On the 4th of June 2015 the rating agency “Expert RA” (RAEX) hosted in Moscow the Third International University Forum “Global competitiveness”. Rectors of the leading Russian universities took part in the Forum, including rector of the Lomonosov Moscow State University Viktor Sadovnichy, rector of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology Nikolai Kudryavtsev, rector of the Ural Federal University, Viktor Koksharov, rector of the National Research Nuclear University "MEPhI" Michael Strikhanov and others.
Participants of the forum (from left to right): Vladimir Mau, Rector of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Victor Koksharov, Rector of the Urals Federal University named after B.N. Yeltsin; Efim Pivovar, Rector, Russian State University for the Humanities; Nikolay Kudryavtsev, Rector, Moscow Physical and Technical University; Victor Sadovnichy, Rector, Lomonosov Moscow State University; Dmitry Grishankov, General Director, ‘Expert RA’ rating agency; Chernikova Alevtina, Rector, National University of Science and Technology MISiS; Mikhail Eskindarov, Rector, Financial University at the Russian Government; Nicolay Rogalev, Rector, Moscow Power Engineering Institute (National Research University); Mikhail Strikhanov, Rector, National Research Nuclear University of MEPhI; Grishin Viktor, Rector, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics; Petr Chubik, Rector, National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University; Viktor Pronkin, First Deputy General Director, “VOLNOE DELO” Oleg Deripaska Foundation.
The results of two ranking prepared by the “Expert RA” (RAEX) were presented during the forum: 100 best universities and 200 best schools of Russia. Among the key discussion topics were the strategies of increasing university competitiveness on the global market of educational service. More than 400 representatives of higher schools, employers and academic institutions participated in this forum.
Presenting the results of the 4th ranking of the leading Russian Universities, Alexey Khodyrev, executive director of the “University rankings” division of «Expert RA» (RAEX), highlighted the growing popularity of technical education in Russia: "Despite the fact that the technical universities still significantly lag behind the economic universities in terms of popularity among prospective students, during the last year there was a noticeable trend of increasing interest in the Russian technical education among foreign students: their number in technical universities increased by 8%, while in the economic universities it decreased by 9%."
The rector of the Lomonosov Moscow State University Viktor Sadovnichy commented on the problem of choosing the specialty and “state order” for personnel: “At the moment it is not entirely clear which specialists are required for the economy growth and in which quantity. Currently the number of specialists prepared for many specializations does not correspond to the real demand of the economy. Furthermore, the best graduates are often moving abroad to build their carriers. We should be creating the necessary conditions for their work within the country”. He also added that the solution of this problem is possible only through a massive joint work of the universities and the government, represented by the ministries of education, finance and economic development. Rector Sadovnichy has noted that the ranking “Expert RA” (RAEX) can be a starting point for the development of a new international university ranking with headquarter in Russia.
The topic of employers’ demand for graduates was supported by Vladimir Mau, rector of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration: “The government should be supporting strong and smart, thus the subsidized places in universities shall be given to the applicants with scores on the unified state exam at least equal to some pre-defined level. This would give talented people an opportunity to choose where to study, which eventually would show the real demand for specialties, depicted directly by the university applicants”. However, he also noted that the demand for graduates should be assessed not by the fact that they work according to their specialty, but, for example, according to the taxes paid by the graduates during the five years after finishing the university. This, according to Vladimir Mau, would show the real income of the graduates and their loyalty to the state.
Besides that, the forum participants have discussed the issue of necessity to optimize the education process, including the number and the quality of teaching staff, as well as selected the real advantages and possible drawbacks of the state program promoting competitiveness of universities “5-100”.