Foreign Graduates of Soviet and Russian Universities forum ends its activities in Cairo

Reham El-Adawi , Thursday 22 Dec 2022

Pavel Shevtsov, the Vice President of the Federal Agency for International Cooperation, stressed that this is the first time in 25 years that a forum for graduates is organised outside the Russian borders.

Foreign Graduates
Participants at the Foreign Graduates of Soviet and Russian Universities forum


He also stressed that the forum reinforces bilateral cooperation between Egypt and Russia in the fields of education, scientific research and cultural exchange

The International Forum for Foreign Graduates of Soviet and Russian Universities was launched in Cairo 17 to 18 December by the Federal Agency for International Cooperation in coordination with the Russian cultural centre in Egypt.

The Egyptian Association of Graduates of Russian and Soviet Universities (EAGRSU), which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, participated in the forum. The forum also saw the participation of representatives of the educational systems in the Middle East and Africa.

The opening of the forum was attended by the Russian Ambassador in Egypt Georgiy Borisenko.

It was also attended by Professor Saleh Hashem, representing the minister of higher education and scientific research of Egypt, Director of the Russian Cultural Centers in Egypt Marat Gatin, and Sherif Gad, President of the Egyptian Association of Graduates of Russian and Soviet Universities (EAGRSU).

In his speech, Borisenko highly praised the alumni forum, stressing the importance of communication with graduates of Russian universities. On the Russian military operation in Ukraine, the Russian ambassador indicated that "Russia is ready to sit at the negotiating table, but that the refusal comes from the Ukrainian side because they are under the influence of the West and the US".

Borisenko, who participated in the activities of the forum, met on the sidelines of the event with the leaders of pioneering Russian universities.

Ambassador Borisenko noted that "the Covid-19 epidemic and the difficult geopolitical situation did not affect Egyptian youth's desire for education in Russian universities, particularly in light of  the two countries' keenness to enhance cooperation".

Speaking of the global food crisis, the Russian ambassador said that the crisis is a fabrication by the West and is not a result "of the military operation, but rather a result of the sanctions that prevented Western ships from transporting grains to the countries of the world, and they [western countries] deliberately fabricated the crisis".

For his part, Shevtsov stated that the Federal Agency welcomes the delegations of all the participating countries. These delegations, he said, understood the importance of communicating with Russia.

Furthermore, Shevtsov said, "we also see the crucial role played by these forums in activating Russian cooperation with the countries of the Middle East and Africa, specifically in the fields of education and scientific research. We are keen to cooperate in the fields of mutual interests. With regard to Egypt, the number of approved grants has increased to 250 from 110 last year".

Shevtsov added that the current presence of 12,500 Egyptian students studying in Russia reflects confidence in Russian education.

Professor Tony Maalouf, head of the Lebanese Association and the Arab Federation of Graduates of Russian and Soviet Universities, highlighted the importance of these meetings, which help build bridges of Russian-Arab communication in the field of education and science.

To mark the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the Egyptian Association of Graduates of Russian and Soviet Universities (EAGRSU), a fine art exhibition of paintings and sculptures created by the foreign graduates of the Russian and Soviet universities was inaugurated by Borisenko, Shevtsov, Hashem and Gad at Conrad hotel.

"I am pleased to witness the success of the Egyptian graduates of the Soviet and Russian universities who showed their artworks in this exhibition. On behalf of all the members of the association I would like to thank the organisers for choosing Cairo as a platform for the forum itself one of the most important events in the past decade," said Gad, President of the EAGRSU.

Gad also spoke about the excellence of bilateral relations between Egypt and Russia, especially in the field of education. The Russian side, he said, was keen to recruit Egyptian cadres to manage the major projects that are being carried out between the two countries in Egypt.

For his part, Secretary-General of the association Fathy Toughan stated that "the forum contributed to gathering a large number of young Egyptian graduates from all Egyptian governorates, especially those working in the field of education".

Toughan stressed that the future activity of the association will reflect the participation of such a large number of  Egyptian graduates, including graduates from the younger generations.

A round table discussion entitled, "Opportunities for Admission to Study in the Educational Institutions of Higher Education in Russia" was organised on the first day, with active participation from all delegations.

At the end of the first day, a Nile cruise was organised for the participants, where everyone enjoyed the magic of Cairo and the beauty of its Nile.

The second day of the forum included a round table discussion on "Improving the Economic Cooperation with the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom (ROSATOM)", as well as training courses on personal growth and administration in the field of education.

In conclusion, Shevtsov said that "we started from Cairo and we will seek to hold the forum annually in different countries […] and we were pleased to see so many Arab and African friends participating. Such a gathering confirms the mutual interest in communication".

He distributed diplomas of merit, presented from the Institute of Humanities and Examinations, awarded to those specialists who have raised their level of qualification by attending 16 hours of lectures in the fields of education, scientific research and cultural exchange.

For his part, Gatin praised the organising committee, which included the employees of the Russian House in Cairo and members of the graduates association. He thanked the Egyptian authorities for the facilities it provided to make the forum a great success.

At the end of the forum, Gatin and Shevtsov honoured a number of Egyptian graduates of the Soviet and Russian universities as well as Egyptian TV presenters and journalists, including Al-Ahram daily newspaper writer Hany Assal and Al-Ahram Weekly and Ahram Online reporter Reham El-Adawi.  

The grand finale of the forum was a dinner party enlivened with the powerful voice of Russian soprano Maria Lyadko, who mesmerized the attendees by singing arias from international classical operas.

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