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International collaboration, innovation and industry engagement were the main topics at Project 5-100’s 17th Seminar-Conference

September 27, 2016

17th Seminar-Conference of Project 5-100, which brought to Novosibirsk State University over 400 representatives of Russia’s leading universities, their foreign peers and global experts in education, closed on September 22.

The first workshop day saw sessions on the Australian system of international education and the latest QS global ranking. Guests were welcomed by the team led by NSU Rector Mikhail Fedoruk who shared their best practices, as is the tradition for host institutions. “Progress in the ratings posted by NSU and other Project 5-100 universities was possible only thanks to the Project and the support of the Ministry of Education and Science as well as Project 5-100 Project Office, which conducts regular meetings, provides advice and impetus. This support is very important, and we hope it won’t cease”, said NSU Rector.

The conference also comprised workshops, roundtables and discussion groups on internationalization of education, assessment of research, university rebranding, peculiarities of education marketing and international program administration. Larisa Taradina, Head of International Projects at FSASI Sociocenter, presented a Program for Internationalization of Higher Education in the 21stCentury, designed to become a cross-border platform for education professionals to share their experience. Elena Limanova, Vice-Dean of NSU Dept. of Economics, described NSU’s programs in English and emphasized the importance of internationalizing both recruitment and the university itself. Vera Upirova, SFU Vice Rector for Research and International Collaboration, stressed that internationalization was primarily a tool for strengthening education and research. RUDN team (Elena Gorozhankina, Assistant to Vice Rector for International Academic Mobility, and Olga Andreeva, Head of Department for International Scientific and Academic Collaboration) shared their experience in creating a sustainable system for recruiting foreign students and implementing PFUR’s strategic development programs. Olga Esipova, Head of Department for Employer Relations at Samara University, spoke about organizing summer schools as short international education programs. When other workshop participants presented their interim results, Pavel Kasyanov, Thomson Reuters expert in scientometrics, expounded on the benefits of Thomson Reuters data, expertise and tools (including Web of Science database) for creation, development and adaptation of international research strategies.

The workshop traditionally included a PR session where universities’ Communications Departments presented their best practices to a keenly interested audience. Effective rebranding strategies were a focal point in the discussions. Among the people who shared their successes in this area, were Olga Yakovleva, Head of NSU Marketing Dept., who talked about rebranding mistakes, Evgeny Kornilov, Director of Public Relations Center at Samara University, who reviewed positioning challenges of newly merged universities, Yulia Shalneva, Head of Marketing and Communications Group at MISiS, who spoke about step-by-step development of a brand platform for MISiS, and Lilia Kiryanova, Head of Communications Policy Department at TPU, who shared the secrets of lightning-fast rebranding (that took TPU only 3 months). Anna Veklich, Head of Strategic Communications Dept. and Public Relations Advisor to ITMO Rector, described tools that help prospective students select programs and universities. She presented such know-how of ITMO as Students’ Ambassador and 5-100S Student Office, designed to attract future students. Creative presentation of SUSU’s Press Service Director Dmitry Rudenok was met with great interest. Dmitry explored the capabilities of campus media, including internal TV station SUSU-TV (with its own production), Elevate-radio (available in all elevators), a media lab, newspaper and portal. The session finished with a speech by Nikolay Podorvanyuk, Head of Indicator Project at Gazeta.ru, centered on successes in collaboration of Project 5-100 universities with foreign mass media and dedicated scientific portals EurekAlert! and AlphaGalileo. He also announced the launch of Indicator, a new portal on Russian science.

In the Assessment of Research Roundtable, Acting Director of Sociocenter Nadezhda Polikhina commented on the recent changes in QS and Times Higher Education methodologies, in particular with regard to citations. She also touched upon the growing international issue of unscrupulous scientific magazines and publishers. Grigory Zatsman, Head of Analysis and Scientific Forecasting Dept. of Sechenov University, took the discussion further by sharing his university’s experience with Scopus and Web of Science databases and the way they account for medical publications. Mark Akoev, Head of Scientometrics Laboratory at the Ural Federal University, noted the impressive increase in number of Project 5-100 universities’ publications and their significant contribution to Russia’s total. Universities need to maintain robust development of their research activities, insists Mr. Akoev, who showed in his presentation how scientometric indicators and cohort analysis could be used to assess sustainability of growth in publications. Thomson Reuters scientometrics expert Pavel Kasyanov demonstrated the benefits of the InCites platform and SWOT analysis for effective research management and development of research strategies. Scientometric indicators should not be mistaken for research objectives and scientometric tools should be used to craft and fine-tune a university’s research policy, according to Mr. Kasyanov. Aleksey Lutay, Research Solutions Sales Manager at Elsevier, presented a benchmarking study of Project 5-100 participants’ publication activity against the backdrop of other academic excellence programs implemented in Germany, Canada, Australia, China and Southeast Asia. Elsevier Director for Chemistry and Biology Solutions in Russia and the CIS Andrey Khudoshin compared Project 5-100 members’ Chemistry and Material Sciences publication statistics to those of leading universities in developing countries. Anton Stativka, Head of University Relations Dept. at Sociocenter, delivered a report on citation analysis of Project 5-100 participants’ publications in magazines indexed in Web of Science Core Collection. Julia Falkovich, Head of Publication Activity Development Department at TPU, shared her experience in developing a system that would support publications by young scientists and employees. Head of Lobachevsky Scientific Library at KFU Evgeniy Strukov demonstrated the capabilities of InCites and SciVal platforms in assessing research performance in selected areas using KFU’s publications on biomedicine as a case study.

A roundtable on organizing joint international education programs brought together Vice-Rectors in charge of education and leaders of international programs of Project 5-100 universities. In the roundtable moderated by Aleksey Falaleev, Head of Expert Support of Project Office 5-100 Programs, participants shared experience in academic collaboration with foreign peers.

The workshop on developmental prospects and promotion of scientific magazines in international databases looked into whether scientific magazines from Russian provinces held any appeal for the international community and whether publications in university magazines could help citation index performance. A particular emphasis was made on means of fighting unscrupulous publication activity (by authors, magazines and intermediaries) in Russia and abroad. Discussion participants included Olga Kirillova, Director of TCS NP NEICON, President of the Association of Science Editors and a Scopus expert; Galina Yakshonok, Elsevier S&T Analytical Services Consultant; Anna Kuleshova, Publishing Editor of Public Opinion Monitoring: Economic and Social Change magazine; Department Head at Social Sciences Research magazine, Chairman of ASEP Ethics Committee, as well as members of project offices, publishers, editorial staff of scientific magazines and other experts.

The last day of the workshop saw five sessions organized by Russian Venture Company. They focused on efficiency of entrepreneurship development tools, creation of industry relations centers at universities, performance monitoring of leading Russian universities’ innovation activities and talent pool for innovation management. There was also a meeting of the Universities in the National Technological Initiative Working Group. Session participants included Sergey Mardanov, Head of University Ecosystem Development Group at RVC; Igor Agamirzyan, Vice-President of HSE and former CEO of RVC, as well as Rectors, Vice-Rectors in charge of science and innovation, heads of departments for research and innovation promotion, support of entrepreneurship, development of industry relations and technology transfer.

The conference also comprised sessions on the interface between fundamental science and medicine, photonics, support of innovation with modern software, international accreditation as a means of boosting competitiveness of education programs, etc.