Russian and Australian universities heading toward effective cooperationMay 18, 2016
On 16 May, Project Office 5-100 was visited by a delegation from Australia headed by Karine Ataya – Regional Director for Education Services with the State Government of Victoria. The delegation consisted of representatives of the University of Melbourne, RMIT University, La Trobe University and Monash University. The elite status of these institutions of higher education is by no means limited to Australia; rather, its influence extends throughout the rest of the world. For example, the University of Melbourne is among the top-50 best universities according to THE, QS and ARWU. This landmark visit was arranged and organized by Natalia Konovalova, Business Development Manager with Austrade.
According to Karine Ataya, Australian universities are keen to cooperate with the Russian academic community. Areas of mutual scientific interest were identified, including engineering, design, aerospace research and medicine.
The Australian visitors noted similarities between the Australian and Russian education systems. Australian universities are non-profit organizations, which, similar to Project 5-100 universities, compete for federal financing.
On 17 May, the hosts and their guests continued their dialogue at a reception in the Australian Embassy, where Peter Tesch (Australian Ambassador) greeted the delegation. Alexei Falaleev (Head of Expert Support at Project Office 5-100) made a presentation entitled “Project 5-100 and its opportunities for developing collaborations with leading Australian universities”. He also invited his Australian colleagues to speak at one of Project 5-100’s regular seminar-conferences.
Even though the Russian-Australian university partnership is in its very early stages, examples of effective cooperation have already surfaced. For instance, Alena Ponomarkenko (NUST MISiS) and Yuri Estrin (Professor Emeritus at Monash University) spoke about the successful collaboration between their respective universities. Professor Estrin noted that although Australia has not yet gained recognition as a viable choice for further academic study among Russian students in general, both countries could nevertheless benefit from the experience and could follow the example of successful Chinese-Australian collaboration programs in terms of student mobility.
Another Project 5-100 university -- Ural Federal University -- is also working successfully with Monash. According to Oleg Rebrin (Head of the Higher School of Engineering at UrFU), two UrFU graduates will continue their studies at the University of Monash this year, thanks to the program Global Education.
Overall, the results of the program Global Education show that the interest of Russian students in Australian universities is gradually increasing. Thirty-four participants in the program chose Australia as their preferred study location, according to Denis Konanchuk – Head of the Center for Educational Innovations at the SKOLKOVO School of Management.
We would like to remind our readers that in March of this year Project 5-100 universities represented Russia at the 11th annual APAIE fair and conference which was held in Melbourne. Without a doubt, this event has aroused the interest of both the local professional and media communities towards Russian universities and opened the door to cooperation between Russian and Australian schools. The Moscow meeting gives us hope that the new-found Russian-Australian dialogue will continue and prosper.