Universities in Russia and other BRICS countries will cooperate more actively with each other
On December 3, HSE marked ‘Russian Universities’ Day’ – an event held during the BRICS University summit organized by Times Higher Education and the 5/100 Project for Raising the Competitiveness of Russia’s Leading Universities among the top global higher education institutions.
The forum brought together over 50 representatives of international universities and over 60 from Russian universities, to discuss issues of cooperation in education and research between universities in countries whose economies are developing actively. It was agreed that, over the next two years, the HSE would welcome up to 100 Brazilian students, who will enroll in BA, MA or further postgraduate studies.
Russia and Brazil have not before set themselves such ambitious plans for cooperation in education, and students from Latin America rarely come to study in Russia. What prompted this uptick in interest?
New wave universities
The BRICS countries are today striving to oust the world’s leading economies, HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov said. International financial organizations’ leading experts have already posited that, in 10-15 years’ time, these countries will play a much more significant role in the global economy. Given this reality, there is extensive potential for inter-university cooperation, joint research, and cultural projects.
One of the key ideas raised at the summit is founded in the understanding that BRICS countries universities are not only becoming increasingly competitive at a global level, but are ready and willing to cooperate more readily — in part in order to achieve this goal. The framework for this cooperation is already in place. February 2014 saw the first meeting of BRICS countries’ ministers responsible for science, technology and innovation, which resulted in the adoption of the Capetown Declaration, creating a BRICS university network.
In all BRICS countries, spending on education per student at the leading universities is growing. The education system is becoming more segmented and groups of universities are emerging which will become the drivers of national competitiveness.
However, Yaroslav Kuzminov believes that, now, everything depends on cooperation between academics at university and research-group level, between people who trust each other and see each other as partners, and carry out joint research, hold student exchanges and do everything that is so typical in the Anglo-Saxon world, which became the dominant intellectual centre.
‘In all BRICS countries, expenditure on each student enrolled in the countries’ leading universities is rising. We are witnessing the division of the education system into segments, and the formation of groups of universities that are to become the drivers of national competitiveness.’
The development of relations between BRICS countries’ universities does not mean rejecting existing ties with universities in other countries. But without this development, countries with developing economies will be ‘doomed to the semi-periphery’ of the international academic community, which today speaks English, and in which the standards are set by Anglo-Saxon universities.
The potential for cooperation is very great, BRICS countries’ universities should surely see in each other reliable partners, and seek to expand their mutual understanding, after all there are partners in Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, and other countries with developing economies. These countries are the new wave, they have strong, ambitious universities, says Yaroslav Kuzminov, and the resources for mutual projects.
In joint discussions with BRICS countries’ universities, it is important to identify particular elements in the development of education that are common features in these countries, stressed Academic Supervisor at the Institute of Education Isak Froumin. It is important to understand where the opportunities for advancing development — overtaking world class universities — really lie.
One of the conclusions reached as a result of this collaborative effort by researchers from HSE, Standford and BRICS countries’ universities, is that over the past decade, our countries have been faced with a double challenge. On the one hand — higher education has essentially become universal, and on the other — the goal of forming groups of the best universities that will underpin the countries’ competitiveness in the global economy’s new technological era. Unlike those countries in which higher education developed by evolution, and a key role was played by the private (non-state) sector, such as the United States, in BRICS countries, the state has played a leading role in education reforms, as it aimed to accomplish the twin goals of increasing the reach of education and raising its quality. In all BRICS countries, spending on education per student at the leading universities is growing. The education system is becoming more segmented and groups of universities are emerging which will become the drivers of national competitiveness.
This trend, Isak Froumin feels, reflects the governments’ impatience: they are not going to wait until evolution delivers these changes – and a group of universities developing faster emerges. This is clear from the Chinese and Russian examples, and the new Indian government also assumes the same. The English word ‘push’ is an apt descriptor here, governments are ‘pushing’ universities, giving them unusual development goals and investing significant resources in them. Russia’s 5/100 project (aiming to get five Russian universities in the international ranking of the top 100) is one of the best examples of this.
Can BRICS countries push their universities forward, and develop faster than their competitors in other countries? Developing economies and positive demographic trends could well both be natural drivers of this process. The Anglo-American model of a research university has won recognition for its success world over. But perhaps BRICS countries will also succeed in building a new model of a world-class university? This is the question posed by colleagues from Standford university, but as to what the exact model will look like, neither researchers nor politicians can, yet, say.
Boris Startsev, HSE News service, Photo – Mikhail Dmitriev
Boris Kashnikov, Professor at the Faculty of Humanities, has delivered a course on "War and Peace" at the University of Bayreuth (Germany). The course was delivered in cooperation with Professor Rudolf Schuessler - specialist in just war theory, theory of international negotiations, and ethics in economics. The course is the result of the cooperation agreement recently signed between HSE and the University of Bayreuth.
On November 7, HSE hosted a delegation from the Jülich Research Centre in Germany. Scholars from both countries came together to discuss joint research opportunities, including transformation of energy systems for sustainable development; future studies of energy technologies, including foresight studies; and methodological issues related to big data analysis and modelling.
On October 17-21, a delegation from HSE St. Petersburg, including Sergey Kadochnikov, Director of the HSE Campus in St. Petersburg, and Olga Krylova, Head of HSE St. Petersburg International Office, visited Korea during a trip sponsored by the St. Petersburg Committee for Science and Higher Education.
In addition to providing research and expert support for the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), HSE will also develop educational programmes on the most pressing problems of Eurasian integration. As well as this, HSE and the EEC are launching a regular exchange of information and analytics.
Department of History at HSE St. Petersburg is focusing on a global, comparative and transnational approach to historical studies, and cooperates with several European and American research centers. One of its primary partners is German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), which sponsors a position of an Associate Professor for a German scholar, and Dietmar Wulff, the current resident, told The HSE Look about his three years at the department and plans for the future.
Mr. Pengcheng Li, Director of CNIS (China) and Chair of the APEC Expert Group on Energy Efficiency & Conservation (EGEE&C), recently took part in the 50th anniversary meeting of the EGEE&C held at HSE Moscow. Following the event, he spoke with the HSE News Service about some of the topics covered, including the role he sees Russia playing in sustainable energy development.
We continue talking about universities that are alongside HSE in the 51–100 group in various subject areas in the QS ranking. Today we have sociologists speaking about their ‘neighbours in the ranking’.
The fourth HSE International Summer University has drawn to a close. The programme continues to grow and evolve. This year over 160 students from 46 universities came to HSE to take courses in International Relations & Politics, Computer Science, Russian Studies, Economics, Culture & History.
On July 17-28 an intensive course titled ‘In-transition lab: Structure as an Urban Catalyst’ by the Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism (Moscow) and the Architectural Association School of Architecture (London) was held at Moscow’s Shukhov lab.
On July 17-23 the Third Machine Learning summer school organized by Yandex School of Data Analysis, Laboratory of Methods for Big Data Analysis at the National Research University Higher School of Economics and Imperial College London was held in Reading, UK. 60 students, doctoral students and researchers from 18 countries and 47 universities took part in the event.