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First day of Project 5-100 17th Seminar-Conference at NSU: focus on academic mobility and reputation building strategies

September 20, 2016

Novosibirsk State University welcomes delegates of the quarterly Project 5-100 Seminar-Conference on September 20-22. First day of the event has seen sessions on international education systems, academic mobility, QS ranking results and NSU’s best practices.

The workshop opened with a plenary session on the Australian system of international education. Ted Burgel, Second Secretary of the Australian Embassy, presented Australia’s 10-year academic excellence initiative designed to strengthen the country’s position as a global education leader. Douglas Hinchliffe, Executive Director and Dean of King’s Own Institute, expounded on academic and student mobility as an important factor for the development of the education system. Both students and faculty need the experience of living and studying abroad, since it provides for personal and intellectual maturity, mental agility, poise, adaptability and cross-cultural communication skills, according to the speaker. Mr. Hinchliffe emphasized the importance of academic mobility as a means for social development. The next speaker in the plenary session was Natalya Konovalova, Business Development Manager for Russia and the CIS with Austrade (Australian Trade and Investment Commission) under the Embassy of Australia in Moscow. She talked about Future Unlimited, the umbrella international brand for Australian education, its history, experience and promotion track record. Mrs. Konovalova stressed several aspects that make the Australian system attractive to students all over the world, such as high quality of education, flexibility, innovation, global degree recognition, comfortable visa procedures, safety and favorable economic climate. “Education is the third export commodity after iron ore and coal. Many find it difficult to believe that education can contribute so much to the state coffers. This is due to international students and commercialization of research. We are focused on the end results, and students focus on getting employed fast within the industry of their choice”, said Natalya Konovalova. She was followed by Matthew Monkhouse, Global Collaboration and Business Development Director of Macquarie University, who presented the case of his international education center located in the very heart of Australia’s largest technological incubator. Mr. Monkhouse shared his experience in international projects, expressed hopes for partnership with Russian universities and noted the contribution of Project 5-100 to strengthening their positions in global rankings.

Second plenary session focused on Russian universities’ performance in QS rankings and their growth potential. “This year, I believe, Russian universities have shown great achievements in QS ratings and elsewhere, proving convincingly that Project 5-100 is delivering strong results. However, it’s important to appreciate this is a marathon, not a set of sprint initiatives,” said Zoya Zaytseva, Regional Director for Eastern Asia and Central Europe of QS Ltd. (UK). She dwelt on the strengths and improvement areas of the ranking methodology, noted the need to expand the ranks of Russian employers participating in surveys, and mentioned a related agreement on collaboration with the Russian Chamber of Trade and Commerce. She announced a QS conference in Russia in 2017 that would be conducted in partnership with Project 5-100, just like a year ago. Global Head of QS Consulting David Reggio described ways of boosting universities’ international reputation. He accentuated that universities should correlate their changes with geopolitics and become magnets for foreign students and faculty. Mr. Reggio also underscored the role of incubators as a platform for international collaboration.

In the next plenary session, NSU staff shared their best practices. Delegates were welcomed by NSU Rector Mikhail Fedoruk and Mikhail Antonov, Head of the Project Office of Education Development Center at SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management.

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 Office 5-100, which conducts regular meetings, provides advice and impetus. This support is very important, and we hope it won’t cease”, said NSU Rector.

Dmitry Churkin, NSU Vice Rector for Research, detailed the university’s journey in training outstanding researchers. NSU has 6000 students and 2000 faculty, including around 900 assistant professors, 600 Doctors of Science, 60 members of the Academy of Science; and the majority of faculty are active researchers. All this provides for NSU’s unparalleled quality of education. Elena Berus, Coordinator of the Program for Supporting Students with Health Limitations, introduced the delegates to inclusive education methods used at NSU. Vladimir Reznikov, Dean of Natural Sciences Department and a Co-Director of the Joint Russo-Chinese Institute, described the features of the institution NSU created jointly with Heilongjiang University, such as reading all major subjects in Russian. Dmitry Subbotin, Director of the International Education Center for Foreign Students of NSU Institute of Medicine and Psychology, talked about the English-language international program in General Medicine developed within the framework of Project 5-100 in 18 months. He noted the Studyinrussia portal as one of the most effective student recruitment tools. The session ended with a report by Olga Echevskaya, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the NSU Dept. of Economics, on successful online education practices.

The first Seminar-Conference day also saw a workshop on the role of social media in university communications and a session on the evaluation of methods required to implement a unique university model.