October 17 – The Future of Science and Global Education research and educational programme hosted a talk show titled Made in Russia! Promoting Russian Universities Abroad. It became the final part of the programme’s block dedicated to promoting Russian Universities overseas and branding Russian education. Participants of educational sessions were offered to find potential solutions for the problems stated, including auxiliary education, strategy to promote Russian education among public, developing and promoting online education and providing the future for university alumni.
Presentations of all the programmes led to heated discussion among the platform experts. Pavel Zenkovich, Deputy Minister of Education of the Russian Federation, was the leading speaker at this session. He started with statistics: “As of today, Russia’s educating 240 thousand international students. We are number 6 in the world. Currently, we’re developing a programme aimed to simplify the procedure to obtain Russian citizenship for those foreign nationals who graduated from Russian universities with honours”.
One of the most sensitive topics of the talk show was brand ambivalence of a Russian university or Russian education and their inseparability. “Some of our universities are brands overseas, like Moscow Engineering Physics Institute or Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and many other culture oriented educational facilities. But unfortunately, Russian education is not a brand as is, unlike U.S. or Switzerland, for instance”, noted Provost of Higher School of Economics Ivan Prostakov and added that it is dangerous to separate the notions of a university brand and public education.
Regional Director of American Councils for International Education Carter Johnson shared his experience in watching the tough process of exporting education. He told a story about a girl from China: “This girl’s parents did not have a diploma, yet managed to build a fortune in the 90-s. That’s how she could afford education abroad. She picked an American university, but after graduation she went back to China, because getting citizenship appeared to be problematic”.
Final moments of the talk show were dedicated to the public presentation of a new index for Russian universities – their export activity index. Experts believe it would raise the inrush of international students to Russian educational facilities by 50% over the next decade.
Summing up the meeting, the experts decided that Russian legislation and university charters need to be amended. Those changes are supposed to improve social and living conditions for the student community, which is the biggest obstacle for integration of Russian education into global education environment.