Alexander Schmidt: “Cooperation with Mongolian universities and scientific institutions is now at a completely new level”
4 April 2023

From March 22 to March 24, a representative delegation of the Irkutsk Region headed by Governor Igor Kobzev was in Mongolia on a working visit. The rector of Irkutsk State University Alexander Schmidt was also part of the delegation, who took part in a number of events on the agenda of the visit, and also held several important meetings with the heads of universities in Mongolia.

After the visit of the delegation, Alexander Schmidt noted the saturation of the program of stay in Mongolia – the business part, when several events were held simultaneously, and the cultural part, including the flower-laying ceremony at the Marshal Zhukov Memorial, the concert of the Governor's Symphony Orchestra of the Irkutsk Regional Philharmonic held at the Opera and Ballet Theater, and the official reception of Governor Igor Kobzev.

Alexander Schmidt – about the most important part for the university


“In Ulaanbaatar, at the Russian Center for Science and Culture we met with Valeria Valeryevna Kilpyakova, acting head of Rossotrudnichestvo in Mongolia. We discussed issues of cooperation in the field of popularization of Irkutsk State University among Mongolian young people, including the promotion of Russian language teaching programs and information support for Russian-Mongolian ISU projects. As a result, we discussed some specific measures and gained the support of the RCSC for their implementation.

The rector of the Mongolian State University of Education, Professor Batbaatar, procured an opportunity to meet with us. I say "procured" because he was appointed to the post of university head literally three days before our visit. The meeting was very productive – we reached specific agreements on signing a new cooperation agreement between ISU and MSUE. In fact, we will be implementing an exchange program. They are interested in immersion of Mongolian Russian students in the language environment – at the meeting it was noted that MSUE sends its students to Kalmykia, but Irkutsk is much closer geographically and more profitable in terms of the transport. We came to a preliminary agreement with Professor Batbaatar: we will be able to accept the first group of Mongolian students in the next academic year for short-term educational programs. As for us, we are interested in cooperation in terms of educational and methodological work, for example, the development of joint textbooks, as well as materials on the Russian language and culture of Russia for teachers of Mongolian schools. I think that there may also be interaction within the framework of the activities of our Department of Buryat Philology.

Another university that we visited was the Mongolian National University – a classical university that is developing rapidly and is very close to Irkutsk State University in terms of its characteristics and formal indicators. By the way, there are many of our graduates and graduates of other Russian universities at the Mongolian University, the management staff are people who graduated from Soviet and Russian higher educational institutions. At the meeting with Professor Badarch, MNU rector, we found common ground that lie in the field of cooperation in scientific research. We are interested in the equipment that’s in possession of the Mongolian National University. Their interest is directed to the competencies of ISU scientists. Specifically, at the MNU the strongest areas of research are biology, chemistry and archaeology which correspond to the ISU priority areas. Now our task is to find the mutual interests of specific research teams and the points of contact and possible areas of cooperation.

Another official meeting was held at the Ministry of Education of Mongolia, at which plans for joint work were outlined to intensify academic exchanges of students and teachers, researchers. Another meeting with representatives of the Mongolian education sector was held at school № 3 in Ulaanbaatar – we discussed the problems of training teachers of the Russian language. For us, this topic is very important, since our pedagogical institute is able and conducts the training of Russian teachers for Mongolia, implements advanced training courses, which are attended by representatives of the Mongolian education system.”

In addition to the official protocol events, Alexander Schmidt held a number of friendly meetings, including meetings with representatives of the Association of ISU Mongolian graduates and the Association of graduates of Soviet and Russian universities. The organizations have established themselves as time-tested reliable partners providing all possible assistance to the university on the Mongolian territory. Alexander Schmidt noted the very warm welcome given to the ISU delegation by Mongolian graduates. Following the meetings, the head of Irkutsk University presented the most active members of the association with memorable gifts.

Alexander Schmidt:

“It should be noted that Mongolia is developing at a high pace, and during this visit it became completely clear that the relationship and cooperation of Irkutsk State University with Mongolian universities and scientific institutions are now reaching a new level, which is fundamentally different from the Soviet and early post-Soviet periods. Mongolia is no longer as much in need of training specialists as it used to be. Cooperation in rather narrow areas of research activity and, if we talk about educational projects, training of students in the areas of training in which Irkutsk State University is able to demonstrate that it is on the cutting edge of world science, became top priority.”