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Academic Reference and Cochrane Library Open Access to PSU

Academic Reference and Cochrane Library will provide access to electronic resources for PSU students and staff. The subject of the Academic Reference resource covers all major disciplinary areas and divisions – from technical sciences to the humanities and arts. The Cochrane Library is aimed at scientists involved in medical research.

Academic Reference is the unified search platform of China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) project, publishing publishing Chinese research papers, and the most complete polythematic English-language database. The resource combines more than 1,400,000 full-text documents and bibliographic data, including:

The Cochrane is a non-profit organization, a network of medical and public health researchers and professionals from over 130 countries who publish their works at the Cochrane Library.

The platform allows to find information on clinical trials, Cochrane reviews, non-Cochrane systematic reviews, methodological studies, technological and economic evaluations on a specific topic or disease.

For more information on the Cochrane Library resource, visit PSU Academic Library website. In addition, a series of webinars will be held with a representative of Wiley, who will explain more about the source itself and related capabilities:

24 August (Perm local time: 13.00; GMT: 8am) – https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3172736884275578124

24 August (Perm local time: 17.00; GMT: noon) – https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4669915479541635852

The Academic Reference и Cochrane Library platforms will be available until 31 December, 2022 – through IP-addresses and VPN access.

The corporate operator of the centralized (national) subscription to scientific information resources is the Russian Foundation for Basic Research.

PSU Scholars Run Perm Summer School, Discuss Climatic Risks and Economics

On 13-15 August, Perm Summer School ‘2022, an annual event and a traditional ‘card’ of the Perm Territory took place, inviting scholars and practicing experts from various fields of expertise to discuss new technologies, environmental initiatives and advanced business tools at building predictable future.

A distinctive feature of the recent School is a growing number of people from science and education. In 2022, the total number of participants increased up to 40, a third of whom were scholars. According to the School committee, the recent ‘green’ agenda – the climate risks, the environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) attract the School audience more than digital assets and blockchain that have become traditional for Schools ‘2013-2020.

Among the Summer School ‘2022 attendants were representatives of the Research and Development Team of the Rosneft Oil Company, the ING Bank (Eurasia), the Bank of Russia, advisors for local governmental bodies, risk managers, economists, traders, specialists in fin-tech, lending and investment, programmers, scholars and representatives of research institutes , including the Institute of Continuum Mechanics of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow State University, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Perm State University and Perm National Research Polytechnic University.

In 2022, the School committee proposed an ‘un-conference’ format, for the first time. The program was spontaneously and organically formed on the first day of the School, resulting in most diverse and multi-target agenda, covering a variety of topics, including regenerative finance and tools to monitor methane leaks, digital assets’ legislation and weather station operation.

According to Sergey Ivliev, Associate Professor of the Department of Information Systems and Mathematical Methods in Economics, Head of the Laboratory of Cryptoeconomics and Blockchain Systems, Faculty of Economics, PSU, the interest in and support of predictive climate models by business top management became a pleasant surprise for the Summer School experts and organizing committee.

At the School, Sergey Ivliev represented the Vlinder company, known for its dedication and professional support of ESG principles. The Vlinder aims to form a market allowing large industrial companies to achieve climate goals and strategies, and overcome their carbon footprint by planting trees:

“Our goal is to assist companies at drawing their finance into climate action, that is, to carbon absorption, evoking social effect – raising living standards and creating jobs in the countries who need it most,” says Sergey Ivliev. “We see our current and global mission in planting a billion trees – the more the better, and trying to influence the negative externalities that we have created as a result of the capitalist economy, changing its mechanisms into a more fair and balanced growth, globally.”

Andrey Vetrov, Associate Professor of the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Protection, Faculty of Geography, PSU, presented an automatic weather station – explaining the principles of its operation and opportunities of studying climate on different levels, including minor ones, allowing science (in terms of broadcasting) and business (like insurance companies) to get involved.

Participants agree that the School contributes to a broader personal vision – both academic, and socio-economic, acquiring to appreciation of controversial or problematic issues by people of different fields of science, business/industry, as well as in between, assisting to their practical contacts.

