Two meetings were held by Rector Ilshat Gafurov on 12th September.
In the afternoon, the Rector met in his office with two DAAD representatives – Head of Moscow Office Andreas Hoeschen and Deputy Secretary General Christian Müller.
Dr. Gafurov outlined the existing picture of cooperation with German universities, some of which are longtime partners (KFU and Justus Liebig University Giessen will celebrate the 30th anniversary of their agreement next year). Kazan is one of the three cities in Russia where DAAD information centers are situated.
Speaking about further advancements, the Rector suggested some changes in funding arrangements. Specifically, the existing Russian 'megagrant' program helped attract many prominent researchers to the University, one of whom is calorimetry expert Dr. Christoph Schick. The idea is to render grant funding free from academic exchange and allocate it for equipment and research, whereas DAAD programs would remain primary in academic mobility. However, that exchange also needs to be aligned with Kazan University's priority research areas, said Ilshat Gafurov. He opined that the current dynamics of cooperation with Germany needs to receive a healthy boost.
Mr. Müller responded, “I am impressed by your university and its long history, and I like to see that you have such a wide vision of international cooperation and its benefits for Kazan Federal University. For DAAD, it is equally important to develop individual mobility and institutional cooperation. Universities need to advance to the next level of cooperation, and I welcome your understanding of that development.”
The two sides agreed that appropriate proposals will soon be sent do Mr. Hoeschen for consideration.
Later that Day, Rector Gafurov and his colleagues met with a team from Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg (OVGU) headed by Rector Jens Strackeljan.
Rector Gafurov informed the guests about his negotiations with DAAD and once again approached the issue of institutional cooperation. He said that the sides need to concentrate on mutually beneficial projects which would cover research, education, and practical takeaways.
Dr. Strackeljan said, “We met with our colleagues in April 2017 and already had one joint summer school organized. We have already discussed another plan – to establish a special East-West cooperation research hub at Kazan University. Keeping in mind the existing political situation, that would only be natural.” Ilshat Gafurov responded that KFU has traditionally been a uniting link between the East and the West since its establishment in 1804.
Peter Reichling, Chair in Banking and Finance at OVGU, informed that he plans to hold further negotiations with the KFU Institute of Management, Economics and Finance to discuss possible academic exchange and double diploma programs.
Source text: Kamill Gareev
Translation: Yury Nurmeev