St Petersburg has held the Russian-Vietnamese Cultural and Business Forum and an international conference on the 95th anniversary of arrival of Ho Chi Minhs at Petrograd. SPbU Rector Nikolay Kropachev signed an agreement on collaboration with the National University Ho Chi Minhs City and Senior Vice-Rector Ilia Dementiev met with the delegation from the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA) in Hanoi.

Among the key events of the business programme of the Russian-Vietnamese Forum was signing a memorandum of understanding between SPbU and Viet Nam National University Ho Chi Minh City to mark Ho Chi Minh’s 128th anniversary. The event was visited by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ngo Duc Manh. In March, he met SPbU Rector to discuss the opportunities for collaboration between SPbU and Vietnam.

In 1920s, when Ho Chi Minhs arrived at Petrograd, he didn’t visited the University. 8 years ago, we managed to change the situation by opening the Institute of Ho Chi Minhs and unveiling the monument to Ho Chi Minhs. Today we are on the same path and sign the agreement with the Viet Nam National University Ho Chi Minh City.

SPbU Rector Nikolay Kropachev

From the Vietnamese part, the agreement was signed by the President of the Viet Nam National University Ho Chi Minh City, a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, a member of the municipal party committee Huynh Thanh Dat. Education has always been a priority area in Vietnam, said the President, and the national universities in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, the two largest universities in Vietnam, were given a special status, as were St Petersburg University and Moscow University in Russia. “Signing the agreement with the oldest university of Russia is a privilege for us, — said Huynh Thanh Dat. — Boosting collaboration in education and research between our countries, our cities, and our universities is our tribute to Ho Chi Minh”.

Founded in 1995 as a university system including nine member universities and institute, Viet Nam National University Ho Chi Minh City educates and prepares students in 150 subject fields, with the total body of students of 65,000 and staff of 6,000, among which are graduates from the universities in the USSR, including St Petersburg University.

The delegation is headed by a member of the Political Bureau (Politburo) of the Central Committee Communist Party of Vietnam, Secretary of the Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Thien Nhan. Signing the agreement, as he said, will open new horizons for collaboration in education and research between academic communities of our cities. “The agreement holds a lot for our students and staff”, — said Nguyen Thien Nhan. “We are looking forward to sending our researchers to SPbU”, — he added that they were interested in a project developed by the Director of the Institute of Ho Chi Minh City Professor Vladimir Kolotov that focused on regional safety.

Nikolay Kropachev suggested that we should expand collaboration between the University and administration of Ho Chi Minh City. “Several years ago, the University approved decisions that allow us to incorporate studies of different countries in our educational programmes”, — said Rector. The key prerequisite is that we should appoint an international chairperson of the council of the educational programme. Today, we have a number of such programmes that focus on Hungary, Greece, Germany, and China: the councils of these educational programmes are headed by the officials of the countries they focus on. Rector suggested we should appoint the member of the Communist Party of Vietnam as a chairperson of the council of the educational prpgramme that focuses on the Vietnamese studies.

As part of the Russian-Vietnamese Forum, SPbU Senior Vice-Rector Ilia Dementiev met Nguyen Zui Back, Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA) in Hanoi to discuss a new stage in implementing a project of the SPbU Institute of Ho Chi Minh.

SPbU Institute of Ho Chi Minh is a unique project in the world and was founded in May 19, 2010 on Ho Chi Minh’s 120th anniversary.

In the welcoming speech, Ilia Dementiev said that we were interested in expanding collaboration with the Academy. “The University has every opportunity to serve as a platform to collaborate with the Russian companies, authorities, Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, and other Vietnamese organisations, — said the Vice-Rector. — We are ready to develop our relations as our countries are cementing the ties in international partnership”.

The Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics thanked the SPbU Senior Vice-Rector for creating favourable conditions for the SPbU Institute of Ho Chi Minh that gained high results in research. “We have a potential to bring something new in our strategic partnership between Russia and Vietnam”, — he said.

The parties agreed to identify the areas for collaboration to have joint research projects in future. Our Vietnamese colleagues are highly interested in regional safety, development of constitutional state, and preparing the high-calibre staff for management positions.

The delegation of the Academy visited the Hermitage and met the Director of the Hermitage, Dean of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Professor Mikhail Piotrovski. The parties agreed to hold the first in the history of the Hermitage exhibition on the Vietnamese culture.

The participants of the Russian-Vietnamese Forum that was opened in the Smolny by the Governor Georgii Poltavchenko, Government of St Petersburg and Ho Chi Minh City, and representatives from the political, business, and academic communities of the two countries marked the end of the Forum by participating in a wreath laying ceremony at the monument Ho Chi Minh.