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Статьи журнала АИ #18 (148)
The main vectors of educational cooperation between Russia and Ecuador

The main vectors of educational cooperation between Russia and Ecuador

Автор(-ы):

Vinicio Xavier Medina Gonzalez

5 мая 2023

Секция

Политология

Ключевые слова

educational cooperation
Ecuador
Russia
academic mobility
export of educational services

Аннотация статьи

The article discusses the main directions of Russian-Ecuadorian cooperation in the field of education. It is concluded that Ecuador is one of the main partners of Russia in the field of educational cooperation with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. The features of academic mobility as a form of Russian-Ecuadorian cooperation in the field of education, as well as other areas of this cooperation, are considered. For the 2022-2023 academic year, 725 Latin Americans are studying at the RUDN, 272 of them are students from Ecuador compared to the previous period, there was an increase in Ecuadorian students at the university by 8.4%. It was revealed that in the context of the tightening of anti-Russian sanctions, the activity of educational cooperation between Russia and Ecuador did not decrease, and positive dynamics was observed in some areas.

Текст статьи

Acknowledgements for support to the Secretariat of Higher Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation (in Spanish SENESCYT), Postal Code: 1701518, Quito-Ecuador. 

Disclosure statement
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author.

Introduction

In recent years, due to the crisis caused by the Covid-2019 pandemic, and then geopolitical changes and the growing tense international situation, the interaction of the countries of the world in various areas is subject to serious transformations. There are also obvious changes in cooperation with Latin American and Caribbean countries, which have traditionally been of strategic interest to Russia. On the one hand, Russian-Latin American relations are subject to several negative factors, primarily related to the strengthening of anti-Russian sanctions, on the other hand, they have great prospects for their further deepening and expansion.

International educational cooperation in the context of the internationalization of higher education, which has been happening at an active pace in recent decades, is important from the point of view of the following aspects: the development of the export of educational services, improving the quality of educational programs and scientific developments, as well as improving the educational, cultural, and professional levels of modern youth. Ecuador is among the Latin American and Caribbean countries with which Russia is currently most actively developing educational cooperation.

Academic mobility as a form of Russian-Ecuadorian cooperation in the field of education. First, it should be noted that the most dynamically developing area of Russian-Ecuadorian interaction is cooperation in the field of academic mobility (mainly Ecuadorian students to Russian universities). In general, for Latin American youth, academic mobility is the most important factor in career development in the future, including in international companies. Among the most popular geographical directions of academic mobility of young people from the Latin American region are the USA, EU countries, as well as other states of the region (Brazil, Argentina, Mexico [1, p. 64-68]). As for Russian universities, after the collapse of the USSR, the number of students from Latin America and the Caribbean in them has seriously decreased.

 

Academic mobility as a form of Russian-Ecuadorian cooperation in the field of education

First, it should be noted that the most dynamically developing area of Russian-Ecuadorian interaction is cooperation in the field of academic mobility (mainly Ecuadorian students to Russian universities). In general, for Latin American youth, academic mobility is the most important factor in career development in the future, including in international companies. Among the most popular geographical directions of academic mobility of young people from the Latin American region are the USA, EU countries, as well as other states of the region (Brazil, Argentina, Mexico [1, p. 64-68]). As for Russian universities, after the collapse of the USSR, the number of students from Latin America and the Caribbean in them has seriously decreased.

Currently, 700 Russian universities accept foreign students, a significant proportion of these educational institutions are in Moscow and St. Petersburg [2]. According to the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, most of all foreign students, including from Latin America and the Caribbean, study at the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN), Kazan Federal University (KFU), Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPPU), Higher School of Economics (HSE), First Moscow State Medical University Sechenov [3].

In recent years, students from Ecuador (1,135 people), have been the most numerous from Latin America and the Caribbean in Russia. Colombia (1,178 people) and Brazil (806 people), the share of Latin Americans studying out of all students enrolled in Russian universities was slightly more than 2% [2].

