International relations of Odessa I.I. Metchnikov State University

THE INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITY 

OF THE ODESSA I.I. MECHNIKOV STATE UNIVERSITY

(1945-1991)

 
The strengthening of the international ties and gradual increase of international prestige characterize the University activity on that period of its history. This is connected with the Odessa’s geographical position and economical state  and also with its historical and cultural traditions.
Since its foundation the University became one the main Higher Education Institution of South of the country. The University provided the higher education, cultural development and collaboration for the Balkans Slavs, mainly from Bulgaria and Serbia. Numerous students, originated from Bulgaria, became the prominent figures in cultural and educational spheres at their motherland, and also contributed a lot to the Bulgarian liberation movement of XIX – beginning of the XX century. While studying at the Law department together with such prominent figures of the Russian peoples liberation movement as A. ZHELYABOV, D. SHESTAKOVSKIY, M. TRIGON, A. POPICH, Bulgarian students couldn’t stand aside of their Russian comrades’ civic activity. Such traditions were also continued in the subsequent period of the University existence, when its  forms of existence and official names were changed several times and finally it became “The Odessa State University” in 1933. 
 
The Post-War Period (since 1945)
The new period of the University external activity started in 1945 when it had to respond to the new demands in scientific, educational and interstate relations. The OSU external links became more systematic and stable by years. The prominent role of the USSR in the Second World War was acknowledged both by the Allies (Great Britain and the USA) and other European and Asian countries, liberated by the Soviet Army forces. The foreign experts were interested in collaboration with the USSR educational and scientific institutions, because the Soviet Union managed to confront Germany, the most economically developed European country of that time.
The first group of students, firstly from Albania and then from Poland, Hungary, Korea, China, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia, came to the OSU in 1947. Students from Bulgaria, Vietnam, Indonesia, Middle East and African countries came to the University in 1960s.
 
Due to the Rector M.P. SAVCHUK’s initiative, students from numerous European countries – such as Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia – came to Odessa University for studying at the Biology Faculty in 1940s-1960s. Soon students from all over the world came to our University: there were students from Africa, South-East Asia, Middle East, Central and Southern America. The Biology Faculty lecturers were invited for lecturing abroad: L.M. KARPOV – to Guinea, V.T. KOVAL – to Congo, V.M. TOTZKIY – to Mongolian People's Republic, K.V. ASTASHKOV – to Afghanistan.
Our University has begun the bilateral exchange of students and scientific delegations with the University of Szeged (Hungary) since 1965. Numerous excellent graduates of our biological faculty studied as post-graduate students at different departments of the biological faculty. Among them were Berete NAMIRE (Guinea), Z.U. NAMSRAI (Mongolia), Nguen Thai LIONG (Vietnam), Sharma PANCAGE (India). Also Odessa University exchanged exhibits of its Zoological Museum with Michigan University Zoo museum.
Permanent rise of the foreign students’ number in OSU witnessed, about the OSU authority increase overseas. The students were recommended to study in our University even if their own country had sufficient scientific and educational basis for studying. For example, 100 students from the German Democratic Republic were recommended to the OSU to study at the faculties of Mechanics and Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry in 1970-1971. A lot of the OSU foreign graduates became the outstanding scientists and public persons.
Nearly 600 students from 70 countries studied at the OSU in that period. All the necessary conditions were created for foreigners to let them acquire fundamental theoretical knowledge. They could work at the students’ scientific communities, groups and seminars, to conduct experiments at the departments’ laboratories, and report their results at the students’ conferences. They also took active part at the scientific works competitions.
The University pays much attention to the post-graduates and probationers training. Our University was the basic HEI for Hungarian students in studying Russian for more than 10 years. The linguistic facilities were accessible also  for probationers from China, Vietnam, the USA, Canada, Spain and other countries rendering them the assistance in improvement of their knowledge in the OSU. Due to the probation programs students could not only improve their Russian language competence, but also get acquainted with Soviet people, their lifestyle and history of the USSR.
But the foreign students studied not only languages at the Odessa University. Post-graduate students from Chile (Sara Agiliera MORALES), Czechoslovakia (Yan BIRCHAK), Cuba (Pedro MARSET SANCHES), Vietnam (Vu Suan SIEN), Syria (Taisyr KURKMAZ) made their research works and defended their Thesises for Candidate of Sciences (PhD) degree at the Faculty of Physics. Some time later Sara Agiliera MORALES occupied the position of the Physics Faculty Dean at the Chile Antofagasta University. Yan BIRCHAK became the Professor and the Preshov University Senate Member. Even now he is a good friend of our University.
Odessa Mechnikov State University became an attractive and professionally valuable for partners abroad. The OSU leadership seriously treated the possibilities of bilateral contacts with universities of Poland and Finland. 
The OSU Rector, Professor A.I. YURZHENKO, welcomed the delegations from Poland and Finland (see photo 1). They discussed the future perspectives of the educational and scientific collaboration between our universities. 
 
