On 26 September, a meeting took place at the new building of the Institute of Foreign Languages and brought together representatives from MCU, two universities and the Embassy of Cuba. MCU was visited by Orquídea Sánchez, Rector of University of Cienfuegos, Milda Díaz, Rector of Pedagogical University Enrique José Varona, and Gustavo Cobreiro, Counsellor for Education and Science at the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in the Russian Federation.
University of Cienfuegos is a multidisciplinary university. Despite its young age, it is among the top five universities in Cuba. It has learning centres that respond to the strategic interests and social demands not only of the university but also of the country.
Pedagogical University Enrique José Varona is Cuba’s only pedagogical university and organiser of annual international congresses on the training of education professionals for the 21st century. The university implements educational programmes in speech therapy, pedagogy, special education, psychology, linguistics and others, with a strong emphasis on practice, which makes it similar to MCU and determines a large number of overlaps.
The Cuban universities noted the great interest in studying Russian among their students and expressed hope that MCU would be able to help realise this task.
According to the Rector of MCU:
Our university has similar goals with Cuban universities in the development of higher education didactics, pedagogy and technological learning. Further cooperation between the universities of the two countries will enable the exchange of advanced teaching methods and experience, as well as improve the professional skills of students and university staff.
In turn, the Institute of Foreign Languages of MCU expressed its readiness to send Spanish language specialists to improve their competences and exchange knowledge, as well as teachers of Russian as a foreign language to teach Cuban students Russian.
During the discussions, each of the parties presented the educational programmes of their universities and areas of partnership development. As a result of the meeting, agreements on cooperation were signed and arrangement was reached on the following areas of co-operation:
- conducting an exchange of Russian and Spanish language teachers;
- development of a two-diploma educational programme;
- mutual attendance at events and conferences;
- joint publications;
- development of academic mobility programmes.
Counsellor for Education and Science Gustavo Cobreiro supported the development of cooperation and also expressed the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in the implementation of the planned directions.
At the end of the meeting, representatives of University of Cienfuegos and Pedagogical University Enrique José Varona invited MCU to visit Cuba in 2024 as part of the Latin America Universities Forum.