The Time of ‘Loner Universities’ Has Passed
Today St Petersburg saw the launch of the international conference Education and Global Cities: BRICS perspectives. About 400 representatives of higher education and high-schools, authorities, and businesses from across the world discuss the latest trends in education development, the current role of universities in cities and new paths to resolving currentproblems in education.
The event is part of the official agenda under Russia’s chairmanship of BRICS, and takes place under the auspices of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. It is organized by HSE St Petersburg, MGIMO, 5/100 Programme, and the Boris Yeltsin Urals Federal University.
In his welcome address to participants, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Education and Science Alexander Klimov said that this conference is the first of a series of major international events dedicated to issues in education planned under Russia’s chairmanship of BRICS. In June, education working groups will meet in Moscow, and in September there will be a major event to launch the BRICS University Network. The Deputy Minister noted the importance of discussing the link between universities and cities ‘How do universities form part of the city, and how cities form part of universities, that is a key question about how we will proceed in developing our universities, our cooperation with international partners,’ he said.
The Director of HSE St Petersburg Sergey Kadochnikov stressed that today’s knowledge-based economy demands development of new areas of cooperation between the HSE, businesses and the community. The Rector of ITMO University St Petersburg Vladimir Vasiliev also indicated that universities cannot exist at a distance from the urban environment, ‘if the university’s strategic mission and goal is not agreed and synchronized with urban development plans, then it is not the city that will vanish, but the university that will collapse. If a university wants to be global, then the metropolis of which it forms a part must position itself as a global city. In that sense, St Petersburg is an open laboratory for higher education. Cities in Russia can develop spontaneously, without goals set, without forecasts of the future. We are confident that it is vital to look to a horizon of at least 20-25 years, because then we will be able to continue to carry out systemic research that will help our cities going forward,’ he said.
Universities’ status helps to legitimate that status of ‘capital city.’ A clear example of this can be found not only in St. Petersburg, but in Yekaterinburg, recognized as the capital of the Urals – in part due to the cultural impact the universities have. HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov.
HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov noted that the strongest universities have a significant impact on a city’s status. ‘In a major city the university ensures a personnel market, creates jobs, socializes young people, which is vital especially when in the capital it is already beginning to meet the national labor market. The university’s high status legitimates this capital city status, and is one of the most important factors in a city being recognized as a capital or like a capital. A clear example of this can be found not only in St. Petersburg, but in Yekaterinburg, recognized as the capital of the Urals – including due to the cultural impact of its universities.’
During the conference partner agreements were signed between the Association of Higher Education Educational Organizations Global Universities, and three major groups of educational managers from various different countries: The Conference of Rectors of Italian Universities, the Brazilian International Education Association - FAUBAI and the Korean Association of Foreign Student Administrators.
The agreement covers cooperation on student mobility at all levels of the educational process, and that of teachers, and administrators between university associations, carrying out joint research in a variety of formats, developing joint research projects, joint laboratories, joint research groups and centers of excellence.
Yaroslav Kuzminov, chairman of the board of the Global University Association noted that the agreements signed are highly practical. ‘We are, first and foremost, establishing mutual obligations in collaboration over international recruitment and student exchange. We will tackle the concrete tasks that the President and Government have set us, of taking worthy positions in global ratings. The main indicators vital for this include academic reputation, number of international students, and number of international teachers – and it is in these areas that the agreement today was signed,’ Kuzminov said.
‘The time of university loners has passed,’ Rector of Turin University Gianmaria Ajani said. ‘It is vital to develop networks of cooperation, join associations, and coordinate the resolution of common tasks, supporting development. I believe that the agreement we signed today is the first step to building effective communication betweens the Italian university system, which includes over 90 educational institutions across Italy, and Russia’s leading universities that have come together in the Global University Association’.
On December 12, heads of missions and embassy representatives from over forty countries gathered in Moscow for HSE University Day for Diplomatic Missions. The event, which was held at HSE’s newly renovated Pokrovka campus, was aimed at fostering further cooperation between HSE and its international partners.
The Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies of the Faculty of Humanities has launched a Center of Iranian Studies and the Persian Language. On December 6, representatives of HSE University and the Cultural Representative of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Moscow signed the cooperation agreement.
Researchers and diplomats from 35 countries and eight Russian regional universities gathered at HSE University to discuss globalization in Asia and how it differs from what is taking place in Europe.
On October 25-26, the International College of Economics and Finance (ICEF) and the Laboratory of Financial Economics (LFE) hosted the Eighth International Moscow Finance Conference at HSE University. This year’s programme included researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Berkeley; University of Warwick; University of Lausanne; and the London School of Economics. Their presentations dealt with a wide range of timely topics, including the forecasting potential of data science models.
Students of the HSE and University of London Parallel Degree Programme in International Relations earned some of the highest scores worldwide on the exams that the University of London administers at its foreign partner universities.
On October 2-4, HSE University hosted the international conference Trends in Logic 19. Current Issues in Philosophical Logic for the first time in Russia. The conference, which attracted a number of prominent Russian and international scholars, was organized jointly by the journal Studia Logica and the HSE International Laboratory for Logic, Linguistics and Formal Philosophy.
On October 2 and 3, HSE University simultaneously celebrated two anniversaries of Russian-Dutch academic cooperation: the 25th anniversary of joint educational programmes between HSE University and Erasmus University Rotterdam, and the 10th anniversary of the Dutch educational center, Nuffic Neso Russia, with which HSE has a long-standing partnership.
The Second Russia-China Education Research Conference – Digital Transformation of Education and Artificial Intelligence – was held last week at HSE University. Researchers from the two countries discussed changes taking place in the national education systems thanks to the digital revolution, as well as what can be borrowed from mutual experiences.
The agreement provides for academic and cultural cooperation between the universities, student exchange, and joint research. HSE University and the University of Bergen have been partners in educational initiatives for eight years. The partnership began when the HSE Faculty of Law signed an agreement with the Norwegian university.
Economists and Researchers Gather at International Conference on Wealth and Income in Eastern Europe and CIS Countries
On September 17-18, HSE University hosted a special conference with the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth (IARIW) on the topic of Experiences and Challenges in Measuring Income and Wealth in Eastern Europe and CIS Countries. This was the first IARIW conference to be held in a CIS country. HSE News Service spoke with American economist Barbara Fraumeni about her work with economic accounting and human capital and her experience attending the conference in Moscow.