INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES OF PEOPLES’ FRIENDSHIP UNIVERSITY OF RUSSIA
Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia named after Patrice Lumumba, the primary mission of which was to train skilled professionals with higher education for developing countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Arab East, was established February 5, 1960. The University still keeps to this purpose, along with training professionals for autonomous areas and regions of Russia. In 1992, the University was renamed as the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia.
Currently, PFUR is one of the leading state-funded universities, which occupies a leading position among Russian universities with the international focus of its activities. This is a major educational and research center: 78,000 graduates, including more than 5,200 PhDs, are now working in 170 countries.
More than 26,000 graduates are citizens of foreign countries: about 7,000 from Asia, about the same number are graduates from Africa, 6,000 are Latino graduates, and about 5,600 graduates from the Arab countries.
In country terms, the following countries are represented:
- In the Asian Region (students from 20 countries) - India – 2,100 graduates, Sri Lanka – 2,050 graduates, and Bangladesh - about 700 people;
- In Africa (46 countries) - Nigeria - about 700 graduates, Cote d'Ivoire - 480 people, Tanzania - 475 people, and Ethiopia - 470 people;
- In Latin America (29 countries) - Peru - 750 graduates, Columbia - 725, Chile - 700, Ecuador - 550, Bolivia - 410, Mexico - 395, Brazil - 370, and Panama - 300 people;
- In countries of the Arab East (20 countries) - Syria - more than 1,000 graduates, Lebanon - 220, Palestine - about 800, and Jordan - about 600 people.
Many graduates of PFUR are the largest state and public figures in their countries, heads of companies, educational, and research institutions. They help to facilitate and accelerate the process of establishing new direct ties of Russia in development of economic, scientific, technical, and cultural cooperation. Among the notable graduates of the University is Bharat Jagdeo, the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana 1999-2011, Yousuf Saleh Abbas, Prime Minister of the Republic of Chad in 2008-2010, Karim Massimov, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan 2007-2011, and now the Head of the Presidential Administration, Salomao Gurgel, Senator of the National Congress of Brazil in 1998-2002, now the Mayor of Ganduis, and many others.
PHUR graduates are trying to unite at both the regional and continental levels. Thus, they have scheduled the 4th Pan-Asian Meeting of graduates in India (Pune) and the 8th Pan-Arabic Meeting in Jordan (Amman) for the fall of 2013.
Graduates from Latin America are active too. They plan to hold the 4th Latin American Graduates Forum in Bogota. It was preceded by the 1st Forum in Panama in 2006, which was attended by about 200 graduates from 10 countries. The Forum in the Dominican Republic in 2008 was already attended by 320 graduates from 15 countries. The 3d Forum in Costa Rica gathered graduates from 23 countries. These meetings have given a strong impetus to unity through successfully developing contacts, implementing joint projects, and updating electronic database of correspondence consisting of hundreds of addresses.
PFUR is supporting various initiatives of its graduates. The Alma Mater’s gratitude was powerfully demonstrated during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the University, as well as in annual celebrations of the University Birthday.
PFUR has a diversified structure of faculties and specialties, typical for classical European universities. It educates specialists in more than 100 fields at the following departments: Engineering, Medical, Science, Law, Economics, Philological, Humanitarian and Social Sciences, Agrarian, Ecological, Russian Language and General Educational Disciplines (a preparatory department).
The University has a number of subsidiaries in Russian cities, such as Sochi, Belgorod, and Perm in particular.
The Peoples' Friendship University of Russia has all the attributes of an open international university as an active participant of the Bologna process. Thus, in 1988, the University - the only one in the Soviet Union – changed for the two-level Bachelor/Master system of education, which is fully implemented in PFUR these days.
A clear illustration of its international openness is the PFUR Internationalization Program, which determines activities of almost all the departments of the University.
