World-Class Russian Education!

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.


Participant reviews of Higher Education Internationalization in the 21st Century: US University Experience Workshop (June 6-17, 2016, Boston)

04 октября 2016 года

NSU, Elena Limanova (Vice Dean of the Economics Dept. Master programs)

First two Master programs in English were launched at NSU in 2013. There are ten now, and although the university is learning from their experience, their implementation is still an administrative challenge at all levels.

My project aims at developing such education program internationalization methods that could be both the result and the means of strategic management. The fundamental idea here is to analyze internal and external factors for the university and develop new English education programs, formulate content, internationalization and marketing policies for them. The Boston workshop helped me develop an action plan and set priorities for this project.

I will need a broader understanding of current internationalization techniques and practices, European experience of education marketing, assessment of education outcomes, cross-cultural competences of students and university staff.

I’d like to thank 5-100 Project Office and Boston College for this unique experience – none of us has a degree in academic excellence, but we are all involved in internationalizing our universities. The opportunity to transcend the way of trial and error (which is our usual way of tackling problems), to address them in a systematic manner, with a clear vision and understanding of key success factors – this is how I would describe the result of the workshop.

TPU, Valery Rukavishnikov (Assistant Professor, Head of International Dual-Diploma Master Program at the Institute of Natural Resources at TPU)

My project is designed to aid the development of master programs targeting international markets as well as promotion of current dual diploma programs at Tomsk Polytechnic.

I have an understanding of comprehensive internationalization strategies now, thanks to the workshop. In particular, I realize what analysis should be performed prior to launch of an international Master program, how to assess its prospects, and the range of issues to explore in order to properly internationalize the university as a whole.

During the European stage, I intend to learn more cases of implementation of various strategies (from idea to execution). I am interested in marketing strategies of European institutions, particularly, in selecting and winning in international markets.

TPU, Leonid Sukhikh (Researcher at Physics&Technology Institute, in charge of internationalization of a Master program in Nuclear Medicine)

My project focuses on developing an international Masters program in Nuclear Medicine based on the current joint program of Tomsk Polytechnic and Siberian State Medical University (Tomsk). This will be a top-notch international program for training experts in nuclear medicine and radiation therapy – fields that require an in-depth understanding of both medicine and physics.

Participation in the workshop in Boston helped me learn about modern tendencies in international higher education, as seen in the US, and the general trends in the European Union. I found group work on internationalization cases a remarkably interesting part of the curriculum. I am particularly grateful for visits to the leading global universities located in Boston, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

My expectation regarding the European workshop is that we shall learn how initially non-English universities go about developing international programs and attracting students who speak other languages.

SFU, Vera Upirova (Deputy Vice Rector for Science and International Collaboration)

The workshop made it clear that internationalization was more than academic mobility or courses in English. It is a way of increasing quality of education and research. It became evident that quantitative variables of internationalization should be secondary to qualitative ones, such as program content, resulting competencies, and quality of education. Comprehensive internationalization, systematic involvement of students, administration and faculty, became an important insight. This is dramatically different from the patchwork of international events often presented as internationalization. This is our first exposure to the approach that emphasizes internationalization of the university environment, curriculum and training methods as well as development of cross-cultural competences over mobility.

We are planning to explore academic program marketing, student recruitment and network collaboration during the workshop in Europe.

Upon program completion, we shall propose internationalization self-assessment exercises and governance changes to the university leaders. Our institution has a development program that calls for increasing the number of foreign students and joint publications, but we do not have an internationalization strategy per se. It needs to be developed and integrated into the overall strategy.

SPbPU, Tatiana Kovalenko (Head of International University Collaboration Dept.)

My project aims at developing a well-balanced model for managing elaboration, promotion and execution of international short-term programs. It will serve to internationalize SPbPU through diversification of faculty and students, review and optimization of partnerships, fund-raising, increased flexibility of education programs, campus internationalization and service development.

The workshop in Boston was very practical as it improved my grasp of fundamental concepts and deepened understanding of internationalization. Thanks to structured information on global higher education trends, student mobility, education quality assessment and improvement, intra-university internationalization, the general approach to project development became clearer. Visits to universities were a great opportunity to analyze various education paradigms and compare them to my institution’s.

My plan for the coming workshop in Europe is to focus on marketing and fund-raising for international education programs. I am also interested in the structure and distribution of roles in international offices of European universities; I will identify high-priority areas for collaboration with SPbPU.

I find both the idea and the format of the program very effective. Every one of our mentors found her own way to inspire us to develop professionally. Flawlessly organized visits to well-known universities, meetings with their top leaders, as well as work in small groups (where we shared ideas and discovered common interests) added the wow factor to the program.

