The Pushkin Institute partner network opened its very first center both in the United States and the continent in Washington, DC on Thursday. The agreement on the center’s establishment was signed by the Pushkin State Russian Language Institute and Metaphor Academic Center for Russian Language and Culture located in one of Washington’s suburbs.
"The center in Washington is the first one in the region, but we hope to develop the partner network here," Radchenko stated.
Radchenko noted that several educational organizations in the United States are interested in becoming part of the Pushkin Institute partner network, including the Ivy League’s Yale University. The Institute is also in discussions on establishing centers with educational institutions in Canada.
He explained that the centers are aimed at promoting Russian language, training teachers, as well as conducting testing and certification.
"The Institute’s certification is official and may be used, for example, by graduates wishing to go to Russia on the Russian government quota," Radchenko noted. "We want to offer our American colleagues a program to use our certification at schools and universities to determine students’ Russian language skill levels."
As of now, the Pushkin Institute partner network has centers in more than 100 countries, including Poland, the United Kingdom, Serbia, Croatia, France, Bulgaria, Greece, and Switzerland. Ten centers were established by Pushkin Institute around the world in 2016, Radchenko noted.
"We restored our center in Cuba and we also have plans for Latin America where there is a big interest in learning Russian," Radchenko added. "We have several delegations currently preparing to travel to France, Kazakhstan, and Kirgizstan to open new centers."
He noted that they already received requests from more than ten countries to launch centers in 2017, and expect to open a minimum of 15 centers in China, South Korea, and Vietnam, among other countries.
The centers of the Pushkin Institute partner network are established within the federal program of promotion of the Russian language and education in Russian.
The Pushkin State Russian Language Institute, founded in 1966, specializes in teaching Russian to international students and in training teachers to teach Russian as a foreign language, according to its website.