Moscow hosts a seminar-conference on fulfillment of the action plans within the competitiveness enhancement programs of the university-winnersOctober 2, 2014
From 29 September until 1 October 2014 the “Izmaylovo” Hotel Complex in Moscow hosted the 7th seminar-conference on the fulfillment of the action plans within the competitiveness enhancement programs (roadmaps) which attracted more than 200 representatives of the university participants of the Project 5-100 and almost 70 Russian and international experts.
Waldemar Siwinski – President of the Perspektywy Education Foundation and Vice-President of IREF Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence (the world’s leading organization in the sphere of analysis of university ratings and methods of development of the educational and academic leadership of universities) – made a presentation during the plenary session entitled “Strategic planning of creation of a world-class university”.
His presentation, entitled “Ratings as an element of the global landscape of higher education,” focused on the development trends of modern higher education: rapid internationalization of university staff in leading countries, development of international educational programs, creation of multinational research teams as well as the link between these processes and the growth of academic productivity and recruitment of international students. Global ratings help to track the performance effectiveness of the universities in these spheres in general and in various specific areas in particular.
The staff members of the world’s leading printed publication in the sphere of higher education – Times Higher Education (THE) – also spoke at the plenary session. Their team was led by Phil Baty – Editor-at-large of the rating THE World University Rankings. During their presentations they announced the BRICS & Emerging Economies Universities Summit – an event organized by Times Higher Education and Project 5-100 -- which will be held in Moscow on 3-4 December this year.
At the meeting of the project offices of the universities on 29 September the focus was on preparation of the roadmaps – the second stage of the competitiveness enhancement program of the participants in the Project 5-100 for 2015-2016.
Between 30 September and 1 October more than 20 separate events were organized: educational modules, training seminars, roundtables, meetings of the working groups of the Project Office and networking cooperation of the universities on a large number of topics.
Among these events was a two-day seminar “Rating and enhancement of global competitiveness of Russian universities” organized by IREG and involving experts from 6 countries. The key presentation at this seminar was made by Alex Usher – President of Higher Education Strategy Associates and Chief Editor of the Global Higher Education Strategy Monitor (Canada). The seminar involved the representatives of the leading “new wave” global ratings who use interesting results and methodologies - U-Multiranks, the Leiden Rating, Webometric, and URAP.
The fact that Russian universities have been frequently re-named and combined and the fact that their full official names are very complicated is one of the problems noted by the experts. This leads to discrepancies and misinterpretations when the universities are mentioned and increases the possibility of technical errors by the compilers of the ratings when they consolidate data from various years. Unfortunately, therefore, due to the loss of a significant portion of initial data, the positions of Russian universities in the ratings may slide below what should be their actual level.
The participants in the seminar had the opportunity to see the indicators of the Russian universities which were left out of the official ratings. Numerous discrepancies which were not clear to the foreign compilers of the ratings were transparently obvious to the Russian experts. This is why one of the chief results of the seminar has been the beginning of a process of proofreading and clarification of initial data for the ratings by the university-participants in the Project.
The one-day educational module “Development of effective international marketing and international student recruitment functions” was organized on 30 September by the American consulting company Brenn-White Group (BWG) under the leadership of its director and founder – Megan Brenn-White. Four foreign experts took part in the educational module. This interactive educational workshop was a continuation of a series of workshops in international recruitment started this year at the conference of the European Association of International Education (EAIE) in Prague. One of the key goals of the BWG initiative is to support the university-participants in the Project 5-100 during the period of transition to international student recruitment schedules, and to enhance the appeal of the English-language materials of the universities and the effectiveness of their student recruitment efforts.
Another educational module was organized on 1 October for HR directors and heads of personnel and academic recruitment services of the Project 5-100. It was led by a group of experts spearheaded by Elena Cheryshkova – Partner in Odgers Berndtson Educational Practice. The topic of the workshops was “How to enhance the potential of an international management team of the university during the period of transformation”. This module is the third in a series of 4 one-day modules on international recruitment and HR organized in 2014 by Odgers Berndtson in cooperation with experts from various other organizations.
The dates of the seminar-conference coincided with those s of the VUZPROMEXPO-2014 expo; accordingly, much attention was given to the events for the traditional participants of this expo – specialists in commercialization of the university research products and PR specialists.
For this target audience several discussion boards were organized: the Deputy General Director of the RVK Project Office (Evgeniy Kuznetsov) organized a round table “Infrastructure of innovation- instruments of financing of university startups”; Sergei Surov (Head of Investments of the Russian Academic Fund and Head of the Business Accelerator of the MIPT) organized a round table “Business acceleration in corporate innovation centers of the universities”; Andrei Tarshin (Head of Marketing of the Business Incubator Ingria) initiated a strategic session on technology transfer and selection of priority sphere; and Elena Brandt (Manager for Educational Projects of SPN Communication) shared her effective know-how at a workshop dedicated to PR.
Another priority of the seminar-conference was related to the ongoing IT revolution and its impact on education. It is crucial that the university participants in the Project achieve international standards in this sphere as this directly affects the competitive standing of their educational programs in the global market. The Company RVK organized a roundtable “Evolution of education – how to create electronic courses” for the heads and specialists of the university services responsible for implementation of IT solutions into the educational process. This roundtable was organized in cooperation with the leading experts in this sphere. The companies Blackboard and VP-Group in collaboration with the Ural Federal University organized a meeting of the working group “IT in education”. The Ural Federal University also initiated a meeting of the working group “Electronic Education” which was organized within the framework of networking cooperation with other university-participants in the Project 5-100.
During the seminar-conference, various experts and working groups from the Project Office held numerous meetings dedicated to the following topics: “International recruitment and HR”, “Rating strategies and scientometrics”, “Organization of university research”, “University succession pool systems”, “Single contract as a system of relationships between the university and various types of employees”, and “English environment of universities.” The role of network cooperation during the seminars-conferences o the Project is gradually increasing, which reflects one of the most important goals of the Project 5-100: mutual experience exchange and organization of joint cooperation of the universities.