Minister of Science and Higher Education reported on Russian universities' developmentNovember 12, 2018
The number of Russian universities included in world university rankings has increased three times in recent six years. This was reported on Monday, November 12th, by Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Mikhail Kotyukov speaking at a regular meeting of the Russian President with Government members. The agenda also included education, science and international competitiveness issues.
Minister of Science and Higher Education Mikhail Kotyukov reminded that the competitiveness enhancement program – a national project of the Government of the Russian Federation aiming to maximize the competitive position of a group of leading Russian universities in the global research and education market (Project 5-100) – had been launched by Presidential Decree of the Russian Federation No. 599 of May 7, 2012 on measures for implementing the state policy in education and science.
As of now, the Project 5-100 participants include 21 universities (selected based on the results of two contests in 2013 and 2015). All of them represent various Russian regions fr om the Kaliningrad Region to the Far East. According to Mikhail Kotyukov, the number of Russian institutions in the world university rankings has considerably grown in recent years. Thus, 28 Russian universities are ranked among the top 500 in the world, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, QS World University Rankings and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. In 2012, that number was only seven. In this particular case, those imply both institutional and subject (faculty) rankings. Today, there are 15 leading Russian universities listed in the top-500 of global higher educational institutions, 19 Russian universities feature in the top-200 of the world university rankings by subject (faculty), while eleven universities make the top-100. “Rankings are not an end in themselves. Yet, we should be aware of where we used to be on the global arena, wh ere we are now, and what we are striving to achieve,” said the Minister. He also emphasized an important role played by the universities participating in Project 5-100: they are substantially influencing the entire higher education system of the country. “They are developing in a comprehensive manner,” he said. “This is improvement of education quality, development of research culture in universities’ faculty, integration with enterprises and industries and internationalization,” stressed the Minister.
Since 2013, the universities participating in the Project have implemented over 1,300 educational programs carried out jointly with Russian and foreign partners, accomplished more than 3,000 research projects under the guidance of leading foreign and Russian scientists and/or together with promising scientific organizations, as well as nearly 5,000 joint research and development projects with Russian and international technology companies. These are the universities of the Project that account for about one third of all Russian publications in international databases. According to the results for 2017, every fifth foreign student is studying in these universities.
“One of our goals is to enhance education, its internationalization, development of research, encourage closer relations between universities and industrial partners, and more intense innovative activities. The work being carried out in these areas is undoubtedly promoting the Russian higher education and research on the global arena,” stressed Mikhail Kotyukov speaking at the meeting of the Russian President with the Government.
Yet federal efforts over the last several years have focused on increasing quality education and research, there is room for further development in addressing the teaching quality and internationalization, enhancing research and global research collaboration, improving publications performance in university faculties and transforming a faculty to one with a strong research profile.
Project 5-100 is actively developing; best practices of the universities participating in the Project are being spread among other Russian universities stimulating their entry into world markets. However, the Minister believes that Russia should not be complacent. “Today, a lot of countries are competing for talents and best technology solutions. Therefore, we should definitely continue our efforts aiming to enhance the competitiveness of the Russian higher education and science,” emphasized the Minister. He also reminded that the Russian higher education system has a clear goal: by 2024, Russia should be among the top-10 countries by competitiveness of its universities. In addition, Russia should be among the top-5 leading world states carrying out research and developments in the priority areas of research and technological development. It is also essential to increase at least twice the number of foreign students learning in Russia and to establish at least 15 world‑class research and education centers.