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Russian University to beef up quality of UG’s academic staff

UG Vice Chancellor (VC), Professor Opadeyi, and First Vice-Rector of the People’s Friendship University of Russia, Professor Evheny L. Schesnayak

The signing of an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the University of Guyana (UG) and the Peoples Friendship University of Russia (PFUR) today on Thursday will see qualifying Guyanese candidates pursuing opportunities to pursue Mathematics and Agriculture studies at the Masters and Phd level.

UG Vice Chancellor (VC), Professor Opadeyi, and PFUR’s First Vice-Rector, Professor Evheny L. Schesnayak inked an MoU which will allow Guyanese to pursue MSc and PhD studies in Russia.

During the brief signing ceremony in UG’s Education Lecture Theatre (ELT) Opadeyi said an agreement stemming from the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will assist UG in upgrading its academic staff. A substantial number of UG’s full-time and part-time academic staffers only hold first degrees and Opadeyi, ever since his appointment, has pledged to pursue avenues through which first-degree lecturers can upgrade their academic status.

The VC pointed out that the MoU is actually the renewal of a partnership and pledged to “make sure that the agreement has some teeth from which we can get some fruit out of the signing.”

“One of the things we are actively looking at right now is making sure that we can send some of our lecturers to do their Masters and PhD studies,” Opadeyi explained. He explained that “for PhD programmes it is mandatory that candidates spend a year learning the language” as they are done in both English and Russian.

“We know that there is a great demand in Guyana for qualified specialists, especially for universities,” Schesnayak told Demerara Waves Online News through his interpreter following the ceremony. He added that this is an additional avenue through which persons can further their academic qualifications at the Masters and PhD levels.

“70 percent to 80 percent of teachers in Guyana do not have PhDs,” said the First Vice-Rector, who was optimistic that the MoU and the agreements which are to follow will help in the training of specialists in areas critical to Guyana’s development.

“Today we discussed the possibility of receiving around five PhD students (total) in agriculture and mathematics,” Schesnayak shared. He said though, that details that have been worked out so far mark just the beginning of the partnership between the two institutions.

“We also talked about the possibility to use the Russian Federal Government quota for Guyana. Guyana can send students to study in Russia at the Russian Government’s expense. So the Russian Government would cover tuition fee, accommodation, and daily expenses of the students who will be recommended by the Guyanese side.”

The MoU also contained an aspiration that is facilitating “joint research activities, exchange of graduate and post-graduate students and attachments and internships which are related to areas deemed.” Opadeyi iterated though, that a majour priority is “making sure that we can send some of our lecturers to do their PhD and Masters studies.”

Opadeyi is confident that some agreements stemming from the MoU can be implemented before the end of 2015.