First German-Russian university opens in Tatarstan

Teaching has started at the first German-Russian university in Kazan, capital of Tatarstan. The new institution is being supported by the Tatarstan government and the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD.

The German-Russian Institute of Advanced Technologies, or GRIAT, has four engineering programmes oriented to standards in Germany.

It receives funding via DAAD as part of the German Federal Education and Research Ministry’s “Transnational Education Programme”, and via the Republic of Tatarstan, which is a federal subject of Russia.

The Kazan National Research Technical University, one of Russia’s leading research universities, is providing a 20,000 square metre building for the new project. The German partner institutions are Technische Universität Ilmenau and Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, both of which have long-standing links with Russian partners.

GRIAT is to start off with four masters programmes.

Ilmenau is supporting the development of communications and signals processing and informatics as well as systems engineering, while Magdeburg is providing expertise for electrical engineering and information technology and chemical and energy engineering programmes.

There are plans to introduce a further 10 programmes over the next few years. Teaching is in English, although German language training is part of all curricula, as students have to spend their third semester at one of the German partner institutions.

The new university was opened by DAAD General Secretary Dorothea Rüland, Tatarstan’s State President Rustam Minnikhanov and Russia’s Deputy Education Minister Alexander Pavalko.

“Russia has been an important partner in international academic exchange,” said DAAD President Margret Wintermantel. “In politically difficult times, it is important to maintain academic dialogue and boost cooperation.

“The founding of GRIAT represents a milestone in what has been very successful cooperation with Russia.”

Only last March, DAAD opened its third Russian centre in Kazan, alongside already existing ones in St Petersburg and Novgorod.

Transnational education has become a focal aspect in the international strategies of German institutions. Projects feature a high innovative potential, teaching oriented on practical issues and collaborative structures.

The partnership approach that the concept rests on is aimed at incorporating educational interests and traditions of both sides. A total of 20,000 students are enrolled in German transnational programmes across the world.

* Michael Gardner Email: