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"We are committed to create a true university corporation"
2600 international students from 64 countries study today at Tambov State University named after G. R. Derzhavin. The university also facilitates cooperation with more than one hundred universities in Asia, Africa, Europe and America. Professor Tatyana Osadchaya, the TSU Vice-Rector for International Relations and Work with Foreign Students, shares on what helps a regional university to develop the Russian education export program.
- Tambov State University was established in 1918. Since that time it has experienced several stages of transformation. How can you define the role of the university in the region today? What are its greatest strengths?
- TSU is the only multidisciplinary classical university in our region; therefore it is obvious that we provide the whole variety of competencies required for the regional community.
The main educational and scientific activities of Tambov State University named after G. R. Derzhavin are priority areas for social and economic development of the region. Today society needs young qualified specialists in health care, economics and social services, where regional demand for personnel is the highest.
The Derzhavin’s University has been implementing a health care development program. The simulation and accreditation center has been established and equipped in the university. It enables future physicians to work out their practical skills on high-tech simulators and through special computer programs.
The university has centers intended to provide assistance to general population and advisory support to business community of the Tambov Region. Such centers include the Stock-Exchange Business Center, the Strategic Forecasting Center, the Prototyping Center and etc. A project on financial literacy of younger generation has been implemented; the Legal Clinic provides free legal advice to the public.
The university volunteer movement has been developing in medical, event-based, social and environmental areas. There are foreign students among 3,000 TSU volunteers; they participate in all activities of the Medical Volunteers Public Movement.
We are committed to creating a true university corporation – a community of independent, ideologically courageous and highly qualified experts.
- How long has TSU been welcoming foreign students?
- The first foreign students arrived at Tambov State University in the 1990s. They came from the UK, USA and China for internships and training in basic and additional educational programs.
Since 2009, the Tambov University has become attractive to foreign students from Africa, China and the Middle East. The best school graduates from the countries of South and Central Africa study at TSU due to collaboration with the South Africa Charitable Foundation founded by UNESCO.
- How many foreign students study at the university today? And where do they come from?
- Today, 2600 foreign students from 64 countries (neighbouring countries, Asia, Africa, and Europe) study at TSU.
- How did they find out about TSU? Why did they choose it? What specialties are the most popular among them?
- The university provides education and training in 150 specialties with undergraduate, specialists’, graduate, postgraduate and doctorate programs covering such rapidly developing areas as medicine, environmental science, nanotechnology, information technology, economics, management, political science and others. The most popular specialties among foreign students have been medical ones. And it is so due to the fact that those are considered to be prestigious and highly paid occupation.
The Derzhavin University has two programs to trains doctor for foreign countries: General Medicine and Dentistry. Therefore, most of foreign students study at the Medical Institute.
The strong impact that information technology has on modern society causes changes in traditional ways of obtaining information. The university has created a unified information and communication platform integrated into social networks, which enables applicants to get information about the Tambov University.
Every year the university participates in international educational exhibitions that take place in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Over the past few years, the Derzhavin University has presented its educational programs in such countries as Luxembourg, Serbia, Vietnam, Morocco, Mongolia, Tunisia, etc.
Social and cultural environment plays important role in attracting foreign students and their successful integration into the life of the university.
The university has created unified approaches to foreign students’ education and staying, which include pre-university, adaptation, integration and post-university stages.
Thus, a favorable environment is formed for a comfortable stay and education of foreign citizens.
- In your opinion, what education criteria do international students take the first notice of? What are their requests?
- When choosing a place of study, the main education criteria that foreign students pay attention to are quality of education and recognition of a university diploma in their home countries. The university employs highly qualified specialists and implements courses and programs in English and French. Students come for full-time studies, as well as for short-term internships. If foreign students want to study in Russian language, they may join the preparatory department and learn Russian, as well as get training within the scope of medical and biological, humanitarian, or economic program.
Furthermore, TSU has been improving its physical facilities: the university occupies 9 buildings. Its infrastructure includes academic, scientific and industrial complexes, laboratories with modern equipment, a nano-center, the largest scientific library in the region, as well as the simulation and accreditation center. The university also owns good sports facilities: the Palace of Sports, a sport and recreation center, a fitness center, athletic halls, stadiums, and the Galdym recreation center, which hosts events aimed at social, cultural, legal and language adaptation of foreign students.
Foreign students live in comfortable hostels and take part in cultural events of the region.
The Derzhavin University always provides foreign students with required help and support. Well-trained teachers and university staff speak several foreign languages and have intercultural skills. They conduct events enabling students to demonstrate cultural traditions of different countries and people. The most prominent and significant of them is Days of National Cultures in TSU named after G. R. Derzhavin, the traditional International Student Festival.
- Does TSU keep in touch with its graduates from other countries? What do they say about their studying in TSU?
- Graduates of our university work in many countries of the world. We do have the Alumni Association, which enables us to unite them within a single network and accumulate their potential. Today graduates from 60 countries of the world (Algeria, Bulgaria, Vietnam, India, China, Macedonia, Morocco, Namibia, Tunisia, France, Uzbekistan, etc.) promote image of the university in their home countries.
Photo credit: eparhia-tmb.ru
For example, our graduates from China contributed to signing of cooperation agreements with Hainan Normal University and Windaka Technology Inc. Together with the latter, we are going to open a TSU-based laboratory for AI, IT and Internet of things.
- In your opinion, what are the most effective forms and tools for attracting foreign students to universities?
. TSU named after G. R. Derzhavin cooperates with 150 universities and cultural centers from 42 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and America, as well as with Russian centers of science and culture (Rossotrudnichestvo) in various countries. Effective forms of attracting foreign students include cooperation with partner universities, if their students want to improve level of education or take part in joint academic programs, work with large recruitment companies proven effective in the market of education services, and establishment of subject-specific academies within the university.
Every year TSU hosts summer and winter schools of Russian language and culture. Pupils and students from Angola, Vietnam, Germany, China and Uzbekistan participate in their programs.
TSU organizes contests and festivals of Russian language and culture. Last year, the Festival of Slavic Cultures and Literature was organized at the East China Pedagogical University (Shanghai). It included competition for students of the Russian language department of the Foreign Languages Institute.”