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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 Universities Expand Representation, Move Up in Global Rankings in 2019

December 30, 2019

Russia has considerably expanded its representation in leading global university rankings in 2019. The progress was largely driven by institutions that participate in Project 5-100, a government-funded initiative aimed at making Russia's premier universities more competitive in the international marketplace.

In a major step forward, Russia put three more universities into the top 100 of the world's most followed rankings (Times Higher Education, THE; Quacquarelli Symonds, QS; and Academic Ranking of World Universities, ARWU), taking their total to 14, as the compilers acknowledged the growing international appeal of this country's higher education providers. Their first-ever top-100 spots in global subject rankings were won by Kazan Federal University (KFU), for Education (THE); the Moscow State Academy of Choreography, for Performing Arts (QS); and Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU), for Mechanical Engineering (ARWU). KFU and TPU are Project 5-100 participants.

A further 2019 achievement was the increase in the number of Russian universities sitting in the higher bands of major institutional rankings: from six to seven in the top 300, from 10 to 13 in the top 400 and from 15 to 16 in the top 500. This expansion was entirely due to Project 5-100 universities.

The latest progress in institutional rankings bodes well for meeting the goals of the National Project for Education which seeks to make Russia a top-10 country for the number of universities in the world top 500 by 2024. It is currently in 12th place.

Intrigue of the Year

2019 saw Novosibirsk State University (NSU), a Project 5-100 institution, improve its standings within the top 300 of the QS World University Rankings to finish second among Russian universities, a place hitherto always claimed by another player. One fellow Project 5-100 participant, Tomsk State University (TSU), also ended up within the top 300, while three others swelled Russia's top-400 contingent to 13. Within the 301-400 interval, the best Project 5-100 institution was the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), which stopped just short of the top 300, followed by National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) and National Research Nuclear University MEPhI. Three Project 5-100 participants, Ural Federal University (UrFU), KFU and RUDN University, broke the top 400 for the first time. In the 401-500 range, the project was represented by NUST MISIS, St Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) and ITMO University, the latter making its top-500 debut.

As many as 12 Project 5-100 institutions now sit within the top 500 of the QS World University Rankings, up from 11 in 2018. In all, these rankings list 25 Russian universities.

Expansion of the Year

More Project 5-100 institutions made their way into the THE World University Rankings in 2019 than in 2018, while MIPT and HSE consolidated their positions among the highest-ranked Russian universities, as each moved up into a higher band, with MIPT advancing from 251-300 to 201-250 and HSE from 301-350 to 251-300.

A total of 39 Russian universities showed up in THE's 2019 institutional rankings, five of them for the first time. Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) remained Russia's best performer.

The number of Project 5-100 universities featuring in THE's subject rankings increased from 18 to 19. They appeared in 11 subject league tables compared to 10 in 2018, with four Project 5-100 institutions making the top 100: MIPT in Computer Science and Physical Sciences, HSE in Business and Economics, ITMO University in Computer Science, and KFU in Education.

Upward Trend of the Year

In 2019, Project 5-100 universities reached out into further ARWU subject rankings, known as the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (GRAS). They achieved a ranking in 21 subjects compared to nine in 2017 and 17 in 2018.

Project 5-100 institutions built up their presence in Automation and Control, Business Administration, Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, and Psychology.

Their concentration was highest in Physics, Mathematics, Materials Science and Engineering, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Instruments Science and Technology, and Chemical Engineering and Chemistry.

Two Project 5-100 participants secured their first-ever top-100 finish in ARWU subject rankings. They were TPU (in Mechanical Engineering) and ITMO University (in Automation and Control), which joined NSU, NUST MISIS and HSE to bring to five the number of Project 5-100 universities in the top 100 of ARWU subject rankings.

In all, the 2019 ARWU subject rankings featured 15 Russian universities, 11 of them participating in Project 5-100.

Project 5-100 also accounted for nine out of eleven Russian universities listed in ARWU's institutional rankings.

Actual Performance Versus Target at 2019 Year-End

As of the end of 2019, the world's most influential university rankings of all types (overall, by faculty area and by subject) listed a total of 48 Russian institutions, exceeding that year's target of 47 set by the Young Professionals Federal Project. As many as 11 universities had held a top-100 place for at least two consecutive years, also beating the 2019 target.