On October 13, Baikal State University took part in the III Siberian-French Salon of Higher Education and Science. This event is of particular importance for the Siberian region as it provides an opportunity for Russian universities to establish partnerships with major universities and higher schools in France.
Despite the fact that this year, like the last year too, as a result of the pandemic, the Salon was held in a distant version, it brought together more than 50 participants from the various Russian and French cities. The universities from Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Omsk, Yakutsk, Ulan-Ude, Paris, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nancy were represented at the meeting.
The main topic of the Salon was the development of science and search of opportunities for cooperation in the field of research work. Mikhail P. Kuz'min, Vice-Rector for International Relations, spoke on behalf of Baikal State University. He spoke about the leading directions developed on the basis of BSU in the field of of Economics, Law, Ecology, etc. Mikhail P. Kuz'min also focused on scientific activities carried out within the framework of Russian-French cooperation, noting already accomplished research, as well as promising projects in Ecology, Tourism, Culture, History and Economy for joint implementation.
"The most interesting for the French colleagues are studies related to the unique natural, cultural and historical features of our region, such as the environmental and legal framework for the protection of Lake Baikal, the development of the tourism industry in the Irkutsk region, and the improvement of urban comfort and preservation of cultural heritage sites", noted Mikhail P. Kuz'min.
A student from the University of Sorbonne (Paris, France), Charlotte Vallee, who came to study a Master's degree at BSU for the academic year 2021/2022, was invited to give a presentation of her work. She presented the results of her research on the history and ethnography of the Buryat people. At the end of the meeting, she shared her impressions: "It was a great honour for me to take part in the III Siberian-French Salon of Higher Education and Science. It was the first time I took part in such event, but hopefully not the last. The Salon was very interesting in terms of exchange of opinions between French and Siberian universities, their scientists and students. I've learned a lot about the universities in the region, as well as about the current research projects. I had opportunity to present my project on the traditions of Buryat shamans and Buddhists still preserved in small villages in the Republic of Buryatia, the Irkutsk region and the Trans-Baikal region. The idea of working on this topic arose quite naturally in my mind, because I'm attracted to the multi-ethnic, multicultural and multilingual richness of Russia. Through this research work, I'd like to discover the other culture, traditions, as well as to grow in experience".
At the end of the Salon, Elena V. Tikhonova, Head of International relations department of BSU, made a proposal to expand the Salon's program the next year and to organize a research projects' competition among undergraduate and postgraduate students.
In general, in the context of the closed borders between Russia and France, the III Siberian-French Salon of Higher Education and Science was a major international event, reminding the desire of two countries to unite. The importance of the Salon was also emphasized by the French Ambassador Plenipotentiary, Mr. Pierre Levy, who visited Irkutsk on October 15 as part of the European delegation.
For BSU the participation in the Salon gave an opportunity to make itself known and attract the potential partners from France, who may come to Irkutsk the next year to participate in the IV Salon. It is in our city that this event is planned to be held in a full-time format, which was announced by the organisers.