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A Week in České Budějovice

In 2015, as part of the EU Erasmus+ programme NMSTU signed a students and staff mobility agreement with the Institute of Technology and Business in České Budějovice (ITB, or Vysoká Škola Technická a Ekonomická v Českých Budějovicích), Czech Republic, Thanks to this, four NMSTU students got an opportunity to study at the Czech university and the NMSTU teachers were privileged to teach the Czech students.

In the period of May 19th through 26th, two NMSTU academics – the head of the Civil Engineering Department, Professor, Doctor of Science A. Krishan and the professor of the Industrial Transport Department, Doctor of Science A. Rakhmangulov – were giving lectures at the Czech university.

ITB was only founded in 2006 but it can already boast its numerous international connections. For example, logistics is one of the major scientific and academic areas with ITB, and ITB, like NMSTU, is cooperating with Chinese universities in this area.

“It should be noted that logistics is really big with ITB,” says Mr. Rakhmangulov. “During our meeting we discussed more than 20 international projects that ITB is involved in and that are funded by different foundations. They also hold conferences and have the conference proceedings published in journals indexed in Scopus.”

“After the numerous discussions with our Czech colleagues we realized that we share a lot in our research. Globalization of the transport market makes it necessary to use similar approaches in tackling transportation issues. That is why we apply similar tools and software, in particular transportation simulation software."

“We had some really efficient discussions with ITB, during which we agreed on our future cooperation in terms of application for research grants and the funding of new educational projects. We managed to establish scientific connections with our Czech counterparts, but also we were able to discuss the issues of management and organization of railway transportation in Europe with the head of the Department for Railway Transport Management at the University of Zagreb, Professor Borna Abramović, who, like us, was giving lectures for the ITB students.”

“The ITB students evinced a great interest in the teaching material we had brought with us. What they also found exciting was the videos about NMSTU, Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, and the city of Magnitogorsk.”

“We are nicely impressed with our visit to České Budějovice, it being a small, clean and cozy European city with a picturesque historic town – a perfect place to study and spend one’s free time.”

The area of Mr. Krishan’s interest is construction, and namely semi-concrete columns and composite beams, which can only be verified through experiments. In Mr. Krishan’s professional view, ITB is so far at the initial stage of building expertise in the area. But in the future the university is expecting to have both state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and top-level experts.

“In terms of construction, what ITB currently has are strong experts in landscape architecture,” adds Mr. Krishan. “For teaching in reinforced concrete and masonry structures ITB is inviting experts from the capital city of Prague, who we also mean to collaborate with in the future.”

When we were visiting the Czech Republic, we found ourselves in the atmosphere of mutual respect, as we share a great deal of history with the Czech people. Those who were schoolchildren when Russian was a part of the school curriculum – I mean people in their 40s – speak a very good Russian. As for younger people, you find more and more young Czechs who can speak a good English. That is why we had no communication issues at all.”

A good command of English is characteristic of the Czech students in general. Their teachers explain that Bachelor’s students are not so good at English, but once they get closer to entering a Master’s course, they turn into hard English learners and, as a result, succeed. English is very important since the Czech universities teach in English. So those who strive to study there, have to have a good command of English.”

A visit by the ITB rector Marek Vochozka, which is scheduled for September, can be considered a special gain of the NMSTU visit to the Czech university. Mr. Vochozka is coming to discuss with NMSTU any new forms of cooperation.

Inessa KIM

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