Is the MSU a state university

Russian universities are fighting for international recognition

| Intercultural

International university rankings show that Russian universities are poorly recognized in the world. The specifically Russian education system makes an international comparison difficult - the government and universities now want to solve this.

Russian universities are held in high esteem in emerging economies, even if they lag far behind the Chinese. Yet they don't even get in the top hundred in global rankings. Experts explain this by the fact that Russian universities traditionally deal less with research than with teaching.

The Russian education system is an island

In mid-December, Lomonosov Moscow State University took third place among the best universities in the BRIC countries. The university rankings in Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa were compiled by "Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings" in cooperation with the Russian news agency "Interfax". The clear leader in this comparison was China: The first two places in the ranking went to Tsinghua University and Peking University.

Two weeks earlier, at the beginning of December, the British magazine "Times Higher Education" published a similar ranking of universities in the BRIC countries. The first two positions agree with the results of QS, but the appreciation of the Russian education system was far lower: the MSU there slipped from third to tenth place. Another Russian university is also represented in the list, Saint Petersburg State University, which came in 67th place.

The British magazine notes that Russia is "in a depression" and that its education system is self-contained. The ranking is influenced by the fact that scientific papers are published in Russian only. As a result, the dissemination of Russian studies in the world is hindered. Often not even general information about the university has been translated into English on its official website, which in principle makes it impossible for international agencies to evaluate this university.

In fact, according to the Times Higher Education, Russia is literally behind all countries in the world in an overall international ranking of universities. Not a single Russian university made it into the top 200, and MSU became the only Russian educational institution to make it into the top 400.

Russian universities want their own ranking

Every publication of international rankings becomes another hard blow to the reputation of Russian universities. On the one hand, the government of the state and representatives of the higher education system describe the results of these rankings as inadequate and want to set up their own evaluation scale for science. In July, Russian President Vladimir Putin delegated the Ministry of Education and Research to work out criteria for the national evaluation of universities.

Later, at the end of November, this idea was further developed by the rector of the MSU Viktor Sadownitschij: “I want to have a rating drawn up that corresponds to the classic model of a university. We want to create a model rating in Russia that evaluates the university as a center of culture, education and science, as an institution which, with its strong traditions, plays an essential role for its country. "

On the other hand, the Russian government does not deny the importance of the recognition of Russian education in the world and plans to spend around 783 million euros on building the image of Russian universities. One of the goals is for Russian universities to make it into the top 100 according to the QS evaluation. Around 235 million euros will be made available for this in 2014 alone. In addition to the MSU and the St. Petersburg State University, whose funding is listed separately in the state budget, another 15 universities receive funding from the federal budget.

Russian universities are practice-oriented

The director of the Institute for Development at the Higher School of Economics, Irina Abankina, underlines the importance of university rankings: “International rankings primarily affect student mobility. Graduates from well-rated universities are shown more trust by foreign employers. This particularly refers to companies that are active in the high-tech sector, in the IT sector or in the manufacture of expensive medical devices in Russia. "

According to Abankina, the poor performance of Russian universities in global rankings can be explained by the historical development of the educational system in Russia: “In international rankings, three quarters of the parameters measure the level of academic work at the university and only a quarter the quality of education. Our level of integration of science into higher education is extremely low and there are historical reasons for this: Traditionally, Russian universities primarily train students, while science is carried out by individual research institutes. "

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As a foreign entrepreneur to Russia

Source: Russia Today (Author: Anastaija Malzewa)

Photo: © miishka -

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