Russia and UK strengthen scientific cooperation

Russia and the United Kingdom have agreed to strengthen their cooperation in space exploration, and to expand their activities in the field of education and science, RIA Novosti learned on Thursday from Yevgeny Ugrinovich, Director of the International Department of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.

The 11th session of the Russian-British Joint Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation was held in London on Thursday. The Russian delegation was headed by Dmitry Livanov, Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. “This is a new stage in our relationship, with both parties demonstrating their willingness to go further. Following the meeting, we agreed to strengthen our cooperation in space activities, and to expand the range of joint activities in the field of education and science, within the scope of the Year of Russian and British Culture 2014,” said Mr. Ugrinovich.

During the meeting of the joint committee, it was decided to develop two intergovernmental agreements. The first of them is on cooperation in the use of outer space for peaceful purposes, the other is on the mutual recognition of educational qualifications and academic degrees. “Today, we actually announced the beginning of negotiations on the latter issue. Technically, the document is ready, but we still have to work out the legal form. We believe that it should be symmetrical and have legal effect for both sides,” said the source.

The Ministry of Education expects to sign this agreement as soon as the British side is ready. “The expectations are high on the part of both educational communities, and everyone is waiting for this document. Actually, this is the first, most worked out agreement that Russia will have signed after the coming into force of the new law on education,” added Mr. Ugrinovich.

He also noted that Minister Livanov invited presidents of British universities to take part in the Global University Summit, which will be held in Moscow on April 24–25, 2014.

Earlier, it was reported that the government ordered the Ministry of Education to negotiate with the United Kingdom and to sign an agreement on mutual recognition of educational qualifications. In particular, Russian higher education will be made equivalent to the British Bachelor’s degrees with honors of the first or second class, and a Russian PhD degree will be equivalent to the British Doctor of Philosophy degree. It is also proposed to make the Russian Doctor of Sciences equivalent to higher doctorate degrees in the UK.

First published in Russian in RIA Novosti.

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