An International Forum of Foreign Graduates of Russian and Soviet Higher Educational Establishments is opening in one of the historic buildings of Moscow - the Hall of Columns of the Trade Union House.
As the press service of the Education Ministry has reported, it is expected that the opening ceremony of the forum will be attended by Russian Vice Prime Minister Galina Karelova and Speaker of the State Duma Gennady Seleznyov. The salutatory addresses will be made at the forum by Russian Education Minister Vladimir Filippov and the head of the Russian Foreign Centre under the Russian Foreign Ministry, Valentina Tereshkova.
Beginning with 1949, 673,000 foreigners have graduated from the higher educational establishments of Russia and the former republics of the Soviet Union. Many of them now occupy leading state and public posts.
The aim of the forum is to use the potential of foreign graduates of Russian higher schools for strengthening the favourable attitude to Russia abroad, for popularising the culture of the peoples of Russia and the Russian language on the international arena.
The government of Russia regards this event as one of the important positive moments for expanding and intensifying international contacts with national associations of the graduates of the Russian higher educational establishment with the aim of developing mutually advantageous political, economic, scientific and technological cooperation. It is noteworthy that more than seventeen ministries and government departments took part in organising this forum, which is being held for the first time in Russia.
Altogether, more than 800 former graduates of Russian and Soviet higher educational establishments from 124 countries have arrived for this forum. The Chinese delegation has taken a decision not to come to Moscow in view of the danger of spreading severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Within the framework of the forum, business meetings and sessions will take place on different perspective trends in Russia's cooperation with the graduates from many countries.
It is expected that on the results of the work of the forum the national delegations of foreign graduates will adopt an address to the government of Russia and to the governments of the member-countries of the Commonwealth on Independent States (CIS), proposing that they should continue training foreign specialists in the higher educational establishments of Russia and the countries of the Commonwealth.