Kant to be the symbol of the region?

Students and teachers of Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University did not expect Kant’s anniversary to draw such response during the meeting with president Vladimir Putin. The chancellor of IKBFU mentioned it when answering journalists’ questions on Wednesday (April 3rd), according to NewKaliningrad.Ru portal.

Media representatives were wondering if Putin’s suggestion to use philosopher Kant’s image as the symbol of the region was rational, as long as very few people in the Kaliningrad region are familiar with his works.

“Indeed, when we were going to visit the president we intended to have a conversation about Kant, since his anniversary will occur in a few years and our philosophers thought of getting an academic collection of Immanuel Kant works published. Such work requires resources and a lot of time, that is why this question arose”, – Klemeshev said. According to him, the discussion of the issue naturally developed into a debate about the role Kant’s image plays not only for the university, but for the whole region. «This idea first appeared in the context of Julia Mazur’s speech and was developed by the president as he dwelt upon the subject. We did not expect it to spark such interest», – Klemeshev added.

Julia Mazur (KBFU post-graduate student) told journalists it was the president’s initiative to use Kant as a symbol. «It had nothing to do with renaming the city. But the point is that our region is associated with Kant. We have Kant’s museum, but in my opinion it should be developed more actively. Kant can attract attention to our region, and not only in the academic sphere, but also in favour of tourism», – Julia added.

Andrey Klemeshev assured media representatives that students and teachers hadn’t had these questions prepared. «The only thing we arranged with Presidential Executive Office was the topics to be discussed with the presidet. We were supposed to present our strategy and priorities. At least two people represented biomedical science. Some people were there because there were several issues relevant for education in the whole Russian Federation that we wanted to draw the president’s attention to». Klemeshev made an example: a student from Siberian State Medical University came to Kaliningrad to continue his education. «We needed to highlight the issue of academic mobility, – he explained, – Professor Wanag participated in the meeting in order to raise the issue of the migration of scientists.

Let us remind you that on Monday while meeting with students and teachers president Vladimir Putin stated that “Kant might and ought to be not only the symbol of your university, but in a sense the symbol of the entire Kaliningrad region.”

According to the governor of the Kaliningrad region Nikolay Tsukanov, the name of philosopher Immanuel Kant is a “global brand” which is notused effectively enough in the region itself.