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The goal of Project 5-100 is to maximize the competitive position of a group of leading Russian universities in the global research and education market.

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Project 5-100 Governing Body Concludes Fruitful Meeting in Moscow

October 26, 2019

The Council on Global Competitiveness Enhancement of Russian Universities among Global Leading Research and Education Centres, which acts as the governing body of Project 5-100, held the closing session of its 12th meeting on October 26, 2019, in Moscow.

During the meeting, Project 5-100 universities briefed the council on the progress made in implementing their 'road maps', or sets of measures designed to enhance their competitiveness in the global education marketplace.

The council issued a recommendation to the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education that all the 21 Project 5-100 participants should continue receiving government support in 2020. The universities were once again divided into three groups of seven each, based on three indicators: performance in global rankings; teaching & research, international and financial outcomes; and ratings awarded by the council. Each group is entitled to a differentiated subsidy from the Russian federal budget. 

Group 1 is composed of National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), ITMO University, National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (MEPhI), the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), National University of Science and Technology MISIS (NUST MISIS), Tomsk State University (TSU) and Novosibirsk State University (NSU).

Group 2 includes Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU), Kazan Federal University (KFU), Sechenov University, Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU), Ural Federal University (UrFU), RUDN University and the University of Tyumen.

Group 3 comprises Lobachevsky University, Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), South Ural State University (SUSU), Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University “LETI”, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University (IKBFU), Samara University and Siberian Federal University (SibFU).

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, who heads the council, said that, while the distribution of the universities between the groups was little changed from 2018, there had been shifts in rankings within the groups. She pointed out two major moves within Group 1, ITMO University climbing from fifth to second place and NSU dropping three positions to seventh. The members of Group 2 mostly retained their relative standings, whereas Group 3 saw SUSU advance strongly and SibFU lose ground.

Given that the amount of government funding in 2020 will, according to Tatyana Golikova, match last year's total of about R10 bln, the Group 1 universities will receive approximately R900 mln apiece, with their counterparts from Groups 2 and 3 getting some R450 mln and R120-130 mln each, respectively. For 2021, the government has penciled in a R5 bln increase in allocations to Project 5-100's successor, a revamped program for enhancing the competitiveness of Russian higher education (the remit of Project 5-100 terminates next year).

As a follow-up to the meeting, the council will advise the government to adjust the list of requirements for a competition to select participants for the new program. This revision, says Mikhail Kotyukov, Russia's Minister of Science and Higher Education, is needed to make certain that the expanded program will embrace universities from all federal districts (administrative units comprising several regions). He expects 50-60 universities from various regions to take part, which should ensure that each federal district is represented. This would involve altering selection rules and, possibly, the procedure for allocating budget funds. According to Mikhail Kotyukov, these issues must be carefully studied as early as next month with a view to resolution.

Tatyana Golikova, too, stressed the importance of getting regional universities admitted into the program. That the council meeting was attended by governors and administration officials from several regions which host Project 5-100 universities, is, in her opinion, a clear recognition of the major contribution that the universities are making to the development of their home regions.

The new competition will be held in 2020 under the Young Professionals Federal Project that forms part of the National Project for Education. In line with the revamped program for enhancing the competitiveness of Russian higher education, no fewer than 30 universities are slated to become recipients of government funds from 2021, with at least one institution drawn from each federal district.

Earlier, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev emphasized the importance of Project 5-100 to the advancement of higher education in Russia.