A Russo-Chinese university, to be formed on the basis of the Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) in Shenzhen, will accept its first 5,000 students in 2015, Viktor Sadovnichy, the head of MSU told journalists Wednesday.
"We did not want to wait long and wanted to gather a group, calling it a pre-entry group, in order to find the people that would be ready to study Russian at the pre-university department. I think next year will be dedicated to preparatory courses," Sadovnichy said.
"And the full enrollment – up to 5,000 students – we wanted to realize in 2015," Sadovnichy said.
The initiative to create a joint Russo-Chinese University has been developing since the second half of 2013. Then, during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to China in May, the education ministries of the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on creating a joint university. Russia has proposed signing an intergovernmental agreement on the university's activity in October.
China has taken on the responsibility of building a 200,000-square-meter student campus in Shenzhen in 10 months. In Russia, the construction would typically take 30 months, Sadovnichy said.
The university is to provide courses in Russian, Chinese and English, and graduates are to receive dual diplomas – one from MSU and one from the joint Russo-Chinese university.
Russian Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin praised the project as yet another positive outcome of the strong ties between Moscow and Beijing.
"This project comes at a time when, by the evaluation of the leaders of both states, we see that relations between China and Russia – political, economic relations – are the best in our common history, in the course of collaboration," Naryshkin said.
The two nations signed 48 agreements and contracts during Putin's latest visit to China in May. On Tuesday, during a meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the BRICS summit in Brazil, Putin said he had no doubts about the success of Russian-Chinese cooperation.