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National Research University Higher School of EconomicsNewsRussian Universities Need New Rules and Regulations to Get into World Top Rankings

Russian Universities Need New Rules and Regulations to Get into World Top Rankings

The HSE hosted the second general meeting of members of the Global Universities association on October 8. They discussed issues relating to attracting international students to Russian universities, about possibilities for the accreditation of programmes in new specialties and about the leading universities' conferring degrees.

The Global Universities association was set up in early 2014, when its first AGM also took place. It brings together universities that are involved in the 5/100 initiative to raise the international competitiveness of Russian higher education. As Russia's Deputy Education Minister Alexander Povalko noted, the association's main task is to develop and promote proposals that will enable universities to move forward. A series of initiatives were considered at the recent meeting.

Meeting participants agreed that there is a clear need to develop the international student quota selection mechanism, and to increase the quota from 15,000 people to 20,000-25,000 people. It is also important to give higher educational institutions that have clear research potential and can guarantee education quality preferential selection rights for prospective students.

It is vital that selection quality is monitored and that the reasons behind the attrition rate among international students are analysed. In some cases they are forced to drop their studies as they need to take up low-pay, low-sill employment to meet living costs in Russia. HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov feels that foreign students should be given stipends at the start of their course of study that correspond to their academic success, as happens in other countries.

Leading higher educational institutions should also create an English-language environment that international students find amenable, and there are already leading institutions that can share experience with this (e.g. by publishing a book of recommendations). Educational institutions participating in the 5/100 initiative – Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) and St. Petersburg State University (SPSU) – could develop about 20 working groups targeting particular countries that are important from the point of view of Russia's geopolitical interests.

Boris Startsev for HSE news service

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