The Stolypin Volga Region Institute of Administration (SVRIA) today joined the Virtual Institute, increasing the Russian Federation representationin UNCTAD’s academic network to six universities.

Earlier this year, SVRIA was looking for information about the new trading conditions associated with Russia's WTO accession, as well as resources that could be useful for their new academic programme and a research project about cross-border cooperation and trade. Finding information about the Vi on the websites of our current Russian members, the university decided to contact us with a request for membership.

The institute, located in the city of Saratov (about 860 km southeast of Moscow, on the Volga river), is a higher education institution with the goal of contributing to sustainable economic and social development of the region by providing education and training, as well as advisory services on economic issues to the regional government, the private sector and civil society. Vi membership responds to the institute's aim to integrate into the global educational and research networks.

Our main counterpart at the Institute will be the Department of Economics, part of the Faculty of Economics and Management. The department offers a Bachelor's degree in Economics with specialization in municipal management, a Master's degree in Economics  with specialization in regional economics, and a specialist programme in customs operations. These programmes comprise courses on international and regional economics, international economic relations, history of economic thought, trade policy, economics of customs operations, management of international trade operations, international trade agreements, international financial relations, free economic zones, or external economic relations of the Russian Federation.

Main  areas of research include development of rural/underdeveloped regions in Russia; cross-border cooperation of regions in Russia and Kazakhstan as a way of enhancing integration into the Eurasian space; strategy for economic and social development of the Saratov region; public-private partnerships; and Russian trade policy in the context of the WTO accession. The Department maintains close links with regional authorities and provides them with research inputs for their decision making. To streamline the provision of consultancy services to the government, it has recently established a Research and Training Centre on Regional Development.

The cooperation with the Vi will be coordinated by the Head of the Department of Economics, Valentina Gerasimova, who teaches courses on macroeconomics, trade policy, and economics of customs operations. Her research interests relate mainly to regional development -- as a member of the Economic Development Council of the region's governor, she contributed to the formulation of a plan for the region, the strategy for its inclusion in the international transport corridors, and the creation of a free economic zone.

Also joining are deputy head, Galina Ignatieva, who teaches courses on economic development of rural areas and on customs regulations; Tatiana Ivanova, responsible for courses on trade and environment, and inter-regional trade; and Viktor Malein, in charge of the course on economic history.

The department is ready to provide training to foreign students on issues of its expertise, and share its experience and research work. Through Vi membership, they look for support in the establishment of a Master's programme covering foreign economic activity in the region. Another objective is to acquire experience in working with other developing countries and countries in transition.
For more information, visit SVRIA’s profile on the Vi website.