Project 5-100 reached its midpoint: results and prospects were discussed at a workshop in SamaraFebruary 16, 2017
Project 5-100 XIX Seminar-Conference opened at Samara National Research University on February 15. Lyudmila Ogorodova, Russian Deputy Minister of Education and Science, made a welcome address detailing prospects and interim results of Project 5-100. She described the changes in the composition of the International Council, now chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, and announced March 17-18 as the dates for the next Council meeting. Talking about the future, Mrs. Ogorodova stressed the importance of Project 5-100 universities’ participation in Universities As Innovation Centers priority project.
“It is important for Russia to have a pool of leading universities that set the bar for the whole education system. This forum of leading universities is becoming the main platform for the priority project. Our first challenge, insurmountable without the aid of Project 5-100 participants, is to develop a model for innovation centers; and today we shall discuss how we can leverage participants’ recent experience. Global competitiveness is the quality you can use to augment the development of Russia through national priority projects,” emphasized Lyudmila Ogorodova.
Larisa Zagrebova, Deputy Minister for Education and Science of the Samara Region, continued the plenary session and pointed out that regional authorities saw Samara University’s ascension to Project 5-100 as a matter of great pride and shared responsibility, but most importantly – as a unique lever for development projects and programs in the region. Evgeny Shakhmatov, Rector of Samara U, presented his institution’s best practices with his team and described construction of Gagarin Center Technopolis, an innovative site that will accommodate a science park and a new campus.
The first day saw a workshop entitled “Universities in the Mainstream of Scientific Development: Objectives and Tools” moderated by Sergey Matveev, Director of Science and Technology Department of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. Sessions on best practices in student recruitment at fairs and processing of international prospective students’ inquiries were also held on that day. Samara University faculty with their peers from other institutions organized a workshop on aerospace technologies. Participants of the Elsevier roundtable discussed the agency’s joint project with UK universities on assessment of research performance and opportunities for similar projects with Russian universities.
Conference guests were keenly interested in Science Slam, a science popularization show originating in Germany. In 10 minutes every speaker needs to describe their research in a simple (no fancy terms or complicated theories), interesting and funny manner. Best slammer, chosen with a noise meter that measures loudness of applause, gets boxing gloves as a challenge prize. This is the second time a science slam is run on the margins of a Project 5-100 seminar-conference. Over a short period, slammers were able to entertain conference guests with stories of the rules of the underground world, composite materials, transformation of pathogens into a cure for cancer, and finding a dream dress with nothing but a smart phone. MISiS Master student Daria Daubarajte’s slam on how science can save trains was found the most interesting.
In the preparatory session on February 14, before the start of the Seminar, attendees discussed the results of Higher Education Internationalization in the 21st Century: Experience of US and European Universities program launched by Project 5-100 together with Boston College in 2016. Twenty-five staff members from 12 Project 5-100 universities took part in the program. Guest experts on the panel included Laura Rumbley, Associate Director of the Center for International Higher Education (Boston College); Fiona Hunter, Associate Director of the Center for Higher Education Internationalization (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan), and Jos Beelen, Senior Adviser for Internationalization at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Larisa Taradina, who coordinates the program on behalf of Project 5-100, presented program structure, goals and objectives. Participants shared the changes the program effected in their work. Experts gave feedback on participants’ projects and offered general advice on internationalization of Project 5-100 universities. Professional development of faculty and staff involved in internationalization was particularly emphasized. Discussion of internationalization and its impact on higher education continued on February 15.