Denis Goldobin, physicist, Head of the Laboratory of Underground Sequestration of Carbon, Institute of Continuous Media Mechanics of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Theoretical Physics, PSU has been participating in the Perm School for the second year in a row. Denis believes examples of positive collaboration with production companies might be inspiring for other participants, and draws the one of his own – based on a project with the Weatherford International, resulted in an article “Wall Thickness Image Construction in Wellbore Casings using Data-Driven Inversion of Magnetic Flux Leakage” (https://library.seg.org/doi/10.1190/geo2021-0777.1 )

“So far, speaking personal insights, I am quite critical, as I tend to see the manifestations of the familiar in many new things. So far, I resist from any reports of my own while participating in the School, rather I prefer informal talks during the breaks. Yet, I see it as a positive indicator of the School’s format, since it is quite promising, as well. For me, it is important to better understand the community before I offer something substantial as a speaker,”

admits Denis Goldobin.

The School committee believes current isolation processes connected with Russia have little effect on expert solidarity. Since its launch in 2013, the School have been attracting a pool of permanent participants. Online communication with regular partners also contributes to an open conversation, especially when the concepts of moving values, the blockchain and the post-national global community fit in the professional vision and dialogue.  

Colombian at PSU: Are You Experienced?

Interested in studying in Russia? Want to hear the voice of a real person, speaking of her ups and downs while experiencing student life here? Looking for a piece of advice? Prior to her departure, Sara Fraija, PSU student from Republic of Colombia, MSci in Geography ‘2022, spent her last moments on campus, meeting us at the Press Office for a brief yet sincere interview.

– Hello, Sara, could you please mention your study experience prior to Perm State University?

– For five years, I studied physics at the National University of Colombia (Universidad Nacional de Colombia). At school, I was good at mathematics, I liked its directions and laws, and this determined my choice of a specialty for studying at a university in my homeland. In 2019, I came to Perm to study meteorology.

– Why did you choose PSU?

– PSU was on the list of universities recommended for study at http://www.studyinrussia.com/.

– Why Perm? For it is cheaper than in St. Petersburg or Moscow?

– I had to choose a direction, and the distribution was carried out by the state, which provided financial support for further studies.

– Was it a full-time, campus-based study?

– Yes, although it fell on difficult covid times, so part of our classes were online, almost half of the master’s course, for a whole year.

– What was your master’s thesis about?

– Here, at PSU, I studied the effects of föhn. This is a type of wind common of the Caucasus, the Alps, the Carpathians, the Himalayas, the Pamirs and, of course, the Andes – a fairly strong, gusty wind that becomes dry when crossing the mountain range and quickly heats up when descending.

For South America, the effects of föhn are of great importance: coffee, cocoa, corn grow are known to grow at quite warm temperatures, yet they die crossing that threshold. While in the Andes, the temperature drops caused by föhns can be 20’C degrees per day, and in Russia they reach even 40’C.

Föhns have a strong impact on living conditions and agriculture – from faster flowering of gardens to drought, dust, even avalanches, and a sharp cold pause after its decline. This is a very interesting phenomenon that might and should be studied using physics and mathematical calculations.

– What do you see yourself on your arrival back home, in Colombia?

– I would like to work as a meteorologist at the meteorological institute.

– How different is Perm or Urals in Russia from your native places, climatically? Yours must be very hot?

– Well, rather I would call our climate stable, there are no such dramatic changes in weather – daily/weekly, or mentioning seasons. We almost always have +20’C, sometimes +25’C, and even +30’C, least of all. The first winter here was the most difficult one, but when it got warmer, I got used to it.

– What was the most difficult thing while studying in Perm and Russia, overall?

– Probably a pandemic – the time when the local people disappeared, and even foreigners from our hostel went home. It was a little difficult, because for the first time I felt what loneliness is all about. It’s been hard, yet it’s been a good experience to pull myself together and gain strength.

– Did you miss something in Colombia?

– Well, until the second year I did miss everything: cuisine, family, relationships…

– And how did you cope with it? What did help?

