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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 to Train Workforce of the Future, from Distance Education Sup-port Specialists to Applied Political Scientists

June 1, 2020

 As they gear up for the 2020/2021 enrollment campaign, which will be conducted online, Project 5-100 universities are advertising innovative degree programs to be launched in the fall semester.

With schools and colleges going remote, demand has spiked for distance education support specialists who can help teaching staff and students select, set up and run distance learning hardware and software and deal with other challenges of online instruction. St Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) is looking to tap into that with a pioneering master's program in digital tutoring. It aims to produce highly employable graduates, trained in the use of modern digital learning technologies as well as in the provision of RD&D support and psychological and educational counseling.

The coronavirus pandemic has made governments and corporations seek experts to develop socioeconomic forecasts and policy advice. To meet this need, the University of Tyumen is rolling out a master's program called “Analytics and Consulting in International Relations”. Its state-of-the-art curriculum contains such subjects as cybersecurity and ethics in the global digital environment. The program supervisor, Professor Tomasz Blusiewicz, believes that, once the pandemic-related restrictions are lifted, Tyumen Oblast will see a strong boost to its trade and economic cooperation with Europe and China, which should enable the program's graduates to carve out a lucrative career in business or other areas.

At Novosibirsk State University (NSU), theorists and practitioners have collaborated to craft a master's program in applied political science. Associate Professor Dmitriy Bereznyakov, a teacher in the program, points out that modern-day applied political scientists must have a sound understanding of political institutions and their operations, an ability to act as analysts and consultants, and good political communication skills. A large number of the courses taught within the program are digitally enabled.

Technological universities that participate in Project 5-100 have cooperated with industry partners on many of their new offerings. Thus, Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) is launching a MSc degree program in IoT and digital manufacturing, in conjunction with, among others, South Korea's high-tech giant Samsung. According to Associate Professor Aleksandr Filipas, who will oversee the program, students will gain a thorough knowledge of the technology and machinery involved in digital manufacturing. Graduates will have the capability to provide integrated IT support for an entire business or production facility.

ITMO University has worked together with MTS, one of Russia's major telecoms companies, to design a curriculum for a specialization in conversational intelligence technology that is available to students majoring in system and application software. Only those with a basic knowledge of AI and some coding experience are eligible to apply, but, while the enrollment requirements are admittedly stringent, the prize is worth fighting for, as students will get a chance to participate in MTS' research projects, complete internships with the company, write articles and theses under the supervision of its experienced staff, attend the hackathons and master classes that it runs and develop AI-based applications.

Another Project 5-100 institution, St Petersburg Electrotechnical University (ETU) “LETI”, has teamed up with Perm National Research Polytechnic University (PNRPU) and Kazan National Research Technical University (KNRTU-KAI) to create Russia's first online master's degree program in service robotics. Each university is taking care of several disciplines taught as part of the program which combines distance courses, virtual lab work and online seminars and practicums. Later, an English-language version may be developed for the benefit of international distance students.

There is good news for BA hopefuls, too. National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) is offering three new programs in African and Oriental studies. It will become one of the few universities around the world that train Mongolia experts, equally well versed in the country's current status and in its history and culture. Even in their junior years, those working towards a bachelor's degree will have an opportunity to join graduate students on field trips to Kazakhstan, Turkey, Italy, etc.

The close involvement of industry and research partners has ensured that the new degree programs being offered by Project 5-100 universities are practice-oriented. A prime example of a fruitful interaction between academia, industry and science, they are designed to equip students.