Rector of INRTU Mikhail Korniakov meets Chinese General Consul in Irkutsk, Mr Li Hai

Li Hai was appointed as general consul in June 2022. He previously worked for the Chinese Ministry of Education.

Welcoming the diplomat, the rector drew attention to the need to restore close contacts between the university and China, weakened during the pandemic. According to him, Irkutsk Polytechnic University is a member of the Association of Technical Universities of Russia and China (ATURC). The university has established the BS BRICS, which has a large number of Chinese students.

The two countries are linked by projects in the arts. For example, in 2019, the technical university hosted members of the creative group Ice House. They performed songs to poetry by poet Da Bin and made a music video about Baikal. Then the folk Russian song ensemble Kalina performed at the festival in Harbin.

The rector also noted that INRTU had led the Russian Student Hockey League. He suggested that the diplomat invite Chinese teams to Irkutsk to play friendly matches against the Russians at the first Championship in December.

General Consul thanked the Rector for the invitation, describing INRTU as an important major educational and cultural centre. In his opinion, the interaction between the two countries in the field of education is at a high level. The total number of students from China studying at Russian universities as well as Russians who chose to study in the Celestial Empire is 60,000. Another 90 thousand Chinese, including school students, are studying Russian.

Mr Li Hai said that the delegation visiting Irkutsk Polytechnic also included Zhao Chunlu, consul for education, Lin Fan, consul for science and technology, and Zhang Yuhan, secretary of the consulate. The diplomats are ready to strengthen cooperation on various fronts. Creative events, tournaments and competitions can be organized with the support of the All-China Student and School Sports Association and the Russian-Chinese Humanitarian Cooperation Commission.

Within the framework of the meeting, Anna Melentieva, Acting Head of the Department for International Affairs, told about cooperation of the University with China. She said that as of September of this year, 340 Chinese students are studying at INRTU. Over the past five years, more than 730 students from China have studied in basic educational programs, while 154 students have chosen preparatory courses. Chinese citizens most often choose fields related to architecture, programming, artificial intelligence, economics and power engineering.

 More than 110 Russian Polytechnic students participated in internships at universities of the Celestial Empire. INRTU has signed about 50 cooperation agreements with 47 Chinese partners in education and science. The university implements four joint educational programs with Chinese universities. These include a bachelor's program in Aviation Engineering (Binzhou University) and a bachelor's program in Energy and Power Engineering at Shenyang University of Chemical Technology. In addition, INRTU acted as a platform for the "Future Cup" technology start-up competition initiated by colleagues from Jinan. Since 2019, the university has held an annual international festival "Future Leaders of Eurasia", including for Chinese schoolchildren. A major event was the participation of polytechnic students in the Meet Henan Online Camp, dedicated to the culture of Henan province.

INRTU actively supports Russian-Chinese research initiatives, said Elena Panasenkova, head of the Department of Scientific Activities. Between 2017 and 2022, employees of the polytechnic and Asian colleagues published more than 40 articles in fundamental areas in journals indexed in Scopus. The university is developing joint projects in geo-ecology and industrial mathematics with China University of Mining and Technology and China University of Geosciences. Applications for this research have been submitted to the Russian Science Foundation.