– PSU Center for Psychological and Pedagogical Aid provided accompanied me with some practical bits of advice, like how to show initiative or meet friends. Hiking in the nature, seeing people and building communication did help. And, I was also lucky to play in the student theatre group named the Dressing Room; we started with small sketches and came up with a true play. As a result, we staged a modern comedy based on school essays and diary notes – revealing joy and high spirit regardless of their initial seriousness or imaginary drama, evoking understanding and love both among the actors and the audience (https://m.vk.com/wall-436477_13490).

– Let’s talk about everyday life, food, for instance. How did you find the local Permian or Russian cuisine? And, did you cook some Columbian dishes?

– Of your cuisine, I did like syrniki (cottage cheese cakes) most of all. I also enjoy your cottage cheese and kefir. Back home in Colombia they are quite expensive. From the sweet, I liked the Napoleon cake. Initially, I couldn’t cook myself, yet here I learned to make borscht or schi (cabbage soup), or the traditional Russian ‘olivier’ salad. The ingredients are affordable, parents helped me with accommodation, and the scholarship helped, too.

– What does your family do?

– My father is an engineer. My sister studied at a film school and is working in television.

– What things will you miss when you get home? What attracts you the most? Alternatively, are there any things that you don’t understand or don’t like about Russia?

– Here you can live and walk peacefully. At first, Russian people seem indifferent, but at the same time, they don’t judge you. It’s very cool. Among the negative points, perhaps, is the attitude to customers. While back home it is the client’s voice which matters, here in Russia it is often the shop owner who is on top.

– Did you manage to communicate with someone Hispanic?

– Yes, in the Spanish language club at Perm Regional Library. Also, my friend Nastya knows Spanish well. I met her at the University, she comes from a teachers’ family and works at PSU.

– Is there any piece of advice you could give other foreign students who intend to study in Russia?

– First, look for people and clubs of interest, for example, dance groups. This is also good because you can hear Russian language more often there. There is an opinion that Russians make little contact, but this is not so, avoid judging others. Make contacts and ‘switch’ on, that will help you find many good people.

– As I understand , you will be leaving us in just a couple of hours. Is there anything else you would like to share without fear of being rude or impolite, Sara? Anything we missed to ask?

– Well, living and studying abroad helps one to become a mature, grown-up person. You learn to take responsibility and get things done. In addition, life in a hostel can change a lot, especially mixing with the Russian students. There, you also learn understanding and patience, regarding others. Along the way, you tend to appreciate different people, show them respect and expect the same from them. It does help in real life. Do not lock yourself in your world or room, do not miss opportunities, overcome personal doubts and fears, communicate with others.

I’d like to say, that at first it was difficult for me to be friends with Russians, because they do not open up right away and are quite cautious. It may take several months before you call someone your true friend. In Colombia, on the contrary, making friends happens quickly and immediately. Now that I see it differently, as it is difficult to be friends with everyone at once. Leaving Russia, I can say made two real friends here. I hope to keep in touch with them, at least online.

– Thank you very much for your sincerity and the time you took to chat despite your soon departure, Sara. Good luck on your journey back home!

Learn Japanese Painting at PSU

The Faculty of Pedagogy at Regional Institute for Continuing Education, PSU invites those interested in traditional oriental painting for a workshop on traditional Japanese paining of sumi-e.

Sumi-e is a type of Asian ink brush painting which uses black ink typical of Asian calligraphy. Typically monochrome, it uses only shades of black, with a great emphasis on virtuoso brushwork and conveying the perceived “spirit” or “essence” of a subject over direct imitation. Emerging during the Tang dynasty of China (618–907), the art of sumi-e flourished from the Song dynasty in China (960–1279) onwards, and was brought to Japan by Zen Buddhist monks in the 14th century.

The art of sumi-e is believed to calm the mind and bring harmony. The workshop participants will get acquainted with the history, philosophy and principles of sumi-e, as well as Japanese painting tradition in general. The participants will practice drawing techniques while depicting particular objects, such as grass and bamboo, birds, butterflies, fish, mice. For drawing, traditional sets used by artists and calligraphers of Japan will be provided – the ink, inkstands, brushes and paper lining.

