Evgeniy Chuprunov about the QS Conference: “An Opportunity to Cooperate is a Synonym of Success”October 5, 2015
On 30 September, the two-day QS Worldwide conference concluded in Nizhniy Novgorod. The conference was organized by QS, Lobachevski University and Project Office 5-100. More than 400 delegates from 37 countries including representatives of about a hundred universities and experts in education participated in the event. Some of the speakers featured at the conference were as follows: Alexander Povalko (Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation), Evgeniy Chuprunov (Rector of Lobachevski University) and Mandy Mok (CEO at QS Asia). Povalko, whose responsibility it was to give a welcoming address, emphasized that “Such events, where a large number of talented, interesting and powerful people are gathered, helps us to accelerate.” This set the tone for the rest of the conference.
According to Mandy Mok, one of the key purposes of QS Worldwide is to show the attributes of Lobachevski University and other Project 5-100 universities to the global community. All in all, it can be said that the conference was a success, which is evidenced by the number of cooperation agreements signed during the event. These agreements are aimed at the internationalization of education, plus the implementation of joint education and research projects and student and researcher exchange programs.
The conference was highlighted by an education expo which brought together European, Asian, African and Australian universities. The expo pavilion of Project 5-100 represented 15 leading Russian universities.
Discussion panels were devoted to the creation of world-class universities in Russia and the world, development of science and innovation, internationalization of students and study programs, and the development of the global education market. The discussion panels featured as speakers various rectors and senior managers representing numerous universities from the UK, Japan, Turkey, Brazil, China, India, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Australia and many others.
A special session held on 29 September featured the presentation of the best practices of Project 5-100 universities. The focus of all presentations was on innovative research for improvement of the competitive status of the universities. Representatives of Lobachevski University led by Victor Kazantsev (Provost for Research and Innovation) talked about the research institutes at NNSU and the results of their research conducted under the leadership of world-famous scientists. The presentation emphasized the importance of inter-disciplinary collaboration in university research. Yulia Grinkevich (Director for Internationalization at HSE) dedicated her presentation to the distribution model of foreign-student support, while Dmitry Arsenyev (Provost for International Affairs at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic) shared his university’s experience of implementation of English-language education programs in partnership with leading international universities. Daria Kozlova (Provost for International Affairs at ITMO University) spoke about how her university manages to successfully combine internal and external transformation.
On 30 September, the attendees enjoyed a session on international academic mobility organized by Project Office 5-100. Higher education professionals from Germany, Turkey, Argentina and India provided information about the current academic mobility programs in their countries. Elena Stain from the non-profit organization “German-Russian Exchange” (DRA) covered the principal measures taken by the German government for the internationalization of national universities, including as part of her presentation the various academic excellence initiatives now in force. Firat Guzeldag – a featured speaker from Turkey – rendered an account of the government exchange program for students and lecturers called “Mevlana”. Rafael Patrigniani (Science and Technology Advisor at the Embassy of Argentina in Moscow) discussed the cooperation between Argentina and its MERCUSOR partners as well as with other countries, including Russia. Toward the end, the attendees analyzed the case of the Indian university Chitkara, which has launched a project to invite foreign professors to teach short specialized courses.
During the last session, John O’Leary (member of QS World University Rankings Management Board) organized a workshop where he explained the recent changes in the methodology of QS rankings. “It is possible that we might see some volatility throughout the entire year,” the expert warned. Mandy Mok thanked the organizers of the conference and noted the high level of presentations and of the session as a whole. Alexei Falaleev (Head of Expert Support for Project Office 5-100) expressed certainty that the meeting in Nizhniy Novgorod would enable professionals from different continents to find new partners and to start interesting projects. “An opportunity to cooperate is a synonym of success. We are cooperating better because we have gathered here”, Evgeniy Chuprunov (Rector of Lobachevski University) concluded.