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RAEX International Group of Rating Agencies hosted the 7th International University Forum “Global Competitiveness” 5th June 2019 in Moscow. The Forum, brought together heads of top Russian universities, international higher education experts, employers, and governmental officials. The Forum’s key events included presentations of the new release of the annual Russia’s 100 Best Universities rankings and the study of HEIs and schools with a strong focus on digitalisation entitled “Human Resources for Digital Economy”. The latter included Russia’s first subject rankings of information technologies. IREG Observatory was represented at the Forum by Waldemar Siwinski, Vice President.

Delegates took part in a series of dynamic discussions about the present and future of higher education in the light of fundamental changes that digitalisation has brought to university campuses as well as diverse industry sectors.

Another topic the event focused on was university reputation and tools for its management. The plenary session moderator, president of RAEX international Group of Rating Agencies and IREG Executive Committee member Dmitry Grishankov started the discussion by naming some of the controversies present in this area: “University heads and education strategists often pursue prestige-related goals. A university’s public image can possibly be refined in no time, but it takes years to improve the quality of education”.

The following discussion pinpointed that consistent teaching and learning experience improvement is an effective way to secure a university’s positive public image in the future. It was also noted that pursuing certain benchmarks set by global rankings might even help a university maintain its reputation at a regional level.

“There’s no single model every university should follow”, noted IREG Observatory Vice President Waldemar Siwinski in the plenary discussion. “In many countries a few prestigious universities get disproportionately funded. We need diverse universities, and diverse universities should be supported. But I agree there is no prestige without quality education.”

In conclusion, the Forum addressed the issue of enrolment body quality. The participants noted a growing positive trend towards closer cooperation between high schools and HEIs, and that such work already delivered benefits to all the collaborators.

IREG Initiatives

The purpose of "IREG Inventory of International Rankings" is to collect and make available on the IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence website information on the current state and scope of this important group of rankings.

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The purpose of the IREG Ranking Audit, conducted by independent experts, is to verify and attest that ranking under review is done professionally, with a transparent methodology, observes good practices and responds to a need for relevant information of various stakeholders, in particular students, higher education institutions, employers and policy makers.

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The purpose of the IREG Guidelines for Stakeholders of Academic Rankings is to provide recommendations for appropriate interpretations, uses and applications of rankings by potential interested parties, including students and parents, institutions of higher education, policymakers, quality assurance and funding organizations, employers and the media. Specific recommendations have been formulated for each group of stakeholders.

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