St Petersburg University’s Rector has become an honorary citizen of Seoul

Nikolay Kropachev, the Rector of St Petersburg University, was awarded the title of honorary citizen of the South Korean capital. The diploma and a memorial sign «Honorary Citizen of Seoul» were presented to him by the Mayor of the city, Park Won-soon. During the solemn ceremony, Park Won-soon noted the significant contribution that the Rector of St Petersburg University has made to the development of Russian-Korean relations.

«We have managed to introduce many Russian people, from the Russian Far East to Kaliningrad, to Korean culture,» Nikolay Kropachev said. «With our help, they began to study in Russia the work of the famous Korean author Park Kyong-ni». In the summer of 2018, the first monument to the author outside of Korea was unveiled in the modern sculpture park of St Petersburg University. The location for the installation of the monument was not chosen by chance. St Petersburg University is the oldest school of Korean studies in Russia; 120 years ago, the first Korean teacher in Europe arrived at the university.

Today, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of Poland Andrzej Duda and many other well-known politicians and public figures are also honorary citizens of Seoul.

The presentation of the insignia took place during Nikolay Kropachev’s visit to Seoul. The Rector of St Petersburg University discussed with Park Won-soon the latest trends in strengthening relations between the two countries. He noted that, in the near future, St Petersburg University will add economics and law to the existing educational programmes with a Korean component. Already from the second and third year, part of the disciplines will be taught to students not only in Russian and in English, but also in Korean.

Nikolay Kropachev also heads the coordination committee of ‘the Dialogue Russia — Republic of Korea Forum’ from the Russian side. He takes an active part in the development of cooperation between the two countries. Earlier, in the Republic of Korea, the first foreign representative office of St Petersburg University was opened at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.