SUSU, Alexander Deyev (Project Office Director)

My project focuses on recruitment of talented and gifted international students (T&GIS) for regular and short-term programs. SUSU needs to learn to discover their priorities and requirements when they are still choosing a university, develop a system of grants, coach faculty in understanding the role of T&GIS in university development.

As we reviewed all the key elements of internationalization, it became evident that opportunities for interaction with leading professors are a key factor in recruitment of T&GIS. This insight will be leveraged in my project. During the European workshop, I will focus on recruitment techniques and preferences used by European institutions to attract T&GIS.

The workshop in Boston was unique. It was my first time at an event of such high caliber. Its uniqueness stems from the combination of the program and faculty (recognized leaders in internationalization) with professional communications within the group. Program curator from Project 5-100 professionally engineered our internal communications and we were able to learn a lot from each other. Delegates vary in rank and area of responsibility. Having networked, we can now learn first-hand about internationalization strategies of other 5-100 universities or their operational best practices, consult each other and find solutions much faster. I believe our new community is a key outcome of this program.

Samara University, Ilya Kudryavtsev (Dean of Electronics and Instrumentation Dept.), Anna Stepashkina (Vice Dean)

We revamped our project as we studied US university internationalization experience and compared notes with our peers from Project 5-100. Now we consider internationalization a multi-layer and systemic lever for improving the quality of education that can be used as part of a well-aligned strategy.

Our project involves creation of a consulting group that will help develop and implement new international education programs and maintain the infrastructure required. In particular, we’re talking about services needed for remote education and marketing analysis of the context of a particular program.

We expect the European workshop to provide examples of effective internationalization of Western European universities and management of relations with EU bodies, NGOs and governmental organizations in the field of higher education.

Samara University, Victoria Levchenko (Foreign Languages and Professional Communications Chair)

My project is entitled ‘Development of an Institutional Language Policy at Samara University’. The workshop provided a new impetus to the development of an institutional language policy based on a detailed analysis of academia internationalization trends around the world. It enabled a better grasp of higher education internationalization and a conviction that development and implementation of an institutional language policy is the right route to increasing competitiveness of Samara University.

Project work in Boston helped me identify key areas to explore in order to address the challenges of enhancing university competitiveness and provide for sustainable development of such processes as strategic planning of language education in line with international standards, development of academic communications mentality among students and faculty, diversification of language services for international projects and sustainable development of the “university population”, and creation of a foreigner-friendly academic community on the campus.

Given the experience of European peers in development and implementation of comprehensive internationalization components, I expect to learn more about the strategies deployed in European universities. Combination of the US and European workshops on higher education internationalization will enable comparisons and provide a broader view of the challenges.

Samara University, Olga Esipova (Head of Employer Relations Dept.)

My project aims to develop international summer schools in order to gradually enhance Samara University’s relations with overseas institutions and support campus internationalization.

The new knowledge acquired during the higher education internationalization program helped me develop a holistic view of sought-after modern education. It became clear that successful foreign student recruitment requires exploration of their selection criteria and customer centricity. This is what I will focus on in my project.

During the second module of the program I intend to study European practices and in particular, academic mobility of students and faculty.

Samara University, Professor Sergey Vostokin (Subdepartment of Information Systems and Technologies, Head of Master Program for International Students)

My project focuses on development and implementation of a Master program on efficient use of modern Intel software and hardware solutions.

The workshop in Boston improved my understanding of strategies for development and positioning of an international Master-level program, as well as employer relations and blended learning.

Overall, I think very highly of the workshop and the importance of internationalization for evolution of higher education. I would like to note the richness of the curriculum and the diversity of experts from different countries who supported it, along with visits to US leading universities which provided a flavor of global trends.

KFU, Victoria Vlasicheva (Head of International Activities, PR Dept.) Inna Schetnikova (Head of Analysis Group, Prospective Development Center)

Our project is called “KFU Internationalization Strategy 2016-2020”, it is designed to make a very good university even better. We want to apply the learning from the first workshop in Internationalization of Higher Education in the 21st Century series to make KFU’s internationalization activities more comprehensive and precise, implement home internationalization and curriculum internationalization practices. We emphasize recruitment of better foreign students and faculty as well as increasing the number of joint research and education projects in order to make the university more attractive and competitive both domestically and globally.

The workshop in Boston gave us inspiration and insight into the most relevant internationalization goals. During the European workshop, we expect to learn about a system of higher education that is dramatically different from Russian and American ones. Internationalization experience of European universities, possibly akin to us in mentality, will be factored in as we adapt and instrumentalize the Strategy.

