Aug 19, 2016 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

Credit: isu.ruLeaders from top academic institutions in China and Russia came together last month in Moscow with a singular agenda: to boost cooperation in the fields of science and education at universities in both countries, according to a press release from host university Lomonosov Moscow State University. Here’s a rundown of the summit, along with what we can expect to see moving forward.

About the Rectors Forum
Held as part of the Russian-Chinese Commission for Humanitarian Cooperation, the Rectors Forum brought together university leaders to take on numerous topics, ranging from the development of a youth intellectual competition program to enhanced bilateral academic exchange. The gathering culminated in the signing of a Declaration to establish an Association of Universities of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China.

According to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, “Relations between our countries have reached a new level due to the leaders of our countries, and they are a major strategic objective. Strengthen of direct contracts between Russian and Chinese universities is the path to success.”

Partnerships and More
More than 600 Chinese and 200 Russian universities now have partnerships aimed at addressing priority issues within the two countries, including eight joint associations. Mobility between the two nations is going strong, with 25,000 Chinese students currently enrolled in Russian universities and 17,000 Russian students currently pursuing academic opportunities in China. These numbers are expected to increase exponentially in the years ahead.

Says Chairman of The Peking University Council Zhu Shanglu, “Complementary relations in the field of education and science are planned for the long term. Our universities will make a strong contribution to the prosperity of our peoples. We must act together to improve the competitiveness of our universities on the world stage".

Just how significant was the Rectors Forum? While contact between China and Russia on the subjects of science and education date all the way back to the beginning of the 17th century, the recent meeting is viewed as a landmark accomplishment. Insists Moscow State University Rector Victor Sadovnichiy, "This forum will go down in the history of relations between our countries.”

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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