Kazan Federal University

11th Convention of the Association of International Students of Russia held at KFU

Over 200 contributors have arrived to take part.

The opening ceremony on 14 September featured President of KFU Riyaz Minzaripov, Vice-Rector for International Affairs Timirkhan Alishev, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Yekaterina Turilova, and Vice-Rector for Comprehensive Security Rishat Guzeirov.

Chairman of AIS Issa Shaabo mentioned in his greeting, “Since 1996, the Association has been uniting all foreign students of Russian universities, helping to solve various issues and problems at various levels. This would not be possible without the support of government agencies, our friends and partners, most of whom are present in our hall today. Today we are at Kazan Federal University, which is famous for its rich history and the high quality of its training of specialists in various fields of study.”

Riyaz Minzaripov spoke about the many prominent figures who walked the hallways of Kazan University, including Lenin, Tolstoy, Butlerov, Zavoisky, Lobachevsky, Baudouin de Courtenay, Frahn, Ponyatov, Zinin, and others.

He said, “Our international students and graduates have been our pride for half a century. Since 1977, foreign citizens have been coming to us to study in various fields of training and different specialties. Over the past 50 years their number has increased many times. Today there are more than 11 thousand students from 100 countries of the world studying at the university. According to this indicator, we rank second in the world after RUDN University.”

Dr Minzaripov then mentioned KFU’s services for overseas students, including visa support, adaptation, clubs, and other measures.

“We as an academic community should act together, supporting our students in solving their problems and responding to their requests. Three days ago, our university hosted a roundtable discussion on the legal situation and institutions of support for foreign citizens with the participation of Tatyana Moskalkova, the Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia. She highly appreciated the practices of Kazan Federal University in organizing support for foreign citizens, and also spoke about the experience gained through the Youth Council under the Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia,” concluded the University President.

Video messages were sent by Minister of Science and Higher Education of Russia Valery Falkov and Senator Konstantin Kosachyov.

Founder of the Association of International Students, erstwhile Ambassador of Benin to Russia Anicet Gabriel Kotchofa confessed that Kazan has become like a native city to him, “I visited the Summer Universiade of 2013, has been here many times, met students, the President of Tatarstan, rectors, and many other people. In a year, I usually visit Kazan and other neighboring cities two to three times.”

Kotchofa, who has been a Russian resident for 42 years, reminisced that the Association had four members on the day of its establishment. He said, “Dear friends, we are in the temple of knowledge, the temple of science. It is here that I am reminded of the words of the great scientist Isaac Newton “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” He said so because he owed his career to those who nurtured him as a professional, as a scientist, who developed his talent and genius. You and I are just as grateful to our teachers, professors. Remember, friends, that after your parents, the closest person to you, especially when you are far from your homeland, is your mentor, your teacher.”

Among the contributors of the ceremony were Rector of RUDN University Vladimir Filippov, Chairman of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce Vladimir Platonov, Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs of Tatarstan Aigul Sabirova, Deputy of the State Duma of Russia Olga Pilipenko, and other invitees.

Issa Shaabo then presented the Association’s report for 2022 and 2023. Association branch chairpersons also spoke about their work. The afternoon was dedicated to panel session and roundtables.

On Friday, the event continues with master classes, discussions, and presentations.

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