Russian Universities Maintain Undisputed Lead in QS EECA RankingsOctober 22, 2015
QS has recently released the second QS University Rankings: Emerging Europe and Central Asia (EECA). Two Project 5-100 universities are now among the top ten: Novosibirsk State University (NSU), which last year was the sole representative of the Project in the TOP 10, currently holds 2nd place and has been joined by MIPT, which occupies the 10th position.
Other 5 Project universities have reached the TOP 50: NRU MEPhI (22nd place), TSU (27th), NRU HSE (31st), Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic (35th), and TPU (43rd). The top 100 also includes KFU (52nd), UrFU (59th), Lobachevski University (60th), MISiS (75th), FEFU (86th) and ITMO University (90s).
Lomonosov Moscow State University is still ahead of everyone – it is in the top 5 of the QS EECA Ranking.
Alexander Povalko (Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Russia) comments: “We see that Russia is the leader with 4 universities in the top 10. Half of these universities represent Project 5-100. The best Eastern European universities with the strongest academic traditions are main competition for our top universities. Novosibirsk State demonstrates stable results – for two years in a row it has been second only to MSU. MIPT’s breakthrough deserves special recognition as an impressive example of how a narrowly-specialized university managed to get into the TOP 10 and beat other classical universities. Our country is an absolute leader for the total number of universities listed in the rankings: approximately 1/3 of 150 universities in the Rankings are from Russia. Almost all Project 5-100 have got into the top 100 and almost all have improved their positions compared to last year”.
Mikhail Fedorchuk (NSU Rector) offers the opinion that “this year, Novosibirsk State has strengthened its position in the QS EECA Rankings by taking second place. Last year, NSU shared second/third place with Univerzita Karlova (Prague). Without a doubt, this result is a product of joint effort, of the whole university working as a team. It is also indicates a growing recognition of the professionalism of its faculty members. NSU’s participation in Project 5-100 gives us additional opportunities to maintain research and develop international contacts for our teachers, improve new, modern approaches to education, and expand our innovation activities. NSU’s success wouldn’t be possible without its close integration with such partner research institutes as Akademgorodok and the Novosibirsk Technopark.”
Sergei Kireev (Dean at MEPhI) explains his university’s success by its participation in the Project. (The university has managed to improve its result in the Rankings by jumping 12 positions.) “We rose from 34th place in 2014 to 22nd. It is important how we achieved it which, without a doubt, was by participating in Project 5-100, thanks to which MEPhI is undergoing significant changes relating to its transformation – in the sphere of management, internationalization of science and education, and in academic mobility. Such success is also explained by the greater involvement of our staff in the Academic excellence program. I hope that Project 5-100 will continue its development. We are certain that the MEPhI team will not only achieve great success in the leading rankings, but in the building of a world-class university as well.”
Dmitry Sukhushin, Provost for Development Programs at TSU chimes in that “Competition has become more aggressive. Nevertheless, our university has risen even higher.”
Yaroslav Kuzminov (Rector of HSE) reflects that “International university rankings traditionally give a lot of weight to university reputation, which it takes years to build. We are happy to see that, despite our youth, the international expert community has evaluated our achievements highly.”
Other luminaries who were in attendance also ventured their opinions.
“QS’s interest in Russian, Central Asian and East European universities reflects the fact that the universities of this region are becoming more and more popular in the global education arena. We are implementing active policies aimed at enhancing the academic reputation of Polytechnic University and at enhancing the reputation of our alumni among employers, which is the foundation of this rating methodology. Over the last year, our achievements have got more recognition from the global academic community. We are active in the international sphere, we are developing the network of foreign universities who are or will become our strategic partners. We understand our competitive advantages and are actively developing them,” said Andrei Rudskoy, Deputy Rector at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic.
The role of Project 5-100 was noted by Valery Charushin (Vice President of RAS, Chairman of the Ural Branch of RAS, member of the Supervisory Board of UrFU): “Project 5-100 is very important because it creates a competitive environment for all Russian universities. Participating in the Project, competing annually for a place among Russia’s best 15 universities, material rewards depending on the position of the university on the list – this is excellent motivation and opportunity for development”.
Zoya Zaytseva (Regional Director, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, QS) commented on the progress of Russian universities in QS EECA: “Many factors could be a reason. One of such factors is Project 100. Since the Ministry of Education and Science selected a group of 15 universities and started working on improving their international competitive abilities, we have seen greater understanding of the importance of participation in rankings and a greater understanding of the fact that universities can use their positions in rankings to their advantage”.
While compiling the rankings, QS specialists considered the fact that different universities from different countries may have specific development priorities, which are different from those of West European and American universities. In light of this reasoning, a special methodology was developed for the EECA Rankings. In addition to standard criteria (but with different weights), the methodology relies on three new indicators: “effectiveness of Internet resources according to Webometrics”, “ratio between the number of faculty members and the number of publications” and “percentage of employees with PhDs”.