BRICS Universities Development Strategy Discussed at an International Conference in St. PetersburgMay 18, 2015
On 14-15 May 2015, St. Petersburg hosted the International Conference "Education and Global Cities: BRICS’ Prospects” under the patronage of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia. The event was organized by the Higher School of Economics-St. Petersburg, Project 5-100, ITMO University and Ural Federal University.
The focus of the round table was on such issues as improvement of university governance systems, personnel-related initiatives of Project 5-100 and the experience of foreign universities in this sphere, succession pool programs etc.
Elena Chernyshkova pointed out the weaknesses in university policies for personnel recruitment and said that the market of academic vacancies should become more transparent.
Larisa Taradina, in turn, concentrated on a program for the administrative and managerial personnel which is being launched by Project 5-100 Office. Taradina emphasized that “The main results of these programs should be the appearance of a critical mass of professional university managers in Project 5-100 universities who can speak the same language and will be committed to finding proactive managerial solutions, as well as being capable of realizing the transformations needed to achieve the goals of the Project.”
A number of effective recipes for improvement of the university administrative functions were shared by Nicolas Maillard (Provost for International Affairs, Rio Grande do Sul University, Brazil), Yong Seung Reul (Vice President of Kukmin University, Korea and Head of the Korean Association for International Students), Hugo Jorta (Professor at the University of Hong Kong) and Maria Yudkevich (Provost at Higher School of Economics).
The presentation made by Maria Yudkevich aroused a lot of interest: she attempted to answer the question why Russian universities are facing difficulties with external academic recruitment, and she was able to propose some compelling solutions to these problems.
Concluding the meeting, Taradina said: “When we were planning this round table, we wanted to discuss different approaches to improving the qualifications of university managers. We are looking at this issue in a larger context of improvement of the entire governance system of Project 5-100 universities. The discussion has been interesting because it gave us an opportunity to look at the real experiences of universities from four different countries. For me, the most valuable achievement was to get feedback from the participants about our approach to developing a portfolio of qualification improvement programs for various types of administrative and managerial personnel”.
More than ten sessions and round tables were organized during the conference. Something in excess of 400 experts representing education, business and government, including Alexander Klimov (Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Russia), Victor Koksharov (Rector of Ural Federal University), Yaroslav Kuzminov (Rector of HSE), Xu Ninsheng (President of the University of Fudang, China), Dilvo Ilvo Ristoff (Policy and Bachelor Programs Director of the Ministry of Education of Brazil) participated in the conference. The conference opened a cycle of events in the field of education planned by Russia for the period of its chairmanship in BRICS.