Полоцкий государственный университет


On April 9-15, 2018 our special guest from the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany) visited Polotsk State University. Actually, we are referring to a literary critic and an expert in the sphere of internationalization of higher education, Dr. Markus Steinmayr. Returning thanks to Tatyana Gordeyenok, Head of the Department of World Literature and Foreign Languages, a German scholar as well as the University Administration, Deans, Heads of the Departments and PSU students became participators of a variety of events and initiatives.

PSU students

Firstly, Dr. Markus Steinmayr made a presentation concerning the university role for current stage of the society development and some challenges that universities undergo while the European Higher Education Area formation and development. During the seminar for Heads of the Departments our guest talked about the University of Duisburg-Essen and a vital role of the Bologna process and internationalization. After the presented outlook, Dr. Markus Steinmayr was ready to answer the questions.

For him, the topic of discussion is not just theory issues. The German scholar highly experienced in a project management referring to higher education institutions development and internationalization. Additionally, Dr. Markus Steinmayr is perfectly acquainted with the Belarusian system of education. In fact, several years ago he, acting as an expert, contributed to the Republic of Belarus entering the Bologna process.

Dr. Markus Steinmayr

The following discussion was about purposes and objectives of a course management at universities. No doubts, Dr. Markus Steinmayr`s point is a golden catch for our university competitiveness improvement regarding Belarusian higher education market and its aspects.

One of the important parts of the program was a course of seminars and meetings dedicated to German literary studies for undergraduate and postgraduate students and Lecturers at the Faculty of Humanities.

PSU undergraduates and postgraduates

In its turn, it was suggested to offer for Dr. Markus Steinmayr an eventful program, too. It included an excursion to Novopolotsk buildings meanwhile visiting an exhibition «Maly Trostinets extermination camp», Polotsk College, Museum of the Belarusian Book-printing, The Savior and St. Euphrosyne Convent, Mezhdurechye rural locality and the administrative centre.

Afterwards, the results of Dr. Markus Steinmayr`s visit and further collaboration perspectives between the University of Duisburg-Essen and Polotsk State University were discussed. Tatyana Gordeyenok, Head of the Department of World Literature and Foreign Languages, Sergey Peshkun, Head of the International Office, and Irina Vegera, Dean at the Faculty of Law together with the German scholar discussed those issues.

Hopefully, Dr. Markus Steinmayr`s acquaintance with Polotsk State University will bring a perspective and stable cooperative tie. The outcomes of which will be realized through various projects promoting internationalization, innovations in the educational environment and the scientific potential of Polotsk State University.

Dr. Markus Steinmayr shared his impressions about his visit to Polotsk State University.

Dr. Markus Steinmayr

The interviewer: Well, Mr. Steinmayr, what were your seminars devoted to?

Dr. Steinmayr: This week has contained seminars of two types. Together with the Deans and Heads of the Departments we discussed internationalization issues, dwelled upon challenges of Humboldt model of higher education and Bologna process realization. Another part of the seminars presupposed other topics and was designed for the students of Romance and Germanic philology course. So, exactly there we reconsidered the role of Wilhelm von Humboldt for the higher education process development, discussed growing-up novel «Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship (Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre)» written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the story by Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff, a representative of German Romanticism, «Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts».

The interviewer: I suppose the Belarusian system of education is not unknown for you. What can you say about it?

Dr. Steinmayr: Visiting Belarus I am always deeply impressed by such a high level of academic background of both students and Lecturers! For instance, noticing the fact my col-leagues from Polotsk State University speak perfectly German. One more, I may say only positive about student language competencies.

The interviewer: How can you describe PSU students?

Dr. Steinmayr: I felt comfortable! What was the difference? It was nothing like a standard lecture where you are talking the whole time and others are listening silently. The students were extremely attentive and were engaged in a dialogue with me. Certainly, it was a pleasure and excitement!

The interviewer: This is the first time you visit PSU. What are the impressions?

Dr. Steinmayr: The very first and groundbreaking impression about Polotsk State University turns into an aesthetic combination of tradition and innovation. Remembering Polotsk College history, we know that the Jesuits themselves were innovators what concerning the educational sphere. I suppose this spirit of change is being proceeded at the University now. You, being remarkably experienced, manage to bring innovations. As I see, you have discovered some efficient Bologna process mechanisms and implementation tool and you seem truly advanced moving this way.