20 years of Russian-Finnish university cooperation

The 10th Seminar on Cooperation between Russian and Finnish Institutions of Higher Education was held on February 10th - 11th.

Similar to the previous seminars in St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Joensuu and Turku, this one addressed current issues of cooperation, related to joint educational and scientific programmes and projects, the mobility of students and staff as well as cooperation between universities and business.

The Seminar was organized by Saint-Petersburg Association of the Vice Rectors for International Relations and the Center for International Mobility CIMO (Finland).  The session «University-business cooperation» was supported by Saint Petersburg International Business Association (SPIBA).

More than hundred experts in higher education from Russia and Finland – international service officers, professors, university leadership and student organizations became participants of the Seminar.

Within the plenary session “Educational reforms and international cooperation” Nikolai Toivonen, director of the International Department, Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, and Tiina Vihma-Purovaara, counsellor of Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland,  gave their perspectives on current changes in higher education in Finland and Russia.

Participants of the session “Instruments and funding schemes supporting mobility and cooperation between Russia and EU/Finland” concentrated on the possibilities of fundraising in the region:

  • Outi Jäppinen, Senior Programme Adviser, CIMO (Helsinki, Finland) made a report on Finnish Russian Student and Teacher Exchange Programme FIRST;
  • Anna Muravjova, Deputy director, National Erasmus+ Office, Russia presented new projects of Erasmus + programme;
  • Jan Lundin, General Secretary, CBSS (Stockholm, Sweden)informed about the programme of Seed Financing (PSF CBSS), Eurofaculty  and Summer university projects;
  • Jens Rasmussen, Senior Adviser, Nordic Council of Ministers (Copenhagen, Denmark) informed about extension of the Nordic - Russian cooperation programme in education and scientific research.

Panel discussion related to cooperation between universities and real economic sector has brought together representatives of Finnish companies represented in Saint-Petersburg (East Office Finland, KONE, Sokos Hotel Group, Russian-Finnish Chamber of Commerce). 

Samu Seitsalo, Director General, CIMO: «Our meeting takes place for the tenth time for the last twenty years at a crucial time when we all suffer from political circumstances. It is very significant that we continue our communication – university with university, professors with professors and students with students, as this is the basis for dialogue between our countries. Our Seminar acts as the most important tool for the future cooperation between Russia and Finland. Russia is the main partner for universities of Finland, because every sixth foreign student comes from Russia, as well as the number of exchange students increases all the time. Last 20 years are still not estimated at its true worth, but we will work with each other and will definitely melt the ice if it is still remained in the relations between our countries!»

Igor Maksimtsev, Chairman of the Association of the Vice Rectors for International Relations: «There is no other region who can boast of 20 years of its work and results achieved during this time! When we held the first Seminar in 1996 Russian universities only began to develop and our colleagues from Finland supported us – we communicated, interrogated, adopted the experience and without the help of our partners from Finland we could not make progress. Finland is our reliable neighbor, friend and partner that can help us to solve problems. Together we can make it different!»

Contact information

21, Sadovaya street,
191023 St. Petersburg
Russian Federation

Department of International Cooperation
+7 812 7105644