CRTS exists on the base of the Department of Area Studies and International Relations at Volgograd State University. The Department is responsible for the "Area Studies" and "International Relations" programs. Within the "Area Studies" specialty the students choose one from three majors: "Central Asian countries" "The countries of CIS" and "USA and Canada".
The main field of the Center's educational activity is the major лCentral Asia and the Middle Orient╗ (from 2002 to 2005 - лPost-Soviet Central Asia╗) within the лArea Studies╗ Program. The geographical limits of лMiddle Orient╗ (in Russian - лSredniy' Vostok╗; the word лOrient╗ is used in order to avoid a confusion with a widespread term лMiddle East╗ that also covers Arab countries) include Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey; лCentral Asia╗ includes five post-Soviet states: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. So, the area under study covers the most of countries belonging to Turkic or Iranian cultural-language tradition.
The includes the following set of courses:
- History of Central Asia and the Middle Orient;
- Culture of Central Asia and the Middle Orient;
- Literature of Central Asia and the Middle Orient;
- Religious Situation in Central Asia and the Middle Orient;
- International Relations of Central Asia and the Middle Orient;
- Socio-Political Situation in Countries of Central Asia and the Middle Orient;
- Elementary Turkish language;
- Special Courses. The content of this set varies from a year to year as it is determined jointly by our guest professors, mainly from Russia and Kazakhstan.
The fact that Kazakhstan is a country that neighbors Volgograd province strongly reflects upon our educational activities. Our main academic partner is Western Kazakhstan State University (Uralsk). In April 2005 we have launched an exchange program. In the mentioned month a group of Volgograd State University's students (лArea Studies╗ and лInternational Relations╗ programs) visited Uralsk and were given lectures on Kazakhstan's history and culture, elementary Kazakh language. The visit of Western Kazakhstan State University's students is planned for April 2006. In лVolgograd-Uralsk╗ exchange program university professors and post-graduate students are also participating.
In 2003-2006 the Center, together with Eurasian National University (Astana, Kazakhstan) and Research Center лEurasia╗ (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan), has been also a co-organizer or joint international project лInterdisciplinary Approach in Developing Teaching and Academic Excellence in Central Asian Studies╗ funded by the Higher Education Support Program of George Soros Foundation. It has been aiming to develop the topic-related syllabi based on new research approaches and teaching methods. The project started in December, 2003 by a seminar held in Volgograd, the following three seminars were held in Cholpon-Ata (Kyrgyzstan) and Moscow (Russia).
CRTS also supports the лInternational Security╗ major within the лInternational Relations╗ program. The Center's research fellows teach the following related courses:
- National Security of Russia;
- "New Borders as the Issue of Russian Security".
Currently CRTS is especially interested international cooperation in educational field, related to its specialization. We welcome our potential partners to discuss possibilities for:
a) joint applications for grants covering such activities as:
a1) inter-institutional partnership programs;
a2) language courses for our students;
a3) preparation of joint courses based on new teaching;
a4) academic mobility programs.
b) Academic exchange, especially with neighbor countries. Taking into account partners' financial possibilities this exchange could take such forms as invitation of professors, training of undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students etc.
Copyright й 2002-2005 Center for Regional and Transboundary Studies at Volgograd State University
Copyright й 2002-2005 Sergey Golunov