On April 29th, an online workshop was held within the framework of the 2021 forum of the World Summit on the Information Society. The topic of the forum was virtual exchange programs. The event was moderated by Irina Karimova, Head of the International Cooperation Department. The forum was joined by speakers from universities in the UK, USA, Tajikistan and Iran.
Virtual mobility became especially relevant more than a year ago, when the pandemic deprived us of the opportunity to develop international activities offline. Dr George Dufalasiz of the University of Middlesex (London) noted that universities and the entire higher education system in the UK are facing a global challenge in terms of switching to distance learning. The head of the Department of International Relations of the Tajik State University of Commerce, Mubin Abduvaliyev, said that students of Tajik universities from different regions of the country have problems with access to high-speed Internet, which makes it difficult to organize remote training. A colleague from the Iranian University of Science and Technology, Dr. Hadi Shahriar Shahoseini, said that Iran, like all countries of the world, has switched to online training, which has helped simplify the process of communication between students and research supervisors to work on joint projects. Timothy Gwillim from Davidson-Davy Community College (USA) shared his experience in conducting joint classes with students of the faculty of STC SPbSUT. Classes started a year ago and during this time, students communicated, got to know each other and practiced English. This experience of interaction has proved extremely useful in the context of the pandemic.
Irina and all the speakers expressed the opinion that remote technologies help us in learning and developing international cooperation, but there is no substitute for live communication with colleagues and students. The participants agreed that to ensure the quality of education, it is worth using online learning technologies and combining them with classic offline learning.