The workshop is run by Sergey Bolkhovitin, a coach and an artist, who has been practicing the art of sumi-e for 20 years. Sergei is a frequent host for related sumi-e events in St. Petersburg and Perm, to mention the Day of Japanese Culture at PSU Academic Library and educational ‘green’ venues by PSU Botanical Garden. Sergey will start his workshop with an extra bonus, an introduction to the ikebana, the traditional Japanese art of arranging flowers and plants on dedicated plates.

Teachers, schoolchildren and students from Perm and Perm territories region are invited to participate in the workshop, no prior specific knowledge of Japanese arts is required. To participate, please register at https://forms.yandex.ru/cloud/62ac408b9bab4ee1caea2af8/. Campus-based classes will be held on 18-19 August, accompanied by a live stream at Yandex.Telebridge. Please, address any further questions to the Faculty of Pedagogy at Regional Institute for Continuing Education, PSU: +7 (908) 272 10 34, pedagogika-psu@mail.ru

The Regional Institute for Continuing Education, established in 2004, remains one of the largest centers for additional education and professional orientation in the Perm territory – providing courses for all kinds of audiences, from college and university students to civil servants and practicing professionals. The institute is based at Perm State University campus and draws qualified teachers for its educational projects.

PSU Botanical Garden Re-Creates Permian Period

PSU Botanical Garden has opened a new Permian Period Park exposition, holding paleontological compositions telling about the life of the inhabitants of the Permian period.

Serving a study ground for students in Biology, Geology and Geography, museums of Perm State University, along with PSU Botanical Garden, cover a wide variety of climate zones and historical epochs, including the famous Permian period. The dedicated exhibition holds the models of animal species among the living descendants of ‘Permian’ plants and their original stone imprints.

The term of the Permian period was introduced 180 years ago by a known Scottish explorer Sir Roderick Impey Murchison (1792–1871). Marking the geographical locations of Russian cities, moving across Perm lands, Murchison described the fossil remains of unusual creatures and plants – labeling them with Perm, or Permian period – dominating the supercontinent of Pangaea 299 – 252 million years ago.  

“The unique character of the Permian period is that it served a turning point in the evolution of Earth, forming climatic zones of today. The mass extinction of animal and plant world provided boost for flowering plants, dinosaurs and mammals. To further promote the cultural and historical brand of the Permian geological period, we intend to complement the Garden exposition with full-size dynamic and static figures of the most famous Permian animal lizards,”

says Sergei Shumikhin, head of the Garden, associate professor of the Department of Botany and Plant Genetics, PSU.

Andrey Skvortsov, the author of the recent exposition from Vyatka Paleontological Museum, reconstructed the bottom of the sea reef and its extinct inhabitants – mollusks, fish and amphibians, as well as representatives of the invertebrate fauna. For that, he used installations by paleo-animalists, graphic images by scientists, and photographs of fossil finds.

Earlier in 2010, the “Plants of the Permian Geological Period” exhibition was created at PSU Botanical Garden, showing fossilized plant imprints along with their survived descendants of today. In 2017, the first exhibits of ancient land fauna were created. Now the collection contains about 50 species of fossil animals. The project was financially supported by a branch of PJSC RusHydro – the Kamskaya hydropower plant.

PSU Students Win Model UN Competition

Egor Barkhatov and Egor Krupin, undergraduate students in Law at Perm State University (PSU), have won the Model UN competition. PSU winners shared their victory with the team of Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. The event was held in the format of a model process – a meeting of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which took place as part of the IX Summer School on Human Rights in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

The Summer School on Human Rights is implemented annually through a consortium of Russian universities running corresponding master’s programs, with a support by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Here at PSU, the Faculty of Law operates a dedicated master’s program “International Protection of Human Rights”.