Table

Distribution of Latin American students at RUDN by country (2014-2022)

Country

2014—2015

2015—2016

2016—2017

2017—2018

2018—2019

2019—2020

2020— 2021

2021— 2022

Antigua and Barbuda

5

4

4

4

4

3

3

2

Argentina

3

4

4

7

5

4

4

6

Belize

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

0

Bolivia

16

17

18

28

25

51

52

48

Brazil

17

13

17

17

13

15

14

14

Venezuela

26

27

12

22

18

15

25

30

Guyana

6

8

10

8

5

6

7

7

Haiti

23

16

11

10

9

20

36

39

Guatemala

10

9

7

4

3

7

4

11

Honduras

1

1

1

2

2

3

5

5

Grenada

3

3

3

3

3

2

1

2

Dominican Republic

8

8

9

28

35

46

52

46

Colombia

78

77

75

68

59

78

78

85

Costa Rica

12

7

4

4

3

8

11

10

Cuba

3

14

27

17

16

22

21

30

Mexico

17

17

10

10

13

18

17

17

Nicaragua

9

7

6

2

2

3

2

10

Panama

5

3

3

3

2

3

3

4

Paraguay

1

1

1

3

2

2

5

8

Peru

30

28

25

17

18

33

39

37

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

15

15

14

6

5

5

4

3

Suriname

0

0

0

0

2

3

4

4

Trinidad and Tobago

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

Uruguay

2

3

2

2

1

1

2

2

Chile

7

8

6

7

8

7

10

9

Ecuador

76

99

130

151

168

200

251

272

El Salvador

10

 

25

 

23

 

19

 

17

 

19

 

28

15

Jamaica

36

36

31

19

16

10

6

7

Итого:

419

450

454

462

455

584

676

725

Source: compiled by the authors based on the EIS database as of the beginning of 2022 (RUDN)

The largest educational institution teaching the most foreign students is RUDN University. Throughout the history of this university, students from 28 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have studied there. For the 2022-2023 academic year, 725 Latin Americans are registered at the RUDN, 272 of them are students from Ecuador (compared to the previous period, there was an increase in Ecuadorian students at the university by 8.4%) [4].

Among the factors that students from Latin America and the Caribbean prefer Russian universities are a relatively moderate (compared to American and European universities) price with a high quality of education, the presence of strong scientific schools in the field of natural sciences and medicine, active extracurricular activities [5], the opportunity to work while studying, and there are also positive reviews about the Russian education of students already studying in the country from Latin American countries [6].

 

Scientific and cultural events in the system of educational cooperation between Russia and Ecuador

The most important area of educational cooperation between Russia and Ecuador can be called the development of bilateral contacts at the university level, including joint educational programs, cultural and educational events, the work of Russian language schools, etc.

So, for example, the Russian State Agrarian University named after K.A. Timiryazev and the Agrarian University of Ecuador have agreements on educational cooperation, including the creation of joint master's degree programs in information technologies in agriculture, agroecology, phytosanitary. In addition, the parties discussed the possibility of implementing joint scientific projects in the field of agroeconomics [7].

Of particular importance for the development of Russian-Ecuadorian educational cooperation are various events, including scientific forums, seminars, Olympiads, lectures by teachers. For example, the two sides are organizing the International Youth Forum "Space Industry", which was first held in 2016 at the National Polytechnic School of Ecuador. Individual universities also organize joint conferences and seminars. For example, Southwestern State University (SSU), located in Kursk has been carrying out close educational cooperation with Ecuadorian universities for 18 years.

The key area of joint work is aerospace activity. Several space science development projects have been implemented in this area, especially with the Ecuadorian Equinox Institute of Technology (UTE). So, as part of one of the projects, a satellite was launched that studies the earth's magnetic field, including the Kursk and Brazilian magnetic anomalies [8].

He has close contacts in the educational sphere with Ecuadorian universities and RUDN. Russian Language Center RUDN has been opened at the National Polytechnic School of Ecuador, within the framework of which not only Russian language courses are held, but also scientific and cultural events are organized [9]. Also, on the territory of Ecuador, the RUDN holds joint Olympiads, according to the results of which the winners are enrolled in the RUDN on a budgetary basis [4].