TSU, Olga Maslennikova (Director of the Joint International Education Program Center), Zhanna Lagunova (Deputy International Relations Director), Natalia Zhadovets (Director of Language Competences Center)

Our project serves to analyze and streamline TSU internationalization in such areas as student and faculty mobility, research, improvement in quality of international education programs, and development of international collaboration. A document describing an internationalization model that will be an integral element of TSU’s Program for Enhancing International Competitiveness is an important deliverable of the project.

Boston workshop was intensive and productive; it helped us set TSU internationalization priorities for the near future. We witnessed implementations of internationalization in leading American universities and realized the impact of current transformations at TSU on the development of various aspects of internationalization. We expect the experience and knowledge of this workshop (and the upcoming European one) to help us identify top priorities for research and education internationalization at TSU, streamline and fine-tune shared services that support internationalization.

I believe a particular forte of the workshop is its sharp focus on the needs of Project 5-100 participants as well as numerous interactions with mentors and other participants, which made it much more productive than a lecture could be.

MISiS, Vasif Faradzhov (translator)

My project encompasses a system of measures (from the general to the more specific) that will promote MISiS internationalization: proposals for a consistent and diversified university internationalization strategy, strengthening of a friendly English-speaking environment on the campus, upgrade and launch of new services for English-speaking foreign students. It also includes a program for internationalization of Bachelor programs in Russian. The idea is to invite third-year students to chaperon English-speaking Master students (their number grows every year) and improve their own language skills. Another facet of my project covers recommendations for training International Office staff in internationalization principles and tools.

LETI, Renat Yalyshev (Head of Preparatory Department for Foreign Students)

My project is entitled “Internationalization of LETI as a Way of Improving Research and Education Activities”. The workshop provided an opportunity for comprehensive development of this idea. Nothing can beat the combination of theory delivered by leading experts with first-hand experience of its diverse applications in leading US universities.

I was particularly interested in the peculiarities of commercial activities of American institutions, which have woven education and money-making together. I was thrilled to study the experience of MIT, which focuses on the needs of Master and Postgraduate students who later promote MIT’s values and interests in other universities and contribute directly or indirectly to its coffers and reputation.

Program format enables “live” exploration, but more importantly, helps develop tailor-made solutions rather than copy others’ practices. This is key, because nothing but tailor-made solutions coupled with Soviet and Russian education traditions will help our universities become leaders and attract gifted students and researchers, as well as other leading universities. Opportunities for interaction with our peers from leading Russian universities impact our professional development much more than numerous joint programs and network projects, and are a distinctive feature of the program.

SFU, Irina Sukovataya (Head of International Education Program Group, Deputy Director of the Institute of Fundamental Biology and Biotechnology, Assistant Professor)

My project aims at finding modern and innovative ways of re-engineering SFU education environment based on comparative analysis of leading US and European universities’ concepts and experience. Project objectives include formulation of a new model for the Department of International Education Programs and development of a pool of new international education programs.

The US workshop provided comprehensive understanding of global trends of higher education internationalization in a turbulent environment, as well as peculiarities of US tertiary education, and best practices in creating and managing international education programs. A significant part of the program focused on management and assessment of quality and outcomes of international programs, as well as trends in international student mobility. Adaptation of theory to own university context was supported by practicality of most sessions, access to expertise throughout the course, case studies and individual project work. Consultation with expert mentors, which has continued after the end of the workshop, is another important project enabler. Given the academic setting and globality of the issues discussed, I have been impressed by the experts’ and mentors’ authentic interest in my project and helpful disposition.

PFUR, Olga Andreeva (Director of Department for International Research and Education Collaboration)

Two weeks at Boston College brought new knowledge and experience: lectures by Philip Altbach, the founder of the Boston College Center for International Higher Education, and Center Director Hans de Wit, new vision of modern engineering education from Richard Miller, President of Olin College, and student-centric education at Northeastern University. Consolidation of the Russian group into a creative lab on higher education internationalization (program delegates come from 12 Project 5-100 participants) is a somewhat unintended effect. New contacts and experience expand our capabilities and  give assurance that we shall be successful in internationalizing Russian higher education.

PFUR, Elena Gorozhankina (Assistant to Vice-Rector for International Academic Mobility)

The workshop helped delegates grasp all the global and institutional aspects of internationalization. In-class opportunities for analysis and discussion of applicability of various internationalization strategies were particularly precious.

Quite in line with the current Russian trends, US experience illustrated in fine detail the impact of internationalization on higher education.

An important objective for the People’s Friendship University of Russia is to create a system that would provide stability to a group of internal initiatives related to foreign student recruitment. As Boston workshop showed, project performance benefits from planning based on target audience needs rather than individual system elements. System will be completed in 2016 during the second workshop (in Europe) and tested in 2017.