 
The OSU Rector, Professor A.I. YURZHENKO communicates with the foreign delegation.
 
 
In the next few years these contacts turned into the full-scale bilateral relationships.
The OSU Rector, the Corresponding member of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic Academy of Sciences O.V. BOGATSKIY, contributed a lot into the fruitful scientific international relations development and participated personally in the international events (see photo 2). 
 
 
From left to right: 
• prorector Ivan SEREDA; standing-Rector of the foreign university;
• Rector OSU Prof. A.V. BOGATSKIY;
• Communist Party committee Secretary, Leon KALUSTIAN;
• prorector D.POLISHCHUK;
• prorector V. FASHCHENKO.
 
The University paid much attention to the international collaboration in the 1970s, considering it as an effective tool of the home science and education development. 
The separate contacts with the Western Universities turned into the stable scientific links. 
The bilateral agreements were concluded with The University of Szeged (Hungary) and The Oulu University (Finland), (see photo 3, 4).
 
 
The Agreement signing episode.
From left to right (sitting):
• Rector OSU, Prof. Victor SERDYUK; 
• Rector of the Szeged University, Gyorgv ANTALFFY.
From left to right (standing): 
• prorectors - I.SEREDA, D.POLISHCHUK;
• CPS Leon KALUSTIAN;
• Szeged university delegation member.
 
 
 
The Agreement signing episode.
From left to right (sitting):
• OSU Rector, Prof. Victor SERDYUK;
• Oulu University Rector, Prof. MANNERKOSKY.
From left to right (standing): 
• Szeged university delegation members.
 
These agreements resulted in joint scientific researches fulfilled with Szeged University colleagues together with editing textbooks on the Semiconductors Physics. The OSU Rector, Professor V.V. SERDYUK, Physics Faculty dean, Professor G.G. CHEMERESYUK, and Senior lecturer V.F. VORONTZOV were the authors of the Text-book and the active participants of the full-scale researches. Professor G.G. CHEMERESYUK investigated the Vanadium Pent oxide semiconductor in the Szeged University labouratory. Together with his colleagues they firstly registered the photoconductivity in this material. As the result the article on this topic was published in the professional journal.
 
The collaboration with Szeged University (Hungary) started in 1975 through the bilateral exchange of young scientists due to the intergovernmental agreements. The USSR Ministry of the Higher, Secondary and Special education issued the order in 1976. Due to it the USSR post graduates, including the OSU post graduate student S.F. SKOROKHOD, were recommended to the Szeged University for the scientific research work. His scientific supervisor was famous Math expert, Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Head of the Szeged branch of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Foreign Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences and other countries Academies Bella SEKEFALVI-NAD’. He is the author of the numerous monographs published in the USSR and in China (PRC). S.F. SKOROKHOD studied successfully as a post-graduate student and also managed the Hungarian language. Later on S.F. SKOROKHOD defended his Ph.D. thesis in the OSU.The scientific research works began at that period in this mathematical scientific field  brought a new operators’ approach  in” boundary problems” in the theory of complex variables functions. The scientific cooperation launched by the young scientist continued in the scientific cooperation between two Departments: Mathematical analysis (OSU) and the theory of functions – Head of the Department, Prof. Laslo LEYDNER (SzU). At the same period the OSU lecturers, docents Benyamin KROTOV and Viktor KOLYADA paid numerous visits to their colleagues in Szeged University.Our University obtained the stable contacts with the University of Szeged (Hungary). Numerous joint research works were conducted through the first agreement concluding. The students’ text-book “Photo-electric processes in semiconductors” by V.V. SERDYUK, G.G. CHEMERESYUK and M. TEREK was published in 1982 as the result of the joint methodical work both of the Experimental Physics departments of the Odessa and Szeged Universities. The OSU Astronomical Observatory specialists produced and mounted 40-santimetres in diameter telescope in Szeged. Odessa University Professor A.G. LOBUNETZ and Szeged University Professor Layosh NAD’ edited a monograph “Forms and Methods of stimulation of Common Labour Productivity stable growth”, which was published in the University of Szeged.
 
