ISSN (Print) 1996-7845

ISSN (Online) 2542-2081


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Elena Medyanik

Joint Universities as a Tool for Promoting the National Interests of Russia and China

2017. Vol. 12. No. 1. P. 7–23 [issue contents]

At present, the opening of joint educational institutions is one of the leading educational trends. It allows states to improve the quality of national human resources and the national education system. Thus, it is particularly important for transition economies in the context of an innovative model of development.

Russia and China turned to this practice in 2010 after the launch of the SCO University, established by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Today joint educational institutions function not only multilaterally but also bilaterally. This article examines the Shenzhen MSU-BIT University, a joint Russian-Chinese university, as a tool to promote the national interests of the two countries.

The author presents the basic history of Russian-Chinese cooperation in education in the second half of the 20th century. She argues that the Cultural Revolution and period the subsequent of difficult relations between the two countries had a negative impact on educational ties. Russia lost 17 years in China’s educational market, which was filled by other countries, primarily the United States.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Russian-Chinese humanitarian cooperation was positive. The author relates the increase in the volume of Russian-Chinese educational exchange to the success of several events, including the large-scale projects of the Year of Russia in China and the Year of China in Russia, the Year of Chinese Language in Russia and Russian Language in China, the opening of the Russian Cultural Centre and the Chinese Cultural Centre, Russian centres and cabinets of the “Russian World” in China, and Confucius Institutes and classes in Russia.

After analyzing the current situation, the author describes the new forms of cooperation, which include the opening of joint institutions. She assesses the interests and prospects of Russian and Chinese participation in the creation of the Shenzhen MSU-BIT University through the prism of national interests. Her methodology is based on the principles of integrated research and relies on sources, using problem-chronological and comparative methods, content analysis and event analysis.

The author also refers to similar projects between China and the United States, Australia and several European countries. She stresses that joint institutions contribute to the competitiveness of educational services of the participating countries, and also serve as an effective tool for promoting national culture, language, values and lifestyles. The author demonstrates the advantages of this form of cooperation for Russia and China as a new mechanism of collective cooperation.

The author concludes that Russia is interested in establishing joint educational institutions with China primarily as an instrument of soft power that can increase the competitiveness of Russian education, not only in China but throughout Asia, and can promote the Russian language. For China, it is important to get access to Russian intellectual resources for its further socioeconomic development. She ends with a proposal for the creation of a Russian-Chinese university that could contribute to the successful implementation of this project. 

Medianik E. (2017) Joint Universities as a Tool for Promoting the National Interests of Russia and China. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 12, no 1, pp. 7–23 (in Russian and English). DOI: 10.17323/1996-7845-2017-01-7.
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