A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

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Higher Education in the East: A New Quality of Teaching
6 September 2022
17:15—18:45
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Serious steps are being taken towards improving the quality of education in the Far East, taking into account specific regional features. At the same time, we should not expect immediate results them

Far Eastern education needs to improve its quality, do better in the competition for the best students and teachers. The resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation to launch a separate programme for the development of Far Eastern universities “Priority 2030. Far East” with funding of RUB 7.8 billion until 2024, has become an important stage, a milestone on which we place great hopes. [As a result of the implementation of this programme. – Ed.] the availability of higher education is increasing, the number of free state-funded places in the Far Eastern universities is growing: in 2022 we have 30.5 thousand spots against 26 thousand in 2019 — Alexey Chekunkov, Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.

We need to be patient and not demand quick results over a year or two years. Universities live in long cycles, change in the team is always very inert, changes take a long time and manifest themselves in a very non-obvious way. <...> It is necessary to wait, in the medium term. If we consistently, correctly determine priorities, if we give teams the opportunity to prove themselves, with the support of the regions, then we will have results — Valery Falkov, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation.

ISSUES
The outflow of students and graduates from the Far East

There is a serious fight going on to retain and hopefully attract talent. Due to demographic and migration factors, the number of students at universities has decreased: back in 2016, we had 237,000 students in the Far East, today 178 thousand students study in 39 universities in the Far Eastern Federal District. <…> 40% of applicants enter universities outside the Far Eastern Federal District — Alexey Chekunkov, Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.

The remoteness, the mentality, the initial situation [in the regions of the Far East. – Ed.] are radically different from what we have in other regions of Russia. <...> Perhaps no other place has such a problem of personnel outflow like what we have in the Far East — Valery Falkov, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation.

Today, we are short of personnel that the university trains. Let's look at the medical institute [Ammosov Medical Institute of the North-Eastern Federal University – Ed.], for example. Today, they are preparing 200 people, but we need 400–500, because today we already have a need. But, unfortunately, the facilities and equipment created in the 1950s and 1960s simply cannot suit us physically. We are ready to invest — Aysen Nikolaev, Head of Sakha Republic (Yakutia).

The low level of preparation of applicants and the lack of teachers, the discrepancy between the expectations of graduates and employers

The number one challenge is the quality of applicants who come to the Far Eastern universities: 9 out of 11 regions of the Far East are in the bottom third of the school education quality rating. The number of students who took mathematics exam and failed to get a minimum score has more than doubled over the past three years. The average test score has decreased and remains significantly below the national average. The number of teachers of retirement age is almost a third of the total teaching staff, and still exceeds the number of young teachers of under 35, who account for only a quarter. Over the past three years, the number of vacant teacher positions in all subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District has more than doubled — Alexey Chekunkov, Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.

If we begin to train a significant number of specialists (even high-quality specialists) with higher education in the place that lacks comfortable conditions and interesting jobs, it is quite useless work — Dmitry Konov, Member of the Council, Russian Chemists Union.

There is a problem of trust. Trust of businesses in the university, of applicants in the university, of employers' trust in graduates. We clearly do not have enough trust — Boris Korobets, Acting Rector, Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU).

SOLUTIONS
Development of training programmes that provide unique competencies that are attractive to applicants and in demand by employers

We are ready to offer the head of our state Vladimir Putin, experimental approaches on the platform of the Government of the Russian Federation. We are ready to propose to do the same in education as they did in the economy: to use the Far East as a testing ground for new ideas, for new approaches — Alexey Chekunkov, Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.

I think that Far Eastern universities should set themselves a different task – to attract the best students from the “mainland”, from different regions, including Moscow. And here there is a huge potential for graduate and postgraduate students. The unique natural, climatic and other features of the Far Eastern regions... under certain conditions, make this region attractive for education. <...> After that, as we understand, there is an effect of the formation of a special environment in a particular Far Eastern region, since such people bring new things with them — Valery Falkov, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation.

In addition to the quality of education, an important part of the attractiveness, in my opinion, is the brand awareness of the school. <…> Students want to go to MGIMO… because it is a kind of seal of quality. And I think that we need to invent our ‘seal of quality’. <…> I believe that each region should have its own strategy — Vladimir Solodov, Governor of Kamchatka Territory.

We solve the problem of trust [between business, universities and applicants. – Ed.] through the tool of the advanced engineering school. <…> Today, the head of the advanced engineering school… is a person with a business background — Boris Korobets, Acting Rector, Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU).

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS