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Program to boost Russian & UK uni links

The British Council has announced a new program to strengthen links between universities in Russia and the UK, and to facilitate joint science research projects. 

The British Council's program will promote links between Russian and UK universities. Photo: Pexels

Some 10 UK university departments have confirmed joint research projects with Russian counterparts

The organisation says that the aim of the program is to connect the next generation of science leaders by creating partnership and professional development opportunities.

‘‘Building longer term relations are critical with Russia’’

Some 10 UK university departments have confirmed joint research projects with Russian counterparts, and a further 40 UK universities will participate in online forums to be held between November 2020 and March 2021. 

Research topics will include climate change, Arctic science, anti-microbial resistance and how to increase joint degrees and TNE provision.

‘‘Building longer-term relations are critical with Russia, so I am delighted that this new programme follows on from the UK vice chancellors’ mission to Moscow and St Petersburg which re-set the future agenda for UK-Russia higher education collaboration,’’ said Ciarán Devane, chief executive of the British Council. 

As part of the new alliance, Bangor University in Wales and University of Highlands and Islands in Scotland will work with two Siberian universities – Tyumen University and Nizhnevartovsk State University

It is hoped that their research will help to understand the impact of climate change on the 2.1 million square miles of mineral-rich land in Russia above the Arctic Circle.

“It is especially important to provide opportunities for the holistic development of early career researchers,” said Mikhail Kurushkin, dean of Faculty of Biotechnologies, ITMO University, Saint Petersburg.

“The age at which these individuals can act as principal investigators has been decreasing in the past ten years. Internationalisation serves as a powerful tool for them to master world-class skills in cooperation with leading scientists,’’ he added. 

The UK and Russia have a strong track record in research collaboration: over 19,000 joint academic papers have been published in the last decade and UK-Russia joint research has an impact rating three and a half times higher than the global average.

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