Moscow hosted the BRICS & Emerging Economies Universities SummitDecember 5, 2014
On the 3rd and 4th of December, representatives of the best BRICS and emerging economies universities took part in a University Summit organized by Project 5-100 and the British magazine Times Higher Education (THE) in Moscow.
The unveiling of the results of THE BRICS & Emerging Economies Universities Rankings was the center piece of the Summit. Seven Russian universities made it into the Rankings this year. But just as exciting for participants in the Summit was the business program, which brought together the ’education elite’ from Russia, Brazil, China, South Africa, Mexico, Turkey, India and other countries. A crowning moment for Russia, therefore, and also a very positive and stimulating experience for everyone else involved.
On the 3rd of December, the Higher School of Economics hosted the Russian Universities Day. The event was opened by the rector of HSE Yaroslav Kuzminov who outlined the modern trends in Russian higher education to his international colleagues. International collaboration opportunities were covered extensively in the presentations made by Nikolai Kudriavtsev (Rector of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology), Victor Martynov (Rector of the Russian State University of Oil and Gas), Vladimir Zernov (Rector of the New Russian University), Maxim Khomyakov (Vice-rector of the Ural Federal University) and Efim Pivovar (Rector of the Russia State University of Humanities). The head of the Institute of Education of the Higher School of Economics – Isac Frumin – presented the results of research which analyzed the prospects of the educational segment of BRICS countries. The Chief Editor of Times Higher Education World University Rankings Phil Baty shared his vision of the most productive ways to promote Russian universities in global rankings. In addition, BRICS universities leaders expressed a desire to learn more about Russian higher education and shared their experience of promoting their national universities in the global market. Finally, a collection of experts expressed the belief that some of these “recipes” could be highly useful for our country.
The discussion of global educational models continued on the next day during a discussion panel and in the course of breakout sessions hosted by another Project 5-100 university – MISiS. The delegates of the Summit were welcomed by the Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation Alexander Povalko and by Alevtina Chernikova, Rector of MISiS. Both speakers emphasized the special role of Project 5-100 in the project of promoting Russian higher education in the global arena. For example, Povalko asserted that the Project is an attempt to “open” Russian higher education to the world. Meanwhile, Professor Chernikova emphasized the noticeable contribution of the Project to the improvement of the competitive ability of Russian universities.
The conferences hosted an exclusive event – a master class by Phil Baty wherein the Chief Editor of THE Rankings spoke about the changes in the methodology of computing university rankings. The topic was continued by M’hamed Aisati, a representative of Elsevier -- the new partner of Times Higher Education.
Addressing a different subject, Philip Altbach - esteemed Boston College Professor, weighed in about the “golden rules” for building a world-class university. Referring to an ideal system of academic management, Altbach, in response to alternative theories, expressed his opinion that “Involving the students directly into the management of the university is not the best idea”. The Turkish experience of building a system of strong universities was described by the Rector of the University of Bilikent - Abdullah Atalar. His colleagues -- Malegapuru Makgoba from South Africa and Marilza Rutge from Brazil -- shared some of the secrets of the success of their universities on a national and regional level. The President of the Hanyang University (China) Li Xiaohong told about the dream of his university – to get into the top 100 of global rankings by 2043 (and about the efforts of the Chinese government to achieve the ambitious task of bringing several Chinese universities to the top. The Rector of O.P Jindal University - С.Raj Kumar – demonstrated to the participants in the Summit how it is possible to create a successful university in India “from scratch”. The achievements of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology were described by its Rector – Michael Fung. Jaime Ramirez from the Brazilian UFMG talked about international collaboration opportunities and informed the participants that the structure of his university includes 8 of the 13 national institutes of science and technology. Ihron Rensburg – Rector of the University of Johannesburg - showed the mechanism of sharp increase of the level of citations of his employees in the last 10 years. The head of the University of Rio Grande-do-Sul, Carlos Netto, extolled the Brazilian academic excellence projects and closed his presentation saying that “ratings are a useful instrument to help us adjust our development vectors, but it doesn’t mean that we are fixated on them”.
The conference ended with a presentation by Andrei Volkov (Deputy Chairman of the Council on competitiveness enhancement of the leading Russian universities among the leading global research and education centers) in which he announced the current results of Project 5-100 and outlined some of the paths of its future development.
An expo of the university-parti