On December 7, 2023, the grand opening of the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Branch of "Russia-China Friendship Association" took place at Minin University. The event took place within the framework of the International Forum "People's Diplomacy as a Soft Power Tool to Promote International Cooperation".

The opening of the Branch in the oldest university of the region took place with the participation of the First Deputy Chairperson of the Russia-China Friendship Association Galina Kulikova, the Minister of International and Interregional Relations of the Nizhny Novgorod region Olga Guseva and the Minister Plenipotentiary of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China to the Russian Federation Chang Xuhong.

"For us China is one of our most important partners, with whom in recent years we have strengthened ties in many areas - in culture, education, economics, science and IT. Today, intellectual capital and results of intellectual activity are becoming new growth drivers, so the Nizhny Novgorod region is extremely interested in creating a cross-border ecosystem of education and innovation with Chinese science and technology centers. The opening of the Association will strengthen the work in this direction," said the Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region Gleb Nikitin.

"Today there is nothing more important in our country's foreign policy than strengthening our Russia-China relations. If economic cooperation and political trust between the leaders are developing, and this is the basis, than humanitarian direction is the third pillar on which the relations are held. The opening of the Nizhny Novgorod Branch is a contribution to Russia-China humanitarian cooperation, to people-to-people contact. We opened the Branch on the basis of  the university for a reason: the university is about young people, the future of the country belongs to them. I would like to note that the number of Branches is growing: the 25th anniversary Branch was opened at Minin University, and I thank Nizhny Novgorod for its hospitality and wish the Branch prosperity", - said the First Deputy Chairperson of the Russia-China Friendship Association Galina Kulikova.

According to Olga Guseva, China is one of the leaders in terms of the number of students studying in Nizhny Novgorod universities. In 2023, more than 300 Chinese students studied in the region.

"The Nizhny Novgorod region is now actively developing relations with China in various fields. A number of joint commercial and industrial, scientific and educational projects are already being implemented in the region, in which Chinese students are actively participating, and we have a huge potential for expanding cooperation, especially in the field of education. The establishment of the Branch of "Russia-China Friendship Association" will strengthen the Nizhny Novgorod region's interaction with China and will make it possible to implement large-scale joint projects and achieve high development indicators,"  added Olga Guseva.

According to the Rector of Minin University Viktor Sdobnyakov, Minin University has become a center for the development of Russia-China friendship in Nizhny Novgorod region for a reason.

"For more than 10 years Minin University has been actively developing the educational agenda with our reliable partners from China. We are doing a lot of work in the field of joint programs with Chinese universities, we are implementing the program of academic mobility for both students and teachers, double degree programs, and  we are teaching Chinese students. I would like to note that the program of two foreign languages, one of which is Chinese, has had the highest competition for several years now, which clearly indicates the popularity of the program among applicants. Today more than 40 students of  Minin University are receiving higher education in China, this is a significant number for a regional university. I am sure that today's opening of the Branch will become a new stage in the development of international cooperation between our university and China, as well as the region as a whole. For our part, we are ready for large-scale projects and fruitful work," emphasized Viktor Sdobnyakov.

As part of the opening of the Branch, Minin University also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Anqing Pedagogical University.

Nizhny Novgorod Regional Branch of "Russia-China Friendship Association" will become a platform for official events, meetings of delegations, educational classes for students, and professional skills competitions. Today you can study Chinese at Minin Nizhny Novgorod State Pedagogical University, National Research Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod (UNN), Linguistic University of Nizhny Novgorod (LUNN) and National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE).

In summer 2023, Minin University opened new joint programs together with Shandong University of Technology (China). Thus, students from China are already mastering the professions of music teacher and teacher of Russian as a foreign language.

In addition, in autumn 2023, the University expanded the geography of cooperation and signed Memoranda of Cooperation with 5 more Chinese universities.