Modernization of scientific and educational sphere cannot take place in political void. That is why all serious changes of political and social matter somehow influence the life of university community and its further development. Obviously, it is necessary to be prepared for the future consequences caused by complicated political situation in the Ukraine and the Crimea. Russian universities are entering the international scientific and education area and those consequences might influence the rate of this process. At least, we are talking about the area limited by the the Western European and North American frame.
However, it is wrong to think that the goals we chose to achieve some time ago are unachievable now and there is no point to work hard to reach them. Firstly, letting it go is not an option because TSU has 13 internal competitors. Those are other leading research Russian universities which found themselves under the same political and social conditions. It is essential to show the dynamics in development comparing to them in order not to become an outsider in our own country.
Secondly, scientific and research community has always had one particular characteristic, that puts it aside from all the others. I am talking about its progressive nature and the ability to live not only inside the political contents, but also above them, considering them as situational and temporal environment. Apart from other possible missions, universities must maintain peace between nations and their tolerance towards each other. We should believe in this mission and work hard in accordance with it. Now we have the situation which makes it difficult for the politicians from different countries to effectively communicate, but academics, researchers, and students still can find the ways to do it.
My third point is the following: Tomsk State University is practically situated in the geographical center of Eurasia. It was determined and stated at the congress of the International Association of Seismologists held at Manchester in 1911. This fact has become a historical sign for TSU to be equally oriented to the West and to the East. This must be considered as a huge advantage for us, because having some temporal troubles with establishing relations with the western community, we can work harder with the eastern one. In general, we should learn from the Chinese. The meaning of the word “crisis” is represented in Chinese language by the combination of two hieroglyphs which are “danger” and “chance”. Pessimists read it as “dangerous moment”, optimists – as “special, only chance”. I must say, I am an optimist.
Therefore, I propose to consider the current situation as a new “parameter” we did not think of when developing our “roadmaps”, but we certainly must regard now in order to move forward!