HSE University-St Petersburg Participates in Scientific Conference ‘Russia and Oceania’
On January 30, St Petersburg hosted the International Scientific Conference 'Russia and Oceania: New Challenges and Prospects'. The event was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and the Republic of Fiji.
The organisers were the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Fiji in the Northwest Region of Russia and HSE University-St Petersburg.
The general topic of the conference was bilateral cooperation between Russia and countries in Oceania. Diplomats, researchers, politicians, and experts discussed the prospects of international partnership in the humanitarian sphere, education, science, trade, and industry. A large section of the audience in the plenary discussions comprised students of the Bachelor's programme 'Public Policy and Analytics' at HSE University-St Petersburg.
Opening the conference, Philipp Khanin, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Fiji in the Northwest Region of Russia, highlighted that relations between the two countries had reached a new qualitative level.
Honorary Consul of the Republic of Fiji in the Northwest Region of Russia
'Despite the distance between Russia and Fiji, the number of contacts and mutual trips increases every year. We enhance cooperation and the mutual support of initiatives at various venues of international organisations on wide-ranging issues, from coping with the adverse effects of climate change to fishing and preserving cultural legacy. The most intensively developing spheres are trade, tourism, sports and educational ties'.
Philipp Khanin also paid tribute to HSE University for its help in organising the 'Russia—Oceania' anniversary conference.
President of HSE University-St Petersburg
'In the 70s, the islands of Fiji were liberated from colonialism. One of the first diplomatic contacts of the new independent state was the Soviet Union. Fiji was one of the most important bases for Russian commercial ships and research expeditions working and exploring Oceania and Antarctica. Today, our countries have truly good neighbourly relations despite their geographical distance. At the moment, Russia and Fiji can see new cooperation prospects in education and research. HSE University is ready to offer new opportunities in these areas.'
Alexander Khodachek underscored that after HSE University opened a representative office in Indonesia, students from Oceania gained even more opportunities to study in Russia. The work of the educational hub for students from the countries in the Asia-Pacific region is coordinated by HSE University in St Petersburg.
The programme of the 'Russia—Oceania' conference featured panel discussions on various topical issues concerning relations between Russia and the countries of the region. The students took a keen interest in the report by Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay, President of South Pacific Research Association, about the influence of science diplomacy.
President of South Pacific Research Association
'The peoples of Oceania have a motto: 'Friends to everyone. Enemies to no one'. Such an approach is reflected in all aspects of work with colleagues from this region: in hospitality, business and research contacts, etc. Today, with mutual respect and in equal partnership, we are strengthening scientific, cultural and humanitarian ties. Together with our colleagues, we prepare expeditions and field research, hold international conferences, organise exhibition and museum projects, launch educational programmes, shoot documentaries, and publish books. We involve talented students, interested professors, and experts from Russian universities in all our joint projects.'