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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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Golikova on Russia’s higher school international competitiveness: We were slow at start but managed to pave our way

October 12, 2018

The outcome of the general meeting of the Association of Global Universities would contribute to the actions foreseen for the presidential order.

At the general meeting of the Association of Global Universities that brings together 21 Project 5-100 universities, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said that universities have been developing and managing international engagement and academic mobility, dealing with international student recruitment, developing international research collaborations, and collaborations between universities and industry. Although Russia was a slow starter in creating global players, Project 5-100 is a step forward in increasing international competitiveness of national universities.

Since 2013, this country’s universities have been facing an increase in international students, expanding the range of degree programs on offer, providing high quality teaching and research, which in turn produce graduates with the skills needed by employers.

Project 5-100 universities have also reorganized their management systems, implemented new development strategies and hired some of the leading Russian and foreign researchers and teachers. According to Golikova, around 3, 000 foreign specialists, teachers and researchers, are employed in the Project 5-100 universities. Around 4,000 research and teaching professionals have experience of working in Russian and foreign universities and research institutions. Renewal of skills and expertise of the universities’ human resources has also contributed to the increased international visibility of the Russian universities. Experts say that there is an increase in the number of publications by Project 5-100 universities and their citations in the Web of Science and Scopus databases. Over the half of all the publications made in high-impact journals by Russian researchers have been made by ones employed in Project 5-100 universities.

However, Russian universities have to further strengthen their international competitiveness within the next ten years. Russia needs to expand its presence in the world university rankings. It was foreseen that competence centers and centers of excellence in agriculture, transport and logistics, biotechnology, clinical medicine, urbanism and architecture, design and communications would be set up.

Strengthening the development of higher education, becoming the drivers of research and innovation, providing the economy with qualified human resources, promoting quality secondary education and the career guidance programs for school students, that is also one of the significant challenges that the leading universities are currently facing. To effectively support the full implementation of the tasks described above, members of the Association of Global Universities stressed the need to develop a national research networking program. This program will be based on the principle of cooperation between the leading universities, regional universities and research institutions. Members of the Association also suggested that new education programs provide educational and networking opportunities through better integration and cooperation of leading and regional universities in order to improve the quality of education at the regional universities. They also suggest that established with a vision to cater to the demands of a particular sector and provide skilled human resources, Russia's specialized universities should be a part of the national industry development programs.

The Association of the Global Universities sees the need in integrating new participants to Project 5-100. “We suggest the extension of the Project to accepting new universities since 2020, because Russia needs to increase its presence in the global subject rankings in the key areas of scientific and technological development in which it hasn’t been represented yet, ” said the rector of Moscow Higher school of economics Yaroslav Kuzminov.

The Association, established in February 2014, brings together 21 Project 5-100 universities for reflection, synergy and action on common concerns in research and education.