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Norwegian Universities and Companies and MSTU Representatives Discussed Ways to Further Develop Cooperation at Round Table on Board «Sedov»


On July 29 2011 the tall ship "Sedov" turned out to be a place for active discussion between representatives of MSTU and Norwegian present and potential partners in the field of education and industry.
Vice-rector for research Svetlana Derkach and Captain of the tall ship "Sedov" Nikolay Zorchenko welcomed all the participants of the round table discussion. Words of condolence were said in the memory of those suffered during the tragic events in Oslo and island Utøya.
Svetlana Derkach gave a presentation regarding the results of cooperation between MSTU and current Norwegian partners, a few of which are University of Tromsø, University of Nordland, Narvik University College, Finnmark University College, Statoil company. Both the review of the projects and programmes under realization at present and priorities for collaboration development for the future were given, including such scientific areas as fisheries, marine studies, bioprospecting and aquaculture. Energy efficiency, civil engineering and electromechanical systems technologies are also of strong scientific interest. Mrs. Derkach mentioned key problems which Russian universities face, and MSTU as well, while developing joint master’s programmes, organizing academic flow and courses taught in English.
Norwegian higher educational institutions were represented by the following participants:

– Mr. Arne Eric Holdø, rector of Narvik University college, Mr. Arne Lakså, vice-rector of Technological Faculty, Mr. Lubomir Dechevsky, professor of Technological Faculty;
– Mr. Anatoli Bourmistrov, professor of University of Nordland, Financial Management and Accounting Faculty;
– Mr. Jens Revold, the project coordinator of University of Tromsø strategical and international cooperation, Mr. Terje Ferdinand Olsen and Mr. Asbjørn Hermansen, representatives of University of Tromsø, Science and Technology Faculty;
– Mr. Ove Tobias Gudmestad, the Honorary Professor of MSTU, and Mr. Jann Rune Ursin, the head Oil Technologies Department, University of Stavanger;
– Mrs. Karina Kovalchuk, the researcher of Trondheim Norwegian University of Science and Technology;
– Mr. Bjørn Bugge, the head of Norwegian Business School in Stavanger.

Almost all the participants gave presentations on cooperation with Russian universities, particularly with MSTU. The only representative of Industry, international relations advisor in Greater Stavanger company Mr. Harald Finnvik left a deep impression by his emotional speech, where he expressed his company strong willingness to consolidate efforts in establishing close ties between higher educational institutions and industrial sector – that is a necessary condition of the Barents region development in general.
Afterwards the head of MSTU International Cooperation Department Natalia Anikeeva suggested in her presentation working ideas for cooperation development in both education and research. So, she mentioned such highly interesting issues as bioprospecting, aquaculture, summer schools and business practice organization and on-the-job training on board the tall ship "Sedov".
In the course of free discussion the key problems that the partners have to face were highlighted, as well as their possible solutions. Particularly, development of English version of module courses was noted as one of the prioritized challenges for MSTU preferably in mathematics and economy, maritime safety, fish resources reproduction, sustainable management, accounting, etc.
Additionally, a wide range of infrastructure difficulties was emphasized from transport connection between Murmansk and most Norwegian towns to the housing issue which traditionally used to be quite a challenge for Norwegian students. Accommodation in families was suggested by the Russian partner as a possible option.
No doubt, the issue of mutual diploma acknowledgement and double degree diplomas is too complicated to find a decision at the university level, but at least it is to be brought into and comprehensively discussed. The coming conference in Saint-Petersburg organized by Nordland University within activities devoted to the 20th anniversary of cooperation with Russian higher educational institutions might become the starting point for discussion of the abovementioned issue at the federal level of both countries.
Mikhail Pasechnikov, the head of Marine Safety Training Centre and practice manager, and Aleksander Suslov, senior teacher and instructor of Global Marine Emergency Communications Training Centre also took part in the meeting as MSTU representatives.