A significant place in the development of Russian Ecuadorian cooperation is also given to cultural events that allow potential applicants to learn about each other's culture, and Ecuadorian students to make a choice in favor of Russian universities. An interesting example is the practice of creating centers of Russian culture in Ecuador. Similar centers are also being created in Russia, but they cover the Latin American region. For example, a Center for Latin American Culture has been established at Kazan Federal University, whose tasks include the implementation of cultural, scientific, social, and educational exchange between Russian and Latin American students [10].

The Ibero-American Club of Moscow State University operates at MSU on a regular basis, within the framework of which scientific and cultural events are held, including with the invitation of representatives of Latin American states. In Russia, short-term events are also held to popularize the culture of certain Latin American and Caribbean countries. For example, in the RUDN, the Community of Ecuador and the administration of the university annually hold a Week of Culture of Ecuador. In 2022, these events were held from 14 to 18 November [4].

Embassies play a significant role in expanding cooperation in the field of education and culture. Embassy diplomats hold meetings on a regular basis with representatives of ministries of education, educational organizations, public organizations, etc. A special role in promoting Russian culture in Ecuador, of course, is played personally by the Russian Ambassador V.I. Sprinchan.

 

The development of Russian-Ecuadorian cooperation in the context of sanctions

At the present time of global transformations, including unprecedented pressure on Russia from the West, the importance of strengthening cooperation with friendly countries and regions of strategic interests is growing for the Russian side. Ecuador, despite several political statements, nevertheless continues to cooperate with Russia in various areas, including education. Thus, despite the anti-Russian rhetoric among Western countries and the tightening of anti-Russian sanctions, Russian-Ecuadorian cooperation continues to develop. Cooperation in the field of education takes place not only within the framework of interdepartmental contacts, but also through the development of educational projects between individual universities. For example, at the end of 2022, St. Petersburg Mining University and the Central University of Ecuador began discussing projects of bilateral cooperation in the educational and scientific fields [11]. In 2022, a new program for teaching in Russian was opened at the University of San Francisco in Quito. Last year, Ecuador began to conduct testing in Russian as a foreign language for the first time [12]. It should also be noted the opening in 2022 of the M. Gorky Cultural Center, which operates in the National House of Culture of Ecuador [13].

Last year, events were held on the Days of Russian culture in Ecuador, which were timed to the anniversary of the birth of Alexander Pushkin. At the forum, as part of the international program "Pushkin without Borders" in Quito, poems were read in Russian, Spanish and Arabic. The forum was organized by the CLE Cultural Foundation and was the first event in a series of events planned to be held in Ecuador on the eve of the Russian writer's birthday on June 6, 2023.

It should also be noted that an important problem hindering the more active development of Russian-Ecuadorian cooperation in the field of academic mobility is Russia's withdrawal from the Bologna system. In this regard, the importance of expanding the list of agreements on mutual recognition of educational documents is growing. To date, in one form or another, Russia has such agreements with Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Peru, Suriname, as well as Ecuador. An important step in attracting students from Latin America and the Caribbean was the Federal Law "On the Legal Status of Foreign citizens in the Russian Federation" adopted in Russia, which since August 2020 has simplified the employment of foreign students studying full-time at Russian universities [14].

The parties place great hopes in the development of Russian-Ecuadorian educational cooperation on the creation of a special consortium of Russia with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. So, on November 24, 2022, representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, Rossotrudnichestvo and diplomats from 12 Latin American countries, including Ecuador, held the first meeting, during which several main activities of the consortium were developed. These areas mainly concern the expansion of cooperation in the field of academic mobility, the implementation of interuniversity associations, the provision of the state budget, etc. [15]

Conclusion

International educational cooperation is a key area of relations between the countries of the world and contributes to strengthening their relations on a peaceful basis in the conditions of colossal transformations that are taking place in the international arena today. For Russia, Ecuador, as well as the Latin American region, is strategically important, and the development of contacts in the field of science and education can be regarded as an instrument of "soft power". Despite the tightening of anti-Russian sanctions and, in general, the deterioration of the geopolitical situation around the world, Russian-Ecuadorian educational cooperation is developing at a stable pace, but its potential has not yet been exhausted. This cooperation is not only about expanding academic mobility, but also deepening joint research and educational programs, holding days of Ecuadorian and Russian culture, opening Russian language learning centers in Ecuador, exchanging students and teachers for the implementation of joint educational projects.