The recent competition consisted of two stages – the written distant part, and the oral full-time one. In the first round, the teams prepared memorandums from both sides of the fictitious case – the applicant (individual) and the defendant (state). At the second stage, the participants were asked to act as one of the parties. In 2022, the offered case covered migrant child rights’ protection, tools to fight discrimination, the right to education, participation in the local cultural agenda and related social contacts, as well as obligations of the state in corresponding areas.

In contrast to the Model European Court of Human Rights, serving the schools’ case ground, the recent Model Committee became a fresh and encouraging experience – offering several aspects and layers, encouraging to dig deeper, beyond the activities of a separate Committee, providing relevant practices.

Ksenia Kuznetsova and Marina Sukhanova from the Department of Labor and International Law, PSU, took part in the preparation of the Perm team.

“A separate pleasure became communication with experts, the Model Jury. I am grateful to the School’s organization team, and the Consortium in general – for the opportunities provided,”

notes Ksenia Kuznetsova, Head of the Students’ Tutor Support Project Office, Faculty of Law, PSU.

In 2022, 5 teams of the Consortium of Russian universities that implement the master’s program in the international protection of human rights fought for the right to reach the finals competition oral stage – Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (Moscow), Kazan Federal University (Kazan), PSU (Perm), Ural Federal University (Yekaterinburg) and Ural State Law University (Yekaterinburg).

The competition was judged by Russian experts in international law: Aslan Abashidze, Deputy Chairman of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Alexey Avtonomov, ex-chairman of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; Alexey Tsykarev, expert at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Linguists Meet PR: PSU Students Defend Group Projects

Keen on East Slavic mythology? Want to try promoting your national product on the Russian market? Learn places about Perm to chill out, taste national cuisine or make sports? Help international students adapt to the University? Dive into an online tour around PSU campus, museums and Botanical Garden? These topics and more served the starting points for joint research projects by students in Linguistics and Translation at the Faculty of Modern Foreign Languages ​​and Literatures, PSU. The projects’ presentation in the form of the assessment took place on 1 July, 2022.

Addressing the project participants, Dr. Boris Proskurnin, Dean of the Faculty, referred to two major trends in Russian education – an accent on the fundamental knowledge, a reliable theoretical support, in the first place; and, its practical orientation, the applicability to situations in real life, in the second place. In Dean’s vision, PSU students in linguistics and translation act as a link for other university students in their appeal to a bigger multinational world of education and science, which is both a joy, and responsibility.

The students’ presentations showed both dedication to our home University and interest in international cooperation, with a fair strive to help foreign students adapt to the local environment. Along with quite able performance of translation tasks, the project participants demonstrated skills of creating illustrations, videos, websites and media – acting as copywriters, bloggers, SMM managers, PR specialists and journalists.   

Ms Elena Malkova, Vice-Rector for Youth Policy, PSU, paid attention to three particular characteristics while assisting the students’ research activity. Firstly, the student is no more an object, but rather a subject, an obvious key to action and transformation of reality. Secondly, in the process of work, the students come to understand the ways the university works. Thirdly, while reporting, the teams should think of involving undergraduates into their projects, providing the latter a continuous, cyclical character.

“I am sincerely grateful to the Department of Linguistics and Translation staff and personally to Natalia Khorosheva for a truly and productively organized group project activity,” Ms Elena Malkova, Vice-Rector for Youth Policy, PSU, has admitted. “This has a potential of growing into a system of events, as well as information and methodological support at working with international students, which complies with the overall youth and social policy at the University.”

The Group Project Activity is a new applied discipline at Perm State University (PSU) included into the overall study plan of all 3rd year students, complies with the federal academic leadership program Priority 2030. The goal of the Program is to form a large group of universities that will become the leaders in creating new scientific knowledge, technology, and developments for introduction into the economy and social sphere in Russia. Within the Group Project Activity, students are invited to implement scientific, cultural, educational or social projects, allowing them to apply their competencies and practice team work.

