‘Penza-Flensburg’ Congress Widening the Scope of Cooperation

30.09.2016 07:44

 The second day of IV ‘Penza-Flensburg’ Congress brought positive results in the spheres of education and research for Penza State University and its German partners.

The workshop ‘Germany and Russia: Friends and Partners over Generations’ in Europa-Universität Flensburg continued its activities.

Prof. Olga Sukhova, Dean of the Faculty of History, Languages and Literature at Penza State University, made a report ‘Building Historical Memory: Current Forms and Methods of Actualization of the Past (Case Study of the Penza Region)’. The participants discussed possibilities of joint projects. On comparing common interests, one topic was found interesting for both parties, that is interpretation of historical facts and evens in mass media. In Europa-Universität Flensburg the project is to be developed under the guidance of Prof.Dr. Astrid Schwabe.

Sebastian Lotto-Kusche from the Department of History and Methods of Teaching History at Europa-Universität Flensburg suggested the problem of national minorities politics and its development in Germany and Russia. He made an overview of recent 20th century history, detailing it with the example of gypsy minority. This is a burning issue for Russia as well, so it was decided to work on it in a broader view and to consider other national minorities.

Dr. Günter Rinke from the Department of Germanic Studies offered the linguistic analysis of a piece of classical Russian Literature, he showed the perception of Leo Tolstoy story ‘Master and Worker’ by a German.  Similar forms of analysis are made by our linguists, so there is a potential  of joint studies in this sphere.

Claudia Plinz from the Institute of Health, Nutrition and Sport offered to work on the topic ‘Food as communication. Culinary discourse and its communicative meaning’. She also spoke on the issue of the adaptation of specific types of food for migrants. Penza State University has been working on the issues of migrant adaptation, that is why this topic may become part of a new project within Erasmus+ programme.

Hochschule Flensburg, as was mentioned earlier in the news, showed enthusiastic interest towards the work of the congress.  Prof.Dr.-Ing. Holger Watter, the university president, remarked in one of his speeches, ‘If earlier we worked exclusively to serve the needs of businesses and industries, then now the development of research aspects, including the fundamental ones, becomes urgent.  Hence the interest to joint research work in engineering and technologies is very high.’

Prof.Dr. Bosco Lehr, Director of the Institute of Information and Communication Technologies in Healthcare, also spoke on cooperation possibilities and on the research conducted by the Institute. Prof.Aleksandr Mitroshin discussed the facilities of the Medical Institute of Penza State University and stressed that they are always ready to joint work.

Rector of Penza State University Aleksandr Gulyakov, talking about the academic structure of the Polytechnic Institute of Penza State University, noted that it is similar to the framework of programmes at Hochschule Flensburg. He stressed the possibility of cooperation in some promising areas of engineering education and research.

Guests from Penza State University made a tour of the university campus and noted the excellent facilities, both in technical and in human resources spheres.

DIAKO clinic in Flensburg was the following site of discussions and negotiations on medical cooperation.

Prof. Abderrahman Machraoui talked on the history of relations between Penza and Flensburg in the areas of medicine and medical training and highlighted the positive dynamics of the cooperation between Russian and German medical and educational institutions. He expressed his understanding of the importance of cooperation of the Russian medical students.

Svetlana Krätzschmar, Flensburg President, spoke on the cooperation between civil societies of two cities – Penza and Flensburg. Dr. Julia Ricart Brede talked on how the congress generated new ideas on relations between the universities.

In the end of the meeting, Aleksandr Gulyakov said ‘I experienced all that warmth of the welcome and I felt the wish to work together. There are good and bad moments  in the history of the relations between our countries, yet one thing is certain -  if we hear each other, then we understand that our union will bring only positive feedback, and the opposite way. I hope that our friendship will be realized in actual projects.’

The culmination of the discussions was signing the agreement between the Flensburg Medical Clinics Union and Penza State University. According to this agreement, the medical  students from Penza State University will have their professional training practice in German clinics and hospitals, receiving the invaluable experience of partner medical institutions.

Drawing the conclusions on two-day IV ‘Penza-Flensburg’ congress, it can be stated that this congress allowed to widen significantly the scope of cooperation between the cities. At the moment this cooperation is conducted in three directions – teacher training (partner institutions Penza State University and Europa-Universität Flensburg), medicine (partner institutions Penza State University and the Flensburg Medical Clinics Union),  technology (Penza State University and Hochschule Flensburg). 

Such contacts at different level and in different spheres will be undoubtedly mutually beneficial and will help Penza State University establish itself at the new level of international relations.

The following, fifth congress ‘Penza-Flensburg’ is agreed to take place in September 2017, at Penza State University.

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