October 11 - special day in life of MSU and BSU
Moscow is hosting the Russian-Belarusian inter-university Friendship Days "Education and Science at Lomonosov Moscow State University and Belarusian State University (BSU): traditions and perspectives," dedicated to the 100th anniversary of educational and scientific relations of the Belarusian and Russian universities and 75th anniversary the resumption of BSU activities at the Skhodnya station (Khimki). The forum was organized at the initiative of the historical departments of MSU and BSU with the support and assistance of the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the Russian Federation, the Federal National Cultural Autonomy of Belarusians in Russia and the Foundation for Civil Society Institutions Development 'People's Diplomacy'. The media partners of the event are the' Soyuz: Belarus-Russia' newspaper and the federal information and analysis agency Vestnik Kavkaza. The forum is also coordinated by the MSU History Faculty's Diaspora History Laboratory.
Speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, Deputy Dean, Academic Secretary of the history department of Moscow State University, head of the Diaspora History Laboratory, Associate Professor, candidate of historical sciences Oksana Solopova focused on the fact that "the history departments of MSU and the BSU initiated the first forum, although the interaction of history departments has been conducted on an ongoing basis as part of our natural scientific, educational, emotional social life. And this activity led to such a major event."
Not only historians arrived in Moscow, but also deans of the Faculty of Biology, the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics, the Faculty of Philology, as well as senior officials of the BSU administration. “All the mirror faculties of MSU opened their doors for Belarusian colleagues. Now we are actively interacting, identifying the best ways to achieve success in our cooperation, which correlate with specificity of any faculty's work. All of it is consummated. Working programs were signed - between history departments and between mathematicians, between philologists and between biologists. I think that if we can talk about maintaining a commitment to the university fraternity, so remarkablely shown by our teachers almost a hundred years ago, when the BSU was just being developed, including with the MSU help, its leading specialists, we strengthen this fraternity now, in the face of the new challenges, just like our teachers preserved it during the most difficult times during the Great Patriotic War. It seems to me that it is hoped that activities of the BSU and MSU leading specialists will allow us to show our adherence to the historical tradition properly," Solopova said.
According to the historian, "it is especially significant that the inter-university forum is being held in Moscow during the Forum of Regions. And the Forum of Regions is a completely different level, the level of interstate interaction. The humanitarian component offered by the MSU as a format of participation in the meeting between the leaders of the two states is an indicator that the humanitarian component is extremely important against the background of economic and political decisions."
Yesterday, the rector of the Moscow University, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor Viktor Sadovnichy and the rector of the Belarusian State University, Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Professor Andrey Korol met at the main building of Moscow State University. "BSU is a university with which our connection is very close. We have many joint projects. We are very close both in history, moods and programs. There is no scientific area in which we did not communicate. These are mathematicians, biologists and especially historians," Victor Sadovnichy said. "We continue the trend, which was set many years ago. I would like our cooperation was more than just traditional participation in scientific, practical, international and other forms. I am glad that we have come to the practical interaction in educational work, in educational activities," Andrey Korol said.
After the meeting in the presence of members of the administration, deans and employees of the historical, biological, mechanical and mathematical, philological faculties of MSU and BSU, heads of national-cultural autonomies of Russia's Belarusians, the leaders of both universities signed two additions to the cooperation agreement.
According to Oksana Solopova, "the renewed contract was signed in April 2018, and now, after six months, we have two specific additions to the framework agreement, which continues the long-term friendship of the Russian and Belarusian state universities. These additions are extremely important for us."
In accordance with the first of them ("On the Establishment of Friendship Day of MSU and BSU"), October 11 will become the annual Friendship Day of MSU and BSU, which is timed to the resumption of activities of the Belarusian State University at the Skhodnya station of the October Railway, with the active assistance of the teaching staff of Lomonosov Moscow State University. This year marks the 75th anniversary of this event.
Oksana Solopova explained: "The BSU evacuated for Moscow resumed its work on October 11, 1943. Then the university fraternity revealed itself in full format, because professors, MSU employees took an active part in supporting their Belarusian colleagues. Belarusian colleagues saved all Belarusian schools in Moscow, returned to Minsk and reinstated the work of the Belarusian State University after the victory. We remember it, we appreciate it, this fraternity is holy for us, and we are trying to reproduce this fraternity, including institutionalizing it, fixing it on paper. The fact that the rectors have made such a step is an milestone in inter-university cooperation. It shows how close Belarus and Russia are. Now, October 11 is a special day in our universities's life," Solopova said.
BSU Vice-Rector Sergey Khodin told Vestnik Kavkaza that the additions filled the Cooperation Agreement with real life: “It’s very important when the document turns into a real process. We have a nearly 100-year history of cooperation. We appreciate the role played by professors of Moscow University in the formation of the Belarusian University. We remember the glorious and tragic pages of the war. The Day of Friendship, which is fixed on October 11, symbolizes a very complex page for the history of the university, when the university was revived, a platform was created to resume its work at the Skhodnya station near Moscow. Of course, it would be impossible without the participation of the Moscow University professors, since many of our university’s teachers were at the front back then. Many students were transported from the trenches or partisan detachments to classrooms in Moscow by airplanes. It was a very tough time."
"A friend in need is a friend indeed. When we are successful, we have a lot of friends, but friends in need are friends indeed. Therefore, fixing the date of October 11 as Friendship Day is symbolic. But filling is also important, because the Friendship Day is a specific day to which we will move forward the whole year to show real progress," Sergey Khodin said.
The second annex to the treaty (“On the Establishment of MSU and BSU joint master programs”) is devoted to joint master programs with the possibility of receiving two diplomas upon graduation: of both MSU and BSU. In the first place it was decided to establish the program 'History of the Belarusian Diaspora', which is being prepared by the historical faculties of both universities. It is assumed that the master's degree programme will open on September 1, 2019. Entrance examinations can be passed in any of the universities. The first year of study will be held at MSU, and the second - at the Belarusian university.
“Master’s programs was our longstanding aspiration, in this year we already developed in the first reading a draft master’s program in the Belarusian diaspora history, we have a curriculum, which we have been discussing for a long time. We will rework it and submit to the academic councils. That is, real concrete steps have already been taken," Oksana Solopova said.
According to Sergey Khodin, "the master's degree programme is the future postgraduate training program, it is a very stable platform for our students to meet, exchange views, get the most up-to-date information, the best knowledge from the best professors of the two universities in those areas in which we are interested. It is no coincidence that the history department becomes the first such platform. Belarusians like to go the whole length of it, and we need to gain some experience here. We already have the experience of cooperation between the two departments - the BSU history department and the MSU history department. This suggests that we can find such areas to establish master's degree programmes. I think that using this experience, other faculties will also be able to establish master's degree programmes. Of course, professors and deans are interested in such collaboration. This is the basis of success."