10 projects have been presented at the assessment event:  

  • The Faculty Promo: presentational video in English with subtitles in Russian and Spanish, introducing the Faculty of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures, PSU, for potential foreign applicants
  • “Media on Perm: People, Events, Places”: a website in Russian and English, with five sections each: “About us”, “Places”, “People”, “Brands”, “Phenomena”, providing original look at most interesting and relevant info about the city for tourists and foreigners living here, with dive in the local culture and “the opportunity to become part of the local community”
  • “PSU Assistance Centre”: a multilingual website for PSU Situation Center – with versions for computers and mobile gadgets. Eight sections – ” Declaration  of Values” , “Student Life”, “Hostels”, “Social Services”, “Psychological Assistance”, “Safety”, “Library Services” and “Feedback” are divided into subsections with most recent information, existing services and official documentation in Russian, English, Chinese, Turkmen languages
  • HOME: “Helping international students with adaptation at the university”, a Telegram channel as a source of information on PSU, with frequently asked questions. The goal of the project was to provide students from abroad with information on the basic structure of the university  – using most fast, comprehensive and friendly ways to deal with questions from studies to everyday life, as well as problem situations
  • “UNI-Quest”: Meet the First in the Urals”: a quest tour around PSU campus for international students (promo video)
  • “Heritage”: a site on East Slavic mythology, introducing foreign and Russian-speaking students into Russian culture
  • The translation of an office design project for a Spanish construction group.

“You Can’t Do Science When You Don’t Know Where to Buy Food”

As part of group project activity, students of the Faculty of Modern Foreign Languages and Literature, PSU, have presented the HOME multimedia platform – standing for a comfortable adaptation of international students in a new environment – in the city and the university.

Following a formal translators’ task, the project participants intend to pass basic yet important information on Perm State University to the newcomers – using most fast, comprehensive and friendly ways to deal with questions from studies to everyday life, as well as problem situations. As the HOME team states, “it’s impossible to do science when you don’t know where to buy food”.  

The unique feature of the project is that it unites the University and the surrounding area of campus and the city. Addressing specifically the youth audience, the project team uses most appealing formats like infographics, subtitles- and voice- supported video, short posts, memos, etc.

“Having started the project, we discovered that beyond formal procedures and documentation, the University needs a new channel of information – enough comprehensible and useful for international students. This made us choose such a convenient and multifunctional format as a Telegram channel,”

shares Vera Pachgina, 3rd year student in Linguistics and Translation.

The Telegram is known as a cross-platform app accessible from any device, like mobile, laptop or computer. At the moment, 36 people have subscribed to the HOME channel. The Project team is actively engaged in its advertising, and expects positive dynamics:

“Not only does a small step into the Telegram territory enable the improvement in educational activity, it also allows international students to be informally accepted by the University and the city – enabling connections, acting as network elements of a larger mechanism of academic and social activity, rather than a separate, self-contained group. We regard it as key to contribution to the whole student life in Russia,”

the HOME team states.

The launch of the Project provides its makers an opportunity to continue during their 4th year of study, as well as share their duties with the freshers. According to Diana Maslova, head of the team, the HOME is likely to overgrow the initial educational task: “We are keen to support our channel with useful content, following the latest events and relevant information, and expand the language component.”

At PSU, the Group Project Activity is a new applied discipline included in to the 3rd year schedule, as a part of the overall educational process in Russia, under the Priority 2030 Program. Within its framework, students implement scientific, cultural, educational or social projects – allowing students to apply their newly acquired competencies and personal inclinations and into team work.

Quest Tour for International Students Launches at PSU Campus

Why does the University campus have a cat-related art object? What is the oldest book at PSU Academic Library? Which places relate to students’ superstitions in the exam time? Where and when may one visit the University museums? And, what are the ‘secret’ parts of campus to relax or work on group projects?

The UNI-Quest Tour for International Students has been launched at the Faculty of Modern Foreign Languages and Literature. The tour participants will step in the shoes a cartographer, detective, linguist, actor and traveler – learning about the University history and modern campus line in a lively manner.

