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’.
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.