13 Project 5-100 Universities among the Top-100 QS BRICS 2015July 10, 2015
Project 5-100 universities are winning their way into elite positions among the best BRICS universities. From among the twenty Russian universities that hold rankings in the top 100 of QS University Rankings, thirteen represent the Project. This result is much better than in 2013 and 2014.
Novosibirsk State University is firmly rooted in the top 20 of the rating (19th place). Several universities have substantially improved their positions: Tomsk State (44th place), MIPT (45th), MEPhI (51st). As in 2014, the top 100 includes St. Petersburg Peter the Great State Polytechnic University (60th place), Higher School of Economics (63rd), Tomsk Polytechnic (64th), Kazan Federal University (72nd), Ural Federal University (77th), Lobachevski State University of Nizhny Novgorod(86th), MISiS (89th), Far-Eastern Federal University (98th). ITMO University has made it into the “premier league” for the first time (99th). LETI University is only a few positions short of the top 100 (101-110 group). Another participant in Project 5-100 – Korolev State Aerospace University is among the top 200 (151-200).
According to Zoya Zaytseva (Region Director, QS Eastern Europe and Central Asia), the increasingly active participation of Russian universities in various regional, specialized and other rankings speaks to the progress of the universities.
Lomonosov Moscow State University has maintained the highest position among Russian universities– it is in the top five of the ranking. The premier 100 BRICS universities also include St. Petersburg State University, Bauman Moscow Technical University, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Southern Federal University, Russian People’s Friendship University, and Plekhanov Russian Economics University. Like last year, the best BRICS university is Tsinghua University (China) – it is number one in the rankings.
This year the rankings cover twice as many universities as last year. During that previous period, QS ranked only 200 schools; this year – 400. Russia is represented by more than 90 universities; however, the number of Russian institutions in the top 200 remains unchanged – 53.
QS BRICS rankings are based on such indicators as academic reputation, reputation among employers, student-faculty ratio, percentage of employees with PhDs, number of publications per faculty member, number of citations per published article, and percentage of international students and faculty members.
Rankings make it possible to evaluate the best universities and serve as guidelines for university management, helping them to understand in which areas they are lacking and in what direction they should be going.” Speaking of the importance of development programs, especially Project 5-100, the Deputy Minister added: “These results that we are seeing are not an accident. They represent the outcome of a dedicated joint effort between the Ministry of Education and Science and the universities”.
Alevtina Chernikova (MISiS Rector) talked of how her university has managed to make significant progress in the rankings (the university climbed from 98th to 89th place) and noted that the main successes are related to the talent development program which was implemented at her university several years ago and has remained a vital force ever since. She also noted the importance of the “English language” and “Russian as a Foreign Language” programs at her institution. Thanks to several such strategic measures, MISiS has subsequently raised the bar in terms of recruiting international students. Moreover, Project 5-100 is opening up fresh opportunities for the creation of new science labs and is inviting some of the world’s best scientists to head the research endeavors that will ensue.
Mikhail Strikhanov (Head of MEPhI) noted that rankings are useful both for universities and for the educational system as a whole: “Ratings are a kind of a mirror where you need to look from time to time to notice problems.” He also said that Project 5-100 universities are searching for a balance between Russian traditions and international experience. Leaving no doubt that MEPhI’s experience of participation in rankings shows that research activity is an essential component for a lecturer, the Rector reaffirmed that “Project 5-100 helps Russian higher education institutions to adopt the best examples of foreign universities.”
Tatiana Leonova (Provost at FEFU) added that her university’s success in ratings is related to the fact that it has concentrated on a strategy of internationalization – a key area of the university’s development. She also elaborated on and illustrated some of the successful models for attracting foreign professors to work at a Russian university. FEFU is currently striving toward a very ambitious goal – 30% of foreign students by 2020.
Zoya Zaytseva (Regional Director, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, QS Ltd) lauded the fruit already born by efforts put forth on the part of government authorities -- and by the universities themselves -- towards raising awareness and enhancing the competitive standing of Russian universities internationally. However, according to Zaytseva, even higher positions could be attained if Russians who are relevant to the issue participated more actively in expert surveys conducted by QS.