SibFU Spanish Language Centre

History and Goals

On September 24, 2008, Siberian Federal University and Banco Santander signed the agreement on cooperation in order to support educational and research projects and to promote academic exchange.

Banco Santander founded over 150 years ago is nowadays the largest bank in Euro area in terms of market capitalization and the seventh bank in the world in terms of operating income. International network of Banco Santander is one of the largest in the world and it enumerates 10, 852 branches and offices.

One of the high priorities of its work is the cooperation with universities and research institutions aimed at supporting educational, research and technological projects fulfilled through the Santander Universities Global Division. There are now over 700 academic institutions in 15 countries receiving support from Banco Santander for the development of initiatives relating to:

  1. Pedagogical Projects
  2. Promoting the Spanish language
  3. Mobility grants
  4. Research Programmes
  5. University-Company Relations
  6. New technologies
  7. Global Projects: Universia and the Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library
  8. Other initiatives: cultural and sporting activities, etc.

Siberian Federal University has become the fifth Russian university to have cooperation links with Banco Santander, after the Finance Academy of the Russian Federation Government, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the MFA of Russia, Saint-Petersburg State University and Moscow State Linguistic University.

The development of the relationship between the Bank and the University was enhanced greatly after the SibFU Rector’s visit to Spain in March 2009 within the Russian Federation delegation headed by Dmitry A. Medvedev, the President of Russia.

It is not a coincidence that the Bank has chosen SibFU and Krasnoyarsk region as the new ground for realization of its plans on broadening cooperation links with Russia. Firstly, Krasnoyarsk region is a very attractive area from the investments point of view. In particular, it is planned to attract over 16 bln. USD of investments into the regional economy by 2017. Investments’ growth will be 2-3% higher than all over Russia in general. Even at the present moment, Krasnoyarsk Territory is one of the top five regions in terms of investments and one of the most economically developed regions of Russia. The Territory takes the 7th place by the Gross Regional Product.

Secondly, since its establishment Siberian Federal University has become one of the most progressively developing research and educational institutions of the Russian Federation. Highly professional faculty and staff and up-to-date equipment makes SibFU a unique higher education institution and the driving force in developing human resources potential, doing research and developing innovational technologies competitive at the international market.

The main directions of cooperation between Banco Santander and SibFU:

  • Promoting new technologies;
  • Support for innovation and knowledge transfer, including creation of the Department for Climatic and Environmental changes (CEC), support in creating a virtual library;
  • Support for learning Spanish language and culture, including assistance in organizing the Congress of hispanists, development of the Programme for International Academic Exchange, Programme of trainings for SibFU Spanish language teachers at the University of Alkala, Spain;
  • Programmes of the international mobility of students and teachers, including the Marco Polo International Student Mobility Initiative. Training programmes in entrepreneurship for students and teachers at Babson College, USA;
  • The International Rectors Meeting scheduled to be held in 2010 in Mexico.

The Main Activities of the SibFU in accordance with the Agreement on Cooperation

In accordance with the Agreement on Cooperation between the SibFU and Banco Santander, the bank provides organizational and financial support for the university in the following areas:

  1. Creation of the Spanish Language Centre together with the University of Alcalá at the Institute of Philology and Language Communication, SibFU, which aims at promotion of Spanish language and Spanish & Latin American culture. The primary goals of the Centre:
    • Organization of courses of colloquial Spanish language, and Hispanist student society;
    • Carrying out weeks of Spain for students at SibFU;
    • Organization of guest lectures by leading Spanish professors;
    • Conducting video seminars with Spanish universities;
    • Organization of international conferences;
    • Training programmes for SibFU teachers at the University of Alcalá.

    Rationale: Foreign language education and cross-cultural study has grown a priority number one for the Siberian Federal University today. In the view of widely developing international cooperation language study is aimed to further support students’ exchange programmes and university teaching staff professional mobility. The Spanish language, native for more than 400 million people, has been changing its role for the modern Russia today particularly in response to the rapid development of science and technology in the Spanish speaking countries. Thus, establishment of the Spanish Language Centre in Siberian Federal University supported by the Santander Bank would serve an excellent support for productive and mutual cooperation with Spanish and Latin American Universities.

    Target Audiences: SFU language students, SFU students of other subjects and aimed at international career development, SFU university teaching and management staff, students from other universities, wide audience interested in the Spanish language and culture study.
    Project implementation period: 2009-2012