Список литературы

  1. Shakunov V.N. The main trends in the development of higher education in Latin America and the Caribbean in the context of globalization. Scientific review. Pedagogical sciences. 2018, No. 1, p.64-68.
  2. Training of foreign citizens in educational institutions of higher education of the Russian Federation. Statistical collection of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation. Issue 17. M., Pushkin State Institute of the Russian Language, 2020, p. 180
  3. The number of international students has increased by 26 thousand people in three years. Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation. 18.01.2023 URL: https://minobrnauki.gov.ru/press-center/news/mezhdunarodnoe-sotrudnichestvo/46158/ (accessed: 26.03.2023)
  4. The official website of the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) URL: http://www.rudn.ru/about (accessed: 03/27/2023)
  5. ¿Qué piensan los estudiantes latinoamericanos sobre la educación en Rusia? Sputnik Mundo. 9.12.2022. URL: https://sputniknews.lat/20221209/que-piensan-los-estudiantes-latinoamericanos-sobre-la-educacion-en-rusia-1133254727.html (accessed 13.03.2023)
  6. Lapuschin M. Studying in Russia: an option for Latin American students. URL:https://en.rbth.com/culture/2013/07/02/study_in_russia_one_option_for_latinamerican students_29591 (accessed 13.03.2023)
  7. RGAU-MSHA and the Agrarian University of Ecuador plan to create a joint master's degree program. URL: https://www.timacad.ru/news/rgau-mskha-i-agrarnyi-universitet-ekvadora-planiruiut-sozdat-sovmestnuiu-magistraturu (accessed: 03/24/2023)
  8. The official website of the Southwestern State University (Southwestern State University). URL: https://swsu.ru / (accessed: 03/25/2023)
  9. Escuela Politécnica Nacional. Official site. URL: www.epn.edu.ec (accessed 27.03.2023)
  10. Official website of Kazan Federal University (KFU). URL: https://kpfu.ru/about_university/strategicheskie-partnery/zarubezhnye-universitety/severnaya-i-juzhnaya-amerika/strany-latinskoj-ameriki (accessed: 03/25/2023)
  11. Universities of Russia and Ecuador agree on cooperation. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. 20.12.2022. URL: https://www.mid.ru/ru/press_service/photo/meropriyatiya_v_zagran_uchrezdeniyah/1844662 / (accessed: 03/27/2023)
  12. Kukhtenkova E. The University of Ecuador has opened teaching in Russian // Rossiyskaya Gazeta. 06.05.2022. URL: https://rg.ru/2022/05/06/universitet-ekvadora-otkryl-prepodavanie-na-russkom-iazyke.html (accessed: 03/26/2023)
  13. Maxim Gorky Cultural Center opened in Ecuador // Russian World. 08.06.2022. URL: https://russkiymir.ru/news/301794 / (accessed: 03/25/2023)
  14. Federal Law "On the Legal Status of foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation" dated 06.02.2020 No. 16-FZ. URL: https://fzrf.su/zakon/o-pravovom-polozhenii-inostrannyh-grazhdan-115-fz / (accessed: 03/26/2023)
  15. Golodnikov V. Rusia discute mejorar cooperación en materia de educación con 12 países de América Latina. 30.11.2022. URL: https://es.rbth.com/educacion/90335-rusia-discute-mejorar-cooperacion-materia-educacion-america-latina (accessed 24.03.2023)

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Vinicio X. M. The main vectors of educational cooperation between Russia and Ecuador // Актуальные исследования. 2023. №18 (148). Ч.II.С. 30-34. URL: https://apni.ru/article/6126-the-main-vectors-of-educational-cooperation

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