More than 900 People Attend Project 5-100’s Sixteenth Seminar ConferenceJune 9, 2016
From 6-8 June, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University hosted the 16th Seminar-Conference of Project 5-100 which was attended by more than 900 representatives of Russia's major universities, making it the largest seminar of the Project so far. The seminar was spearheaded by Rector Peter Glybochko, who presented his university’s best practices.
At a plenary session devoted to the interim results and plans of Project 5-100, Deputy Minister Alexander Povalko noted the role of Project 5-100 universities in the development of the entire Russian university system: “Project 5-100 was not needed merely to improve a select group of universities,” he firmly stated. “Rather, we have a large system of higher education to which we are entirely devoted, and even our foreign colleagues agree that as far as HR potential in education is concerned, Russia is faring quite well. We cannot allow ourselves to lower this level. For this, we need new specially trained people, including individuals with work experience in complex research projects abroad. This will be the contribution of Project 5-100 universities to the overall development of the entire national education system”.
The event continued with a parallel session in which the participants discussed many issues, among which were the following:
- international student and staff recruitment;
- international promotion of universities;
- best practices of Project 5-100 universities and participation in leading international education forums;
- development of academic journals;
- global citation indexes;
- expansion of influence in the international arena;
- development of innovative biomedical products.
During the round table entitled “Recruitment of Foreign Employees, International Promotion of Universities”, the Head of Analytics and Monitoring of Project Office 5-100 Andrei Barsukov presented the results of a qualitative directive of social research that studied the motives, expectations and problems related to the recruitment of foreign lecturers and researchers in Russia. Representatives of almost all “first wave” Project universities participated in this study which involved more than 45 in-depth interviews with lecturers and researchers from abroad.
The study revealed that specialists in arts and humanities are most interested in coming to Russia as well as world-renowned scientists who want to run their own labs. According to Barsukov, it is harder to recruit administrative and managerial personnel and those scientists who do not need special research infrastructure for their projects – for example, mathematicians.
The study identified three patterns of motives, which inspire foreign specialists to cooperate with Russian universities:
- Academic interest in the country, ability to live in the studied environment. Most typical for arts and humanities specialists.
- Knowledge of Russian and personal connections, for example, having family in Russia. Often relevant for graduates of Soviet and Russian universities, former compatriots.
- Specific research projects conducted at universities. This approach is most typical for representatives of technical subjects and sciences.
Barsukov also listed the key plusses named by the respondents: strong academic reputation, intensive development of academic programs, academic freedom, and unusual life experience.
The participants in the survey were asked questions about Project 5-100 which elicited their recognition and support of its role in the improvement of the quality of Russian education, as well as the increased inclusion and enhanced visibility of Russian universities worldwide. At the same time, the respondents noted that Russian universities still face an uphill struggle and expressed their willingness to use their experience and knowledge to promote the quality of Russian academics both at home and abroad.
Alena Dorofeeva (Head of Event Management at Project Office 5-100) and representatives of ITMO, Tyumen State, Kant Baltic Federal University and Samara University gave practical recommendations concerning future participation in international expos during a round table entitled “Best Practices of Participation of Project 5-100 Delegations in Leading International Forums on Education, Ratings and World-Class Universities”. All speakers agreed that participation in such major international events as NAFSA, EAIE, APAIE and others affects the image and reputation of a university in a very positive way and helps to build ties with leading international universities, promotes both intellectual and social student exchanges, and, further, paves the way for invitations to foreign lecturers and researchers.
On the second day of the Seminar, Project 5-100 produced a PR workshop which traditionally arouses a lot of interest among conference attendees. During this special session, heads and employees of press services and communications departments of universities shared their experience and best practices with their colleagues. Yulia Emer (Head of Information Policy at TSU) gave a presentation entitled “Trans-Siberian Academic Road: Positioning of a University in the International Education and Science Environment”, a team from MIPT (Elena Brandt, Ksenia Tsvetkova and Matvei Kireev) told their listeners about the communication function as a key department in a contemporary Russian university and shared Phystech’s stories and experiences. Dmitry Benemansky (Deputy Director of UrFU Media Center) spoke about his university’s experience of setting up a student newspaper at the media center. The session was continued by Anna Veklich (Deputy Editor for PR at ITMO University) who made a presentation called “Communications in ITMO University or how to Invent a Unique Bicycle”. Anton Sazhin (Head of Online Communications at the Marketing and Communications Department at NUST MISiS) spoke about the production of digital content in a contemporary university, while Zoya Zaytseva (Regional Director for Easter Europe and Central Asia at QS LTD) gave recommendations on how to attract international students using fairs, expos and information sessions.
At the end of the first day, participants in the seminar gathered in the blue hall of Sechenov Med for a round table entitled “Assessment Tools in Scientific Research: Scientometric Indicators and Alternative Metrics, Analysis of Academic Reputation”. The meeting was moderated by Nadezhda Polikhina (Deputy Executive Director of Project Office 5-100), who informed the participants of the results of scientometric analysis of Project 5-100 universities as of the end of 2015 and presented the indicators of the current monitoring.
Zoya Zaytseva (Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at QS LTD) shared the nuances of academic reputation analysis of Russian universities by QS. She presented the results of a survey regarding Project 5-100 universities and answered questions about the methods used to select respondents and to assess a university’s academic reputation.
Anton Stativka (Deputy Head of University Liaisons at Project Office 5-100) presented the results of a citation analysis of Project universities in journals indexed in Scopus. Using 2012-2015 publications as an example, he demonstrated how articles in low-impact journals are extremely unlikely to be cited, while the citation percentage of Project universities’ publications in high-impact journals is from 50 to 90%. Accordingly, the fact that Project universities increased the share of their publications in high-impact journals in 2015 should affect their citations indicators in a positive way.
Similar findings were shared by Pavel Kasyanov (Expert at the Department of Intellectual Property and Scientific Research at Thomson Reuters). According to Kasyanov, it is impossible to achieve higher citation indicators from increasing the number of publications or promotion of university journals in databases alone.
Alexei Lutay (Head of Solutions for Scientific Research at Elsevier) presented the analytical platform SciVal used for multi-factor analysis of research results. Grigory Zatsman (Head of Analysis and Scientific Forecasting at Sechenov First Moscow Medical University) shared the results of his analysis of the dynamic of data in the Scopus database.
The final day of the seminar was devoted to meetings of the following working groups of the Global Universities Association: English Environment, E-Learning and Succession Pool, while other participants in the event had the opportunity to tour the most interesting clinics, clusters and centers of Sechenov Med.