On January 24, 2014 the forum “Training world-class specialists for Africa at Kazan Federal University” was opened in the assembly hall of the Board of Trustees. During this opening ceremony the honoured guests met with the Rector, Mr. Ilshat Gafurov, and representatives of institutes and faculties of the University.
The Rector told African countries? Ambassadors about the system of higher education in Russia, economic potential of the Republic of Tatarstan, main lines of KFU activities and its infrastructure. Special attention was devoted by Mr. Ilshat Gafurov to international activity, which is of top priority for our University.
The head of the delegation, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Benin in the RF, Mr. Anicet Gabriel Kotchofa, congratulated everyone with the New Year in his turn and expressed gratitude to Mr. Ilshat Gafurov for hospitality.
Mr. Kotchofa shared his observations and impressions of all he saw in Kazan, speaking a rather good Russian. After a city tour, visit to academic buildings of our University and IT-Lyceum, and communication with students, the Ambassadors of African countries got evidence of correctness of their intentions relating to a place of study of their countrymen.
“We understood that our children can study and get worthy education here, in the University with tremendous scientific potential, and thus get a start in life,” Mr. Kotchofa expressed general opinion.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Benin regretted to say that the quantity of African students in Kazan was small and promised as follows: “After this visit we shall use all opportunities to send our students for study in your University”.
At the end of his emotional speech the diplomat thanked Kazan citizens for their kindness and understanding, as well as for their help to Africans in adapting to new conditions.
Then the following academic departments of KFU were presented to the diplomats: the Institute of Geology and Petroleum Technologies, A. M. Butlerov Institute of Chemistry, Higher School of Information Technologies and Information Systems, KFU Branch in Naberezhnye Chelny, Institute of Management and Territorial Development, Institute of International Relations, History and Oriental Studies, Preparatory Faculty for Foreign Students. It is worth saying that all the presentations were made in English except for one, and guests could get added evidence that young scientists and teachers of KFU corresponded to European type of university officers.
The delegation representatives were satisfied with all they heard and saw. Commenting on one of the presentations, Mr. Ilshat Gafurov offered to organize KFU on-site training centres on the basis of African educational institutions, as well as to afford students of the Institute of International Relations, History and Oriental Studies an opportunity to train on probation in embassies of African countries. The guests, in their turn, were interested in opportunity to send teachers from among native African language speakers to Kazan University. After presentations each delegation member made comments on them and put questions to the Rector. As a result a lively discussion of issues relating to international student training in Kazan University and prospects of joint research and training work was provoked after the presentation session. The wish to arrange bilateral meetings with the University authorities, expressed by some of the guests, testified their profound practical interest in cooperation with KFU.
Speech of Rector of Kazan Federal University Ilshat Gafurov