Herzen University and Shandong Normal University (SDNU), China, have entered into a partnership agreement to establish International Herzen Institute of Arts. The official signing ceremony took place 25 March 2021, at the Mariinsky Hall of Herzen University.
On behalf of Herzen University the signing ceremony was attended by Sergey Bogdanov, Rector; Yulia Komarova, Vice Rector for International Cooperation; Alexander Sukharev, Adviser to Vice-Rector for International Cooperation; Natalya Antonova, Director of the Educational Programmes Marketing Department; Anatolii Chekmasov, Officer of the Educational Programmes Marketing Department; Natalia Vereshchagina, Head of Academic Affairs Office; Olga Sapanzha, Director of the Institute of Art Education; Elena Kuznetsova, Director of the Institute of Music, Theater and Choreography.
The SDNU delegation included Zeng Qingliang, University President; Zhang Wenxin, the Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee, and Zhou Lianyong, Director of the International Office, as well as heads of University schools and faculties.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the Chinese delegation could not travel to Herzen University and joined the Russian party for an online signing ceremony. Despite the distance, the ceremony was held in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
In his opening remarks President Zeng Qingliang congratulated both universities on establishing the partnership for the foundation of International Herzen Institute of Arts. He noted that Herzen University and SDNU are leaders in teacher education in Russia and China. Besides, the universities share a common goal of training high-calibre teaching professionals that will contribute to the development of their countries. The establishment of the International Herzen Institute of Arts will promote friendship between Russia and China. It will also increase international visibility of SDNU and Herzen University and make them more competitive on the international education market.
In his address Sergey Bogdanov underlined that SDNU and Herzen University have a lot in common. These are vibrant universities with huge creative potential. Rector hoped that the new partnership would become a landmark event for both universities and lay a solid foundation for future projects.
The decision to establish the International Herzen Institute of Arts is the outcome of sustained and substantive negotiations. The parties discussed the initiative since November 2020 in regular online meetings with representatives of university departments specialising in arts education. The Russia-China partnership agreement will encourage the development and implementation of joint bachelor and master programmes in music, choreography and visual art.