At a time when political tensions are making diplomatic relationships uneasy, the global academy is doing its part to show how higher education transcends nationality.
In an interview with Times Higher Education Konstantin Krotov, head of Saint Petersburg State University’s Graduate School of Management (GSOM), said that it was important to keep this network as intact as possible in response to political turmoil.
Professor Krotov was speaking at an event organised by the Global Alliance in Management Education (CEMS), which was held in St Petersburg on 25-29 November.
CEMS is a 29-strong member organisation of leading international business schools and corporate institutions focused on educating the global business leaders of the future.
Its mission statement says that it is dedicated to preparing future generations to enter a “multilingual, multicultural and interconnected business world”, and Professor Krotov added that this could be expanded into wider higher education.
“Who but the academics should keep the world together?” he asked. “From this perspective we try to be as open, international and transparent as possible.”
“We have international professors. One of them is Turkish. We had a conversation yesterday; we fully support him, and we want him to stay,” Professor Krotov said in reference to diplomatic tensions that have followed the shooting down by Turkey on 24 November of a Russian fighter jet over the Turkish-Syrian border.
“He’s really concerned and uncertain now about his situation because overnight it’s now a completely different situation. Who knows what the government might do: maybe cancel all visas or whatever else.
“So it’s really hard. He has full support from us. He is a great addition to our faculty, and we will continue to look for more highly qualified international professors.”