“While drilling the assessment task with the teacher of the Department of Linguistics and Translation, incorporating the experience of PSU History Museum, we have been thinking of bringing a fresh gulp of air into the student life. It is no secret that international students experience lack of such an involvement. Although they stay on campus for most of the time, we want them to them step beyond the usual dormitory-classroom routine, and show them more places for study, sports, creative activity and leisure. Moreover, that the amount of international students has increased,”

says Alexandra Kurennyh, a 3rd year student in Linguistics and Translation.

The Russian students urged to transform a common tour into a quest with interactive tasks. PSU Center for Youth Policy Projects suggested a few hints like a final picnic. Now, the tour program includes hacks on adapting to Russia, listening to the balalaika, enjoying pizza and other snacks, and ice-break activities.

According to PSU Department of International Relations, there are presently 492 foreign students from 31 countries at Perm State University, including preparatory courses. The students in Linguistics and Translation are going to contribute to their adaptation.

As a relatively new form of learning activity, group projects help students use the language of study, combining their personal talents and ideas into a team work. In practice, the University benefits from such an interaction,too,”

comments Professor Boris Proskurnin, Dean of the Faculty of Modern Foreign Languages and Literature, PSU.

The UNI-Quest Tours for International Students have started on 23 June, 2022. For participation, please, contact Alexandra Kurennyh, Faculty of Modern Foreign Languages and Literature: akurennykh@inbox.ru

An Open Letter to the people of Perm, to the Perm Oxford Society, and especially to those of you who already have friends in Oxford

Ms Karen Hewitt, MBE, Professor at the University of Oxford, Professor Emeritus at Perm State University, our long time partner and friend, has sent a letter on behalf of friends in the Oxford Perm Association and from many other citizens of Oxford. The message is titled as “An Open Letter to the people of Perm, to the Perm Oxford Society, and especially to those of you who already have friends in Oxford”. Hereby, we publish the full text:

We are members of the Oxford Perm Association, an independent friendly society for anyone who is interested in Perm and in the culture of Russia. We have been working with you for nearly thirty years on projects from classical ballet to medicine to social work. Above all, hundreds of people from Oxford have lived with Perm families, and a similar number from Perm have lived with Oxford families over those thirty years. The friendships forged through these visits have been strong and long-lasting.

In 1995 Oxford City and Perm City were officially twinned. Our city administrations organised seminars on problems that both cities shared and they provided grants for special visits (such the young footballers from a deprived part of our city who came to Perm in 2017, and who still remember the kindness and enthusiasm of your people as ‘one of the very best experiences in their lives’). Soon after the outbreak of the present conflict with Ukraine, Oxford City Council decided to end the official twinning link, at least until such time as there is a proper peace agreement.

Members of the Oxford Perm Association regret this decision. Our official twinning has always been a city-to-city relationship, and has never been involved in the political decisions of our rulers. In Oxford we hate the destruction, the suffering and the deaths which are a consequence of this horrible and complicated international struggle. We condemn any actions which increase or prolong that suffering and we believe that the people of Perm are just as eager for peace as we are. Oxford’s relationship with Perm is built on civic action and projects, not on political decisions at the centre.

We also believe it is very important to keep open relationships between our cities, not just for friendship but also for information. When hostilities break out, each side tells its own story, and because they are different stories, the people on one side become isolated from people on the other side. Today, it seems to us to be more important than ever to avoid such dangerous isolation. We need to explain to each other, to learn from each other, and to keep our friendships strong.

Members of the Oxford Perm Association want to co-operate with the people of Perm. Realistically, since we are physically separated by conflict and sanctions, this co-operation cannot mean visits between our cities at present. But it can mean developing personal contacts and perhaps group contacts through emails, encrypted apps, and videos. We want to hear from you about life in Perm, your feelings, your actions, your worries – through those individual friends in Oxford to whom you write. If you have no personal friends in Oxford, you can always keep in touch via our website www.oxfordperm.org If you can write in English, it will be easier to find someone in Oxford who will write to you; but of course it is possible to communicate in Russian.

We hope that the official city twinning will resume when peace is properly restored. Meanwhile, please publish this letter wherever you can!

From Karen Hewitt, on behalf of your friends in the Oxford Perm Association and from many other citizens of Oxford.

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