MOSCOW, November 12. /TASS/. The first International Forum of Russian and UK University Rectors is an opportunity to expand research contacts and cooperation with UK universities, Rector of the Moscow State University (MSU) Viktor Sadovnichiy said on Tuesday.
"Today’s meeting of Russian and UK rector communities is a unique opportunity to strengthen friendship and cooperation between our countries. <…> We must make this a turning point of university history, which gives us a chance to fill its new pages," he said during the forum.
"This is the first meeting between our countries’ rectors, which means that it is historic. It is of great significance to us and we hope that it will be an abundant source of new ideas and contacts," he added.
About 100 rectors and representatives of UK and Russian universities are taking part in the forum. During the forum, the Russian Union of Rectors has signed a memorandum of understanding with Universities UK International, in which Russian and UK universities agree to expand student and staff exchange programs and to carry out new joint research. The document was signed by Rector of the Moscow State University (MSU) Viktor Sadovnichiy and Director of Universities UK International Vivienne Stern. It will be in force for three years, set to be prolonged automatically if neither of the sides object to it.
According to Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter (UK) Steve Smith, the latest research shows that the main criteria for scientific success is the university’s international integration. He noted that over a half of scientific discoveries in the UK are made in cooperation with international partners. The university official added that expanded cooperation with Russia could be another opportunity to raise the prestige of the British and Russian scientific community.