The Russian system of higher professional education, which boasts universities with centuries-old traditions – as well as reflecting the pride of their own formidable academic reputations – now faces an arduous task: how to keep up with the current pace of international development while not undermining its own excellent academic antecedents. The Russian Academic Excellence Project wants to tap into the full academic and research potential of Russian universities while bolstering their positions in the global education market. The Project, which is intended to last for eight years, was launched in May 2013 in accordance with Presidential Decree of the Russian Federation No. 599, "On measures to realize state policy in the sphere of education and science".
Excellence initiatives, which are similar to the Russian Academic Excellence Project 5-100, are now among the in-vogue imperatives of many governments. Their aim is to better the system of higher education and raise the position of their national universities in the global ratings. Universities with outstanding academic reputations are, of course, more likely to snag the hottest talent among lecturers, researchers and students, and indeed are viewed by many companies and organizations as virtual partners: scores of their alumni are sought after by headhunters.
The launch of Project 5-100 sent a new satellite into orbit to assist in the process of revamping Russian higher education and making it more contemporary. Past brainstorms and initiatives of the Russian government are now proving effective, resulting in the creation of federal universities and national research universities.
- Development and implementation of measures aimed at creating long-term competitive advantages for the universities;
tion in all spheres, development of infrastructure to recruit the best scientists, faculty, managers and students;
- Creation of world-class intellectual products;
- Development of an outstanding academic reputation by conducting breakthrough research and recruiting the world’s leading scientists;
- Bringing the university educational programs in line with the best international examples;
- Development of cooperation between the academic sector, the industrial sector, and the business sector;
- Increased export of educational services.
In the spring of 2013, the Russian Government announced a resolution, according to which a Council would convene to oversee the further development of the leading universities. The Council on Competitiveness Enhancement of Leading Russian Universities among Global Research and Education Centers has been designed to enjoy long-term service as a permanent interdepartmental advisory body; its mission is to handle the various issues that arise under its scope. The Council is also the main governance body of Project 5-100. Its members include many international and Russian representatives of the academic community, public officials responsible for educational reform, acclaimed experts, and scholars of high repute.
The Council goes over the Universities reports, suggests how much money is needed to follow through on everything, and then communicates what it thinks ought to be done to the Russian Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation in terms of continued support of the Project’s selected universities.