Russia’s westernmost Kaliningrad Region. It was created by a presidential decree on October 13, 2010, on the basis of Immanuel Kant Russian State University.
The University comprises nine institutes as faculties, two faculties, two higher schools, the European Business School, and a college. Over 16,000 students and post-graduate students are studying at the University under more than 300 educational programmes.
Andrei Klemeshev was the rector of Russian State University from 1998 to February 2011 and has been the rector of Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University since then.