Conference of Leading Russian Universities in the "5 Top 100" Programme

Panel discussion on international university rankings at the Russian National University of Science and Technology (MISiS)

Panel discussion on international university rankings at the Russian National University of Science and Technology (MISiS)

(19.11.15) A conference of Russia's leading universities funded in the "5 Top 100" programme took place between 18 and 20 November in the city of Moscow. The aim of the initiative by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation is for five Russian universities to feature in the top 100 of the most important international rankings by 2020. The current results of the 2015-2016 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings' Physical Sciences table were presented at the congress and seminars were provided for Russian higher education administrators.

The Russian ministry has been promoting fifteen universities across the country since 2013. In the coming years, these higher education institutions (HEIs) are expected to catch up with the best universities in the world. Six more universities were added to this group in a second call in 2015. The majority of the selected HEIs are part of the group of forty leading Russian universities that have already been enjoying the special legal and financial status of Federal University and National Research University for many years. The long-term objective of the ministry's initiative is to establish elite universities that are expected to help increase Russia's competitiveness as a science and education location within the framework of the university reform.

In this process, internationalising the universities and collaborating internationally with more German higher education institutions is a prerequisite for the universities' ascent through the rankings. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has been supporting joint research projects between these Russian universities and German research institutions for many years. The DFG office in Moscow used the event as an opportunity to get talking to the representatives of the country's leading universities and to raise awareness of the German Excellence Initiative and joint calls with Russian partner organisations.

Alevtina Chernikova, Rector of the National University of Science and Technology (MISiS), which hosted the event, and Alexander Povalko, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, congratulated the universities involved in the "5 Top 100" programme on their successes to date. This included the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (National Research Nuclear University MEPhI) making it to number 36 in the current THE World University Rankings' Physical Sciences table. The data was presented by THE World University Rankings editors Trevor Barratt, Duncan Ross and Phil Baty, with a particular focus on the Russian universities. The panel discussion, which featured high-ranking figures, ended with a plenary address by Jamil Salmi (World Bank Tertiary Education), who also mentioned other international university rankings such as QS and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) – also known as the Shanghai Ranking. He also addressed the effects of government initiatives such as "5 Top 100" and global excellence programmes.

Five of the following 21 Russian universities are expected to appear in the top 100 of the most important international university rankings by 2020:

  • Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), Vladivostok
  • I.M.Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (MSMU)
  • Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University (IKBFU), Kaliningrad
  • Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University (KFU)
  • Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod (National Research University UNN)
  • Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University MIPT)
  • National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute)
  • National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), Moscow
  • National University of Science and Technology MISiS (formerly Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys State Technological University)
  • Novosibirsk State University (NSU)
  • People's Friendship University of Russia (PFUR), Moscow
  • Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbSTU)
  • Saint Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO)
  • Saint Petersburg State Electrotechnical University "LETI" (ETU)
  • Samara State Aerospace University (National Research University SSAU)
  • Siberian Federal University (SFU), Krasnoyarsk
  • South Ural State University (SUSU), Chelyabinsk
  • Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU)
  • Tomsk State University (TSU)
  • Tyumen State University (TSU)
  • Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russian B.N. Yeltsin (UrFU), Yekaterinburg

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