Minister Reviews Performance by National Projects for Science and Education, Universities' Rankings Progress in 2019December 26, 2019
Some 50 Russian universities now show up in global institutional, faculty area and subject rankings, Russia's Minister for Science and Higher Education Mikhail Kotyukov told journalists at a press conference hosted by the TASS news agency in Moscow as he reviewed the progress made by the National Projects for Science and Education in their inaugural year.
Mikhail Kotyukov pointed out that many of the highest-ranked Russian universities are based outside Moscow and St Petersburg, accounting for nearly half of the approximately 50 universities listed in the major global rankings.
Some credit for this performance, the minister noted, should go to a variety of initiatives launched by the central and regional authorities, such as the roll-out of a network of federal and national research universities. The federal government's other steps to promote scientific endeavor included holding competitions to award large grants, locally known as megagrants, to attract leading international scientists and endow state-of-the-art research labs, in line with Government Order #220 dated April 9, 2010, that deals with research and innovation funding and incentives.
2010 was also marked by measures to foster academia-industry cooperation in high-technology areas, as envisaged by Government Order #218 that lays down rules for issuing subsidies to promote collaboration between universities, state-run research institutions and manufacturers on integrated projects for setting up high-technology production facilities. Such projects are covered by a sub-program titled “Infrastructure for Science, Technology and Innovation” which makes part of the government's broader Program for S&T Development.
Mikhail Kotyukov attributed Russia's advances in global university rankings to the creation of an institution of 'anchor' regional universities as well as to several other undertakings. These include Project 5-100, a government-funded initiative designed to make this country's premier universities more competitive in the international marketplace. Its participants are eligible for special forms of state support, and the government is committed to further efforts in this direction, seeing that Project 5-100 is already bearing fruit, said Mikhail Kotyukov.
He added that no fewer than 80 universities would shortly be selected to serve as anchors for core industries in at least 40 Russian regions. This means that the program will involve nearly one in every two subjects of the Russian Federation, as this country's constituent entities are called. According to Mikhail Kotyukov, it is imperative for each federal district (an administrative unit which comprises several subjects of the federation) to become home to at least one world-class university, and that soon. Regions, he explained, could hardly be expected to prosper unless they built up their research and education capacity to stop the more talented young people leaving, possibly never to come back.
Earlier Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova told the Presidential Council for Strategic Development and National Projects that, while Project 5-100 would terminate in 2020, the year 2021 should see the start of a new competitiveness-enhancing program that would enroll as many as 30 universities.