The new period for Soviet scientific and educational life began in 1970s-1980s. It was predefined both by internal and external circumstances. Firstly, the Détente changed the period of Cold War escalation Thus, soviet specialists got the possibility to look behind the “Iron Curtain” and gain the up-to-date scientific knowledge and experience. Secondly, the USSR leadership then realized how harmful the isolation was for the whole country, especially for its scientific sphere; that is why Soviet government was forced to stimulate the development of home science taking in consideration the foreign experience. This activity became extremely necessary for the country with braked economy within the new conditions of Information revolution. Thus, the most perspective Soviet experts, mainly of natural sciences, including our University specialists were recommended for training and gaining all the necessary modern knowledge and experience in the Western European countries and in the USA. As a result the perspective scientists, who trained in the different educational centers of the USA, Great Britain, Italy, France, Austria, the FRG, appeared in the home science. Professor V.V. SERDYUK (the USA), Prof. V.A. SMYNTYNA (Italy), Dr. Sc. (Phys&Math) D.V. VASILEVSKIY (France), docents O.P. FEDCHYUK, O.V. IGNATOV (Italy), A.P. CHEBANENKO (Austria), Prof. O.V. TYURIN (Italy) and many other OSU specialists were among them.
 
The acquired valuable knowledge and experience considerably contributed to  the educational process and scientific researches. Our scientists got but new experience, also new humanitarian relations with their colleagues abroad. The new scientific ideas which appeared as a result of common work promoted the new achievements in the scientific-research work in OSU. The OSU specialists obtained 5 certificates for inventions in 1987. The Astronomy department docent I.L. ANDRONOV (later Professor) published numerous scientific articles as the result of his training in the German Democratic Republic,(GDR) in 1988. His series of works on “the structure and evolution of stars AM Hercules type” was awarded the first prize at the regional V.P. Tzesevich competition in 1988. Theoretical physics department docent I.M. TKACHENKO (later Professor) used his scientific training experience in the USA for extending his previous researches and obtained the certificate of invention for “The Dense Plasma Diagnostics Methods”.
 
 The interuniversity’s mutual relations were developing and improving yearly. The direct contacts were realized basing on the concluded agreements, where the general principles and forms of mutual contacts and programs of the scientific and cultural collaboration were defined. The programs included the practical steps for the agreements realization. 
 
The OSU developed the relationships with the university centers of Finland (Oulu-city), Spain (Valencia), Italy (Naples), the FRG (Regensburg), the USA (Baltimore), Canada (City of Halifax) etc. These agreements demonstrate the result of the new political mentality, which promotes the international contacts.
The concluded agreements and working programs suppose joint researches, materials and information exchange; mutual publications of monographs, textbooks, manuals and collected articles; scientists, specialists and students exchange for carrying out joint research , lecturing, participating in different types meetings : conferences etc; youth organizations and trade unions collaboration. Thus, particularly, the agreement on the students’ exchanges was reached as the result of the OSU delegation (headed by Rector, Professor I.P. ZELINSKIY) visit to the Valencia Polytechnics University (Spain). 
The time students’ exchange existed in the frames of bilateral interuniversity links, which were concluded with 15 foreign universities-partners.
The Astronomical Observatory became the international coordinating center on the Variable Stars issues, studied by the scientists of Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Netherlands, the USA and New Zealand. The terms of the agreement, concluded between the OSU and Oulu University, were successfully fulfilled. The joint manual “Industry and Plant environment: the economic aspects” by . V. PETRUSHENKO (OSU) and P.KHAVAS (Oulu) were published in Oulu University in 1989.
 
The interuniversity scientific-technical collaboration foresees both the cooperation efficiency growth, together with implementation of positive foreign experience into the national economy and educational process, using the scientific research results having the positive impact on the domestic economy.
 
Despite inevitable difficulties and obstacles, natural on our way, the Odessa State University managed not only to save, but also to enlarge the accumulated legacy of its international collaborations, obtained from previous generations of scientists. The “Iron Curtain” was unable to stop the development of knowledge and science in the whole world, and in our University, in particular. That is why, in the independent Ukraine, the OSU and then the ONU, has built the fruitful relationships with foreign Universities on the strong basis laid before. 

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