HAVANA, February 17. /TASS/. The Moscow State Linguistic University (MSLU) and the University of Havana on Friday inked an agreement on cooperation.
At a ceremony in the Cuban capital the agreement was signed by MSLU Rector Irina Krayeva and her Cuban counterpart Gustavo Cobreiro. Russia’s ambassador to Cuba Mikhail Komynin and officials from the Cuban Ministry of Higher Education attended the event.
The document envisages student, teacher and researcher exchanges, experience sharing in education, research and culture and also cooperation in devising programs for the training of research, scientific and engineering personnel. The agreement was concluded on the sidelines of the ongoing international scientific and educational congress University-2018.
The MSLU and the University of Havana have an impressive record of long-standing cooperation.
"Many MSLU students and teachers in the 1960s-1980s took instruction and internship courses at the University of Havana and they look back on those years with great warmth and gratitude," Krayeva told TASS. She recalled that the MSLU in its present shape emerged in 1930, but in fact it regarded itself as a legal successor of the Moscow Imperial School of Commerce, established at the beginning of the 19th century. Currently the University teaches 35 foreign languages.
Krayeva said the MSLU would like to have partners eager to work together in such fundamentally new fields as computational linguistics.
"Jointly with the A.S. Pushkin State Institute of the Russian Language and other partners in Russia we might participate in training students and teachers specialized in teaching Russian as a foreign language. Havana University students might get involved in our simultaneous and literary translation exchange and internships programs," Krayeva said.
She hopes the MSLU will see ever more Cuban students with every passing year.
"Also, we would like our students, political scientists, sociologists and other specialists to have a chance to go to the University of Havana under internship programs," Krayeva said.
Demand for simultaneous translators in Cuba is large, as many of the current generation of specialists fluent in Russian are close to winding up their professional careers for age reasons.
"The same trend can be observed in Russia. This is what makes us certain exchanges in this field may benefit both sides," Krayeva said.
For his part University of Havana Rector Gustavo Cobreiro voiced the hope for productive and mutually beneficial cooperation between the universities.
"I do hope that Russian students will be able to go to the University of Havana for studies. And, of course, I understand that Spain is closer to Russia, but in contrast to Cuba in Spain you won’t find anything like Cuba’s salsa, mojito and the Caribbean Sea," he said with a smile. Cobreiro recalled his own experience of studying in the Soviet Union, where he obtained an engineer’s diploma - still a source of his lasting pride.
The University of Havana is one of the oldest ones in the Americas. Last month it turned 290.
The University was established by Dominican monks in 1728. Currently its 16 departments have a total of 30,000 students. The University runs 18 research centers.
In May, 2017, the foreign languages department opened a Russian language section of the Pushkin Institute. About 80 students study Russian at the University of Havana at the moment. Instruction lasts for six years, including the first year for beginners. The graduates receive a bachelor’s degree in the Russian Language and a Second Foreign Language.