So far, the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia is a member of many well-known international organizations such as the International Association of Universities, European Association for International Education, Eurasian Association of Universities, Program of Institutional Management in Higher Education OECD (OECD IMHE), etc.
The first foreign university that signed the Inter-University Cooperation Contract with PFUR in 1969 was the University of Khartoum (Sudan). Currently, it maintains ties with more than 220 foreign universities. Of these, about 70 are the universities of European countries, 9 are the universities of USA and Canada, 49 are the universities of Asian countries, 26 are the universities in Africa, 34 are Latin American universities, 11 are Arab countries, and 23 are the universities of the CIS countries.
An important area of international activities of PFUR is training of specialists under double-diploma programs in joint effort with foreign universities. In this area, PFUR cooperates with dozens of foreign universities, in particular, with French universities such as the Institute of Political Science of the University of Bordeaux, International Management Institute of the National University of Science, Technology, and Management (CNAM-IIM, Paris), University of Nice, University of Grenoble 2 named after Pierre Mendes France, Marc Bloch University in Strasbourg, University of Bordeaux 2 named after Victor Segalen, with which 10 joint programs are implemented. 5 programs are implemented together with the Institute of History and Culture of Shandong University, Beijing Foreign Studies University, and the Chinese People's University. PFUR is also interacting with the Berlin Institute of Economics and University of Potsdam.
There are double-diploma training programs available in Jönköping (Sweden), at the College of Tourism and Hotel Management (Nicosia, Cyprus), and High School of Mathematics of the University of Cardiff (UK). Programs with the University of Saskatchewan (Canada), London Metropolitan University (UK), and University of Bari (Italy) are under development. Moreover, the same cooperation programs are available at five Spanish universities - the University of Alcala de Henares, Antonio de Nebrija University, Juan Carlos University, University of Palma de Mallorca, and Complutense University of Madrid.
There is a Master of Human Rights program created in cooperation with the UN. The partners in this project are the Higher School of Economics National Research University, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and the Russian State University for the Humanities.
Currently, the Peoples' Friendship University and its affiliates has about 28,000 undergraduate and post-graduate students, residents and interns, about 6,000 of which are foreign nationals from 146 countries, representing about 500 nations and nationalities.
The specificity of the educational process in PFUR is that graduates of all disciplines have the opportunity to be qualified as interpreter or assistant interpreter to one and even 2 or 3 foreign languages along with getting the basic degree.
The Peoples' Friendship University of Russia has and successfully operates one of the best schools in Russia to train foreign nationals to Russian language, and Russian nationals to a foreign one. Suffice it to mention, that it was the PFUR teachers who were and are teaching Russian to most foreign cosmonauts at the Yu. A. Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Center.
The University employs a team of highly qualified teachers consisting of about 2,200 people. These include 410 professors and doctors of sciences, 900 associate professors and candidates of science. Among the teachers are 61 academicians and corresponding members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and 50 Honored Scientist of Russia. 26 teachers of PFUR are active members of foreign academies and scientific societies.
More than 200 professors, lecturers, and administrative staff of PFUR annually go on business trips to foreign countries, while the same number of foreign partners is annually welcomed by the University. About 300 PFUR students participate in academic student exchange programs annually. More than 200 students from foreign partner universities visit the University annually to improve their Russian and participate in training at the University’s departments.
Many foreign and domestic political and public figures and prominent scientists became Honorary Doctors of the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia. Among them are the Presidents of Namibia, Angola, South Africa, Gabon, Nigeria, UNESCO Director General, and Director of the European Centre for Higher Education (CEPES).
Peoples' Friendship University of Russia was visited by prominent statesmen, politicians, and public figures, including the Cuban leader Fidel Castro Ruz, Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General, Lal Bahadur Shastri, the Prime Minister of India, Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela, and others.
Being a kind of mini-UN giving education to representatives of 146 countries of the world, PFUR continues to fulfill the honorable mission, to educate its students in the environment of mutual understanding, respect, and friendship among nations and peoples of the world.