Walailak University (WU), led by President Professor Dr. Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, welcomed Vice Rector Sergey Andryushin and Ms. Elena Vasileva from Saint Petersburg State University (SPbU), and Mr. Vladimir Kim, Head of Culture and Education from the Embassy of Russian Federation, to the inauguration ceremony of the representative office of the Saint Petersburg State University, at Chopradu Chamber, Walailak University Hospital, today.
The purpose of the visit was to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on establishing SPbU representative office at WU.
In attendance were Associate Professor Dr. Surin Maisrikrod, Vice President for Global Engagement and Faculty Development; along with Vice President Suwit Wuthisuthimethavee, Vice President Padungsak Suksa-Ard, Vice President Urai Jaraeprapal, Walailak executives and staff, and exchange students from the Russian Federation.
Professor Dr. Sombat Thamrongthanyawong said WU has been collaborating with SPbU since July of last year and has signed three official documents, including Cooperation Agreement, Protocol on Academic and Scientific Exchange, and Protocol on Student Exchange. These collaborations resulted from the first official visit to SPbU during the 6th International Nevsky Forum on “Reforms in Russia: from Peter the Great to the Present” earlier in June 2022 in Saint Petersburg.
President Sombat said WU and SPbU agreed to establish SPbU Representative Office at Walailak University to further strengthen collaboration. “This will be a significant center to strengthen our collaboration with more educational and cultural projects, quality international research missions, internationally productive roundtable discussions, and conferences,” he said.
Dr. Nikolai M. Kropachev, Rector of SPbU, who sent a greeting message to the participants via video, said SPbU and WU share several common interests, and one of which is in the field of medicine. SPbU is ready to advocate the establishment of studies in traditional Thai medicine and envisions the development of economic relations between Russia and Thailand. “We are particularly confident that the establishment of the representative office of Saint Petersburg State University at Walailak University will greatly enhance mutual cultural understanding, bringing Thai students to Saint Petersburg State University and attracting Russian students to Walailak University,” he said.
On this occasion, Dr. Sergey Andryushin, Vice Rector of SPbU, thanked WU President and the academic community for the warm welcome and the opportunity to establish the representative office at WU. He emphasized that the two institutions have the same “huge energy” in striving for excellence and that it is important for both universities to exchange and work together to achieve greater results in science and research. “We also need to pay greater attention to cultural exchange and the study of our languages. And when we include these components into our scientific and education cooperation, I believe it will be successful,” he added.
His Excellency Mr. Evgeny Tomikhin, Ambassador of Russia to Thailand, a graduate of SPbU, also conveyed his heartfelt congratulations on the opening ceremony through Mr. Vladimir Kim. A part of the message reads “The significance of this initiative goes beyond the mere presence of an educational institution; it symbolizes our dedication to fostering greater people-to-people connections. The exchange of knowledge, ideas, and cultural experiences will bridge the geographical distance between Russia and Thailand, deepening our understanding of each other’s unique heritage and traditions.”
The MoU on establishing SPbU representative office, signed by President Sombat and Vice Rector Sergey, is effective for three years. It aims to coordinate and implement joint educational and cultural projects between SPbU and WU; support the organization of joint academic events, conferences, seminars, and public lectures; raise awareness about educational programs and research; facilitate the exchange of informational materials on common interests; promote academic projects, educational programs, cultural events, conferences, and round tables organized by SPbU and WU; and support the organization of mutual inter-cultural and language activities to benefit both parties.
The event also featured presentations on WU International Policy and WU’s schools, including the School of Engineering and Technology, health science-related schools, and the International College, where fifteen exchange students from Russia are currently participating for one semester.
Established in 1724, SPbU is the first higher education institution in Russia, approaching its 300th year in 2024. The university currently has around 25,000 students, including 5,000 international students. SPbU plays a key role in producing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics research for the nation, and has a record of nine alumni who have received Nobel prizes.
As for Young WU, located in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat and soon to celebrate its 32nd year in March 2024, it has been categorized as a frontier research university in Thailand by the government. The university has climbed global rankings and gained more international recognition in recent years, as evidenced by its world rankings by Times Higher Education at 1,201-1,500 globally among world’s research-intensive universities. In 2023, five of WU’s researchers are featured in the World’s Top 2 % scientist List by Stanford University. Currently, WU has approximately 12,000 students, with around 170 international students from 25 countries across the globe.
Photo: Theeraphong Nooplod
News: Settaboot Onphakdee
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