Mason Pursues Collaborative Projects with Russian University

Posted: September 24, 2009 at 1:03 am, Last Updated: September 24, 2009 at 7:52 am

Mason is actively pursuing several collaborative projects with the Russian St. Petersburg State University (SPSU), which was recently recognized by the Russian parliament as one of the country’s leading academic institutions.

A group of five scholars from SPSU’s School of International Relations recently visited Mason to attend a seminar, “International Security in a Multipolar World,” which was organized by Eric Shiraev, professor of public and international affairs, and Sergei Andronikov, director of Russian programs in the Office of the Provost.

The visiting scholars also discussed joint ventures with Peter Stearns, provost; Jack Censer, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHHS); and other CHHS faculty members.

One of the group’s first decisions was to hold a live video conference in two weeks to continue a dialogue between the faculty and students of both universities regarding the importance and challenges of U.S.-Russian relations and world globalization.

As a result of a previously signed agreement with SPSU, a Mason student has already been accepted to SPSU this fall for graduate study.

Another firm collaboration is a faculty exchange in 2010. The plan is for two SPSU faculty members with expertise in geopolitics or Russian policy to spend two weeks at Mason next January. Two Mason faculty members will travel to SPSU in the March-April time frame. The faculty members from each institution will be expected to conduct seminars and present research during their visit.

Other projects in the planning stages include

  • implementing a dual graduate certificate program in international relations that would provide two tracks, one in international relations and one in North American studies. Students would attend three courses at their home institution and three abroad.
  • developing a distance learning program between the two universities.
  • implementing a dual degree program modeled after the 1+2+1 program Mason has with China.
  • cosponsoring a summer program in the southern European country of Malta that would be organized by SPSU’s School of International Relations.

“The visit of SPSU faculty to Mason was quite a success,” says Andronikov. “Such a visit of Russian scholars has opened an important new chapter of creating truly effective collaborative efforts in global studies within several academic disciplines at Mason.”

Write to gazette at