Polytechnic expands the geography of RAFU


Polytechnic, as a coordinator of the Russian-African Network University (RAFU) consortium, is actively expanding the geography of its activities. Representatives of the university visited Morocco, where a number of important working meetings with future members of the consortium were held. The trip was organised with the support of the Association of SPbPU Alumni in Morocco (Association Marocaine des Polytechniciens de Saint Petersbourg) represented by Omar Sabri, AMPSP President, and Abdellatif Abid, General Honorary Consul of Russia in Agadir.

Maxim Zalyvsky, Head of the RAFU Project Office, and Alla Mazina, Deputy Head of the International Education Department, held a meeting with the SPbPU Alumni Association in Morocco, where they discussed the prospects of opening the SPbPU Information Centre and Recruitment Centre in Casablanca.

SPbPU representatives held negotiations with representatives of the Moroccan Federation of Private Education (FEP) represented by Abdesslam Benahra, Vice President of the Federation, Mohamed Loukili, Director General of EFET Group (a group of 8 private higher education schools in 6 cities of Morocco) and Rachid M'Rabet, President of the Atlantic University. As a result, agreements were reached on cooperation in scientific conferences, the development of joint network programmes at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and the possibility of creating joint technical school-bachelor programmes.

Private universities have expressed their desire to join RAFU. The preparation of agreements and roadmaps for co-operation with SPbPU has already begun. The development of dual degree master's programmes in English in the field of management, trade and entrepreneurship, as well as joint postgraduate programmes has begun with Atlantic University.

In a meeting with the Moroccan Ministry of Social Development, Morocco's development priorities were outlined, including the need to develop seawater desalination systems, alternative energy and women's entrepreneurship.

With Hassan II University in Casablanca they started preparing a bilateral agreement on co-operation with SPbPU, as well as on Hassan II University joining RAFU. They discussed the possibility of organising conferences of the Russian-African Network University in various African countries. Professor Abdelilah Braxa proposed to open the Centre of Russian Language and Culture in Morocco in cooperation with Polytechnic.

Alla Mazina and Maxim Zalyvsky made a working visit to the International University of Agadir. Together with Ilias Maydulin, Vice-President of the University for Education and Research, Director of the Agadir Higher Polytechnic School, a decision was made to prepare for the signing of a bilateral agreement and to develop a roadmap for co-operation with SPbPU. The colleagues also discussed the signing of a memorandum on the University's joining RAFU. The parties agreed on the prospects for the development of academic mobility and the possibility of launching joint double degree programmes on the basis of SPbPU master's and specialist programmes in English.

"Morocco stands out among numerous African countries with its rich history, culture and traditions. Co-operation with Moroccan universities represents a significant potential and requires special attention. The meeting of the Polytechnic University with equal partners from Morocco will bring fruitful results for the development of science, education and economy of both countries. Co-operation in technical sciences and engineering specialities facilitates the exchange of knowledge, experience and stimulates innovation. Joint programmes in medicine, aviation, information technologies and cyber security offer students unique opportunities for education and professional training," stressed the importance of developing Russian-Moroccan cooperation, Dmitry Arseniev, Vice-Rector for International Activities of SPbPU.

The Polytechnic delegation noted the high level of Moroccan universities both in terms of infrastructure - high-tech buildings, equipped with modern laboratories, and in terms of teaching staff, among which there are many doctors, specialists of high level.