  2. Creation of the Department for Climatic and Environmental Changes (CEC) to conduct advanced research in the field of ecology. In the framework of CEC the bank will assist in the scientific cooperation between Siberian and Spanish working groups on the topic of climatic change and global environment:
    • Monitoring the climatic change in Eurasia. Analyzing long-term changes in temperatures in high – latitude and mountain areas (Northern forest border of Eurasia, the Altai – Sayany mountains, Tibet, etc.) Analyzing long-term changes of humidification in drought-afflicted areas of Eurasia (the Pyrenees, Turkey, Mongolia, Butyatia, Khakasia, etc.);
    • Analyzing the reaction of trees to previous and current climatic changes. Dendro- climatology of the mentioned areas. Simulating the reactions of trees to the forecasted climatic changes according to the BGC-BIOS, ESHO and other data;
    • Analyzing the dynamics of green house gases’ concentration in the atmosphere and forest vegetation input to the carbon accumulation and emission;
    • Distance methods of monitoring the changes in natural and urban ecosystems. Developing the methods of decoding space-images to analyze the following:
    • changes in the vegetation ecosystems’ composition (natural processes and industrial development of the areas);
    • changes in land-use management (the structure and productivity of agricultural areas);
    • monitoring forest fires;
    • monitoring deposits of moisture and floods (geomorphology);
    • monitoring opencast workings;
    • monitoring transport systems and flows.
  3. Promoting academic mobility of students and teachers with Spanish-speaking countries and universities. Allocation of grants for SibFU students to participate in the Marco Polo International Mobility Programme.
    • Formation the schedule of mobility with the Spanish universities;
    • Language exchange, professional exchange, sports exchange, cultural exchange;
    • Organization of joint master's degree programmes and specialized courses with the subsequent release of the degree certificate from both universities;
    • Carrying out of joint student's summer schools.

Proposed Activities for the Project year one: 2009-2010

Activity Dates of implementation Sources of finance Brief description & personal responsibility
Centre establishment Summer 2009 SibFU Staff selection & employment, premises identification & upgrade, center documentation design and translation
Ludmila Kulikova – Institute Director, Natalia Burmakina – Centre Director
Official opening ceremony SibFU/ Santander Bank Public event announcing the Centre start its activities
Ludmila Kulikova,
Natalia Burmakina,
Spanish Centre staff
In-Service training for SibFU teachers of Spanish SibFU/ Santander Bank Training visit of 3 SibFU teachers to Alkala University
Natalia Burmakina
Training of 5-6 Russian teachers in Krasnoyarsk (visit of Spanish teacher trainer, Alkala University)
Natalia Burmakina
Initiation and development of Spanish/Roman direction in the Institute of Philology & Language Communication, SibFU September 2009 SibFU/ Santander Bank Spanish Language Congress in Krasnoyarsk
Natalia Burmakina
Spanish Language Congress Proceedings publish and dissemination
Natalia Burmakina
Spanish Language Teaching Operations in SibFU SibFU/ Santander Bank/ language classes revenue Regular Spanish Language courses for SibFU students
Natalia Burmakina

Spanish Language Centre activities, trends & directions for the period 2009 - 2011:

  1. Roman languages and studies direction development within the frame of the Institute of Philology and Language Communication.
  2. 1.1. Spanish professors visiting SibFU with the purpose of teaching Spanish language, Culture Study and Spanish literature;
    1.2. Establishment of baccalaureate in the area of “linguistics” based on providing ‘Spanish language’ qualification combined with the English language and Spanish philology studies.

  3. Roman direction development within the frame of the Institute of Philology and Cross-Cultural Communication science and research activities.
  4. 2.1. Joint grant search and grant applications for the European and other international funding bodies aiming at language and methodology research in cooperation with Spanish universities;
    2.2. Roman language and culture study research workshops, seminars and educational events on the basis of SibFU;
    2.3. Post-graduate research and applying for candidate of science degree by the Spanish Language Centre Director in the area of “Spanish Studies”.

  5. Spanish language, Spanish & Latin American culture promotion in Krasnoyarsk.
  6. 3.1. Promoting modern Spanish literature through inviting modern Spanish writers and poets to Krasnoyarsk;
    3.2. Developing Spanish resource centre (fiction, course books, reference materials, CDs, DVDs, on-line materials and self-study programmes, etc.);

  7. Contributing to the SibFU teaching staff and students’ academic mobility.
  8. 4.1. Providing support to the SibFU students’ exchange, SibFU teaching staff study and research visits to Alkala University in Spain;
    4.2. Providing support to the Alkala University students and teaching staff visiting Krasnoyarsk;

  9. Joint youths projects.
  10. 5.1. International summer schools for students from Krasnoyarsk and Spain;
    5.2. International virtual on-line journal live on SibFU and Alkala University sites;
    5.3. Joint science-research edition for young scientists from Alkala University and Siberian Federal University;

  11. Promoting Spanish language and culture in Krasnoyarsk with wide audiences of different age and social status.
  12. 6.1. Providing self-catering Spanish language courses for university students, staff and external audiences interested and motivated in the area;
    6.2. Arranging Spanish language and culture promotional events for teenagers, university and school students.


Contact Information

Head of SibFU Spanish Centre
Natalya G. Burmakina
Tel./fax: 7 (391) 206-26-47
The Centre is located:
82 A Svobodny prospect, Office 3-30
Open hours: Mon–Fri 8:30 am – 5.00 pm.
Closed on weekends and on public holidays.

Department for Climatic and Environmental Changes
Natalya N. Koshurnikova
Tel.: +7 (902) 946 56 99
Site: (in russian)

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