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The goal of Project 5-100 is to maximize the competitive position of a group of leading Russian universities in the global research and education market.

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National Research Nuclear University Mephi hosts the 22nd Project 5-100 Seminar -Conference

November 30, 2017

On November 27-28, the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI hosted the 22nd Project 5-100 Seminar - conference.

The XXII Seminar-conference brought education policy-makers, experts, and practitioners, representatives of Russian universities, including non Project 5-100 participants-, Russian authorities and industry stakeholders to MEPhI to network, improve professional skills and learn about new developments in international education. The project office holds such a forum four times a year, in each university - Project 5-100 participant – alternatively.

The 22nd conference theme was ‘university-industry interaction’. The event was focused on diverse topics including innovation in universities, knowledge and technology transfer, and university-business cooperation. It was a meeting and a discussion forum for researchers, practitioners and business representatives, a great session to stay on top of the latest trends aimed at promoting and fostering various forms of research and academic activities in Russia and abroad, strengthen graduate employability, efficient career services and etc. “Universities cannot develop their education, R&D, and innovative activities without joint research with industry  - Russian and foreign companies-, without enhancing interaction with employers and cultivating business links,” said the Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation Lyudmila Ogorodova. According to the Deputy Minister, the Project 5-100 participants are actively involved in this work, and they are putting more effort into it – as of today, they have concluded more than 7,000 specialist training contracts with various companies, while the number of contract relations within base departments is approaching 30,000, which also allows students to do practical training and internship and gain experience in R&D project development and management, and implementation of technical-engineering works,

The Deputy Minister said close cooperation between the competent authorities, higher education institutions, and employers, Russian and foreign companies, improves the quality of both educational programs and training and it is a key to success of any university striving for national and global leadership. She mentioned that “Project 5-100 International Council cited the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI as one of the Project 5-100 leaders, this university is also one of the leaders among Russian universities in terms of both graduate employability, students success at securing a top job after graduation, and their average salary.” Lyudmila Ogorodova said that Project 5-100 participants are also producing some of the most employable graduates in Russia, the average employment rate for MEPhI graduates reaches 79 percent.

New approaches to and best practices in interaction with employers and industrial partners were highlighted by representatives of scientific units of the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, as well as the Directorate of the program for competitive growth. Thus, the head of the Department of Laser Physics Nikolay Evtikhiev mentioned the importance of cooperation with IPG Photonics in the development of new technology for medical applications of lasers, which is dramatically changing surgical methods, enabling procedure, promoting a series of advances in surgical technique and innovation, and developing prospects for outpatient operations, with noninvasive manipulations with the human body. According to the Deputy Director of the Institute of Nuclear Physics and Engineering Georgy Tikhomirov, the integration of MEPhI in global education networks related to nuclear education and training via e-learning (the university has been the driving force behind STAR-NET,  regional network for education and training on nuclear technology created under the auspices of IAEA, and is actively interacting with the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN) allows it to play a more active role in international scientific projects and leads to university’s increased efficiency and global  competitiveness. Representatives of MEPhI also mentioned successes and good practices and challenges, but a new approach to training and retraining in close interaction with employers, as many indicated, is necessary. For example, the university is carrying out research with and for a pharmaceutical cluster; it has also established the High School of Engineering in partnership with ASE JSC to train specialists in the digital transformation of Russia and launched a dual degree program with the Russian Foreign Trade Academy in the interests of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom.

Representatives of major Russian businesses, state corporations, and leading universities discussed the role of universities and scientific centers in overcoming technological barriers to the creation of innovative solutions, as well as enabling key cross-cutting technologies, innovation, and growth in the digital economy. During the panel discussion “Blockchain as a cross-cutting technology in the digital economy of the Russian Federation”, Konstantin Kogos, a member of the Institute of Cyber Intelligence Systems (MEPhI), described the experience of interaction between science and business, which resulted in the establishment of the Centre for Development of Blockchain Technologies in the university. The main purpose of the center is to create and promote its own blockchain platform called MEPHIUS serving as the basis for the development of business applications for the real sector of the economy (smart contracts) and to develop new solutions in the field of secure blockchain technologies and new generations of information technologies. Victor Morozov, the Risk Assurance Director in PricewaterhouseCoopers, presented a review of the advantages and disadvantages, prospects and difficulties of the blockchain implementation. Andrey Bazhin, the Director of the Information Security Department in VTB Capital talked to the audience about factors of structural changes in the global economy promoting the development of blockchain technologies. Andrey Ignatyev, the deputy head of the OECD section in the Department of Europe, North America and International Organizations of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, emphasized the digital transformation in OECD member countries and estimated the impact of blockchain technologies on global development. Denis Makrushin, the technology expert of Kaspersky Lab, highlighted the aspects of the practical implementation of blockchain technology leading to the emergence of new threats to information security.

Key speakers paid attention to the fact that one of the promising directions in the export of educational services was the cooperation and participation of Russian companies in international projects aimed at training industry specialists from partner countries. While implementing such projects, universities may not only carry out the target personnel training but also become a driver and a rationale for a move into a new market and key to improving loyalty and enhancing interest in strategic cooperation.

For the first time Phil Baty, editorial Director, Global Rankings, revealed the results of the THE WUR by subject: physical sciences at the press-conference organized in Russia under the auspices of the XXII Seminar-conference of Project 5-100. The ranking included 10 Russian universities, eight of which are Project 5-100 participants. Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology tops the Russian leaderboard climbing 30 places to joint 48th place. The National Research Nuclear University MEPhI becomes the second Projet 5-100 participant in the top 100 at 89th place.

Phil Baty, conducted a masterclass in data and analytics, and recent developments in the THE rankings methodology. The conference also included a workshop dedicated to QS World University Rankings by Subject, where experts from Quacquarelli Symonds – David Reggio, the Global Director of Consulting, and Jaques de Champchesnel, Senior Consultant told participants how to demonstrate the advantages of their universities and strengthen their performance in the subject rankings.

The seminar - conference also included meetings of representatives and boards of national research and federal universities development programs, meetings of leaders of student scientific societies from the city of Moscow, the Moscow Oblast and Project 5-100 universities, as well as panel discussions dedicated to trends in the development of biomedical technologies and translational medicine. Participants of the seminar - conference also discussed the specificity and dynamics of present-day research universities’ development, universities’ participation in international collaborations and “megascience” projects, they considered education services exports promotion policy together with promising guidelines for the development of this area,  methods of promoting academic journals and their inclusion in the world's top tier international and regional journals, enhancing the journal impact factor score, and the citation index, measures to support, promote and enhance international student and specialist recruitment, mechanism to involve students into innovative engineering projects, and to develop student scientific societies.

The seminar-conference concluded with a traditional scientometric session, which was for the first time attended by John Green, a life fellow of Cambridge University, who previously was Chief Co-ordinating Officer of Imperial College London , where he led major projects involving information technology and relationships with industry. He is also known as a creator of Snowball Metrics – a methodology containing tools that may be used to assess research activities of universities. Professor Green noted the improvements of Russia’s positions within the global scientific and research community and emphasized that the number of publications by Russian researchers had not increased considerably, and their quality had dramatically improved. In addition, he told the audience about the experience of assessing universities in the UK and said that one of the most efficient methods for assessing real changes in the quality of research in universities was benchmarking. He also emphasized that the most important characteristic of indices and figures was their unambiguity, accuracy, reliability and transparency. Professor Green proposed two “golden rules” for assessing research activities in universities: first – always use quantitative and qualitative assessment, and second – always measure the research activities in a university with more than one figure.