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On December 15, 2020 MPGU International Relations Office held an online conference “Social and Cultural interaction with students during the pandemic. Best practices, new ways of cooperation” with partner universities. The conference was attended by European and CIS colleagues from International cooperation departments: West University of Timisoara (Romania), Durham University (Great Britain), University of Clermont Auvergne (France), University College of Teacher Education Vienna/Krems (Austria) and L.N. Gu
milev Eurasian National University (Kazakhstan). On behalf of MPGU the Head of the International Cooperation Department, Alina Stabrovskaya, the Department specialist Irina Sukhoruchenkova, professor of the Russian Language Training Faculty Elena Makeeva presented their reports. Head of the International Relations Office, Viacheslav Kruglov, and Deputy Head of the International Relations Office Olga Morozova greeted the participants at the beginning of the conference.
During the conference participants discussed issues of virtual academic mobility and ways of organisation socio cultural support of the international students and participants of the academic mobility in so-called “new reality”. The partners suggested new ways of possible solutions to nowadays problems such as expansion of tutoring and international clubs (e.g. Buddy Club) support, using social networks and messengers as a method of instant communication with students, expansion of material and technical base and organization of extracurricular activities.
Each participant of the conference contributed to formation of a strategy for the development of international activities. Ekaterina Chown, Associate Professor of the Department of Russian Language, Durham University, made suggestions on organizing student debates and round tables. Head of the International Department of the University of Hradec Kralove Petra Noskova drew attention to the need for regular feedback from students and Director of the Erasmus office at the University of West Timișoara Cristina Cojocaru recommended new platforms for organizing virtual and educational activities.
Professor of the University of Clermont Auvergne Nadezhda Kryazheva noted that students are ready for virtual interaction but they also want live social communication. Thus main principles of the development of a virtual multicultural space are openness, visibility as well as modern forms of information presentation. Director of the student department of the University of Krems, Thomas Schrei, drew attention to the phenomenon of «post-covid reality», which implies the continuation of the process of digitalization of education after the end of the pandemic.
At the end of the meeting participants agreed to continue their joint work and discuss specific ways to implement later. In the future both individual meetings of representatives of international structures are planned, as well as holding general meetings and seminars.