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Education: A Tool for Attracting Investment to the Regions
15 February 2019
10:00—11:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Education is becoming an attractive industry for investors

At the moment the state has a monopoly on the market. Private money in the market accounts for no more than 20%. Private money in the market accounts for no more than 20%. But even the fact that 20% is private money is encouraging — Irina Potekhina, Deputy Minister of Education of the Russian Federation.

Changes in government policy, if implemented, would lead to a significant increase in private investment in education – up to 10 times – in the next 3 years. If everything that is being proposed is implemented. Investment at all levels, in technology and infrastructure — Alexander Rudik, President, United Capital Proobraz; Member of the Coordinating Council, Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia).

The manifold increase is due to the volume being very small at the moment. But the potential is enormous. Investment growth will depend mainly on the presence and participation of the government. If the government takes the risk and reduces its participation in education, there will be significant growth — Svetlana Yachevskaya, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, Member of the Management Board, State Development Corporation "VEB.RF".

Private education plays a key role in society

All the businesses related to education play a very important role in society. Everywhere where the government is not doing enough or is doing a bad job — Alexander Rudik, President, United Capital Proobraz; Member of the Coordinating Council, Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia).

The question is, why do we have private business in education? Because in Russia it is a buffer for mistakes made by public education. What public education cannot handle, come in and do it. Where public education is coping, we do not intervene — Aleksandr Laryanovskiy, Business Development Director, Managing Partner, Skyeng.

Demand for supplementary education in Russia is on the rise

The Ministry of Education has a project with open online lessons, with over 20,000 schools connected. These are vocational lessons. The definition of supplementary education. Every lesson gets about 5 million views and half of those are from adults, not school children. ... we see from the reviews that parents are worried about their own future — Irina Potekhina, Deputy Minister of Education of the Russian Federation.

Adults want to pay and will pay, but they only have 24 hours a day and would rather watch TV shows in the evening, than solve puzzles. Education must become an attractive tool, something to do while also giving yourself an upgrade — Aleksandr Laryanovskiy, Business Development Director, Managing Partner, Skyeng.

Russian regions are a priority market for developing digital education

Moscow is less than half of the market. The further away the region is from Moscow, the more interested they are in these technologies — Aleksandr Laryanovskiy, Business Development Director, Managing Partner, Skyeng.

In terms of numbers, Moscow and St. Petersburg account for only 25–27%. The issue is not the lack of knowledge in regions. In child education, it is the high level of motivation — Alexander Rudik, President, United Capital Proobraz; Member of the Coordinating Council, Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia).

Introducing digital technologies raises the level of education

What technologies offer is flexibility, cost-effectiveness, quality – choose what you like. Technology solves it all — Alexander Rudik, President, United Capital Proobraz; Member of the Coordinating Council, Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia).

15,000 lessons a day is what we are currently doing. That is a lot. Without IT, this would, of course, be impossible. But when I look at the top 20 private businesses in education, I understand that we control education quality much better than government projects do, at all levels, form nursery to higher education — Aleksandr Laryanovskiy, Business Development Director, Managing Partner, Skyeng.

Technologies cannot replace teachers

A teacher is not a human audiobook or a talking head that imparts knowledge. It is the main instrument of motivation. A teacher’s mentoring function is always more important than the others — Aleksandr Laryanovskiy, Business Development Director, Managing Partner, Skyeng.

ISSUES
Inconsistencies in the government’s education strategy

7 billion for the educational start-up market – the country does not have as many companies. You can buy the whole market with that money. The question is what are we building? — Alexander Rudik, President, United Capital Proobraz; Member of the Coordinating Council, Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia).

We need to do everything simultaneously. We cannot just create an infrastructure and then think how exactly we are going to use it. We have to approach the issue systemically from the start — Svetlana Yachevskaya, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, Member of the Management Board, State Development Corporation "VEB.RF".

A deficit of qualified staff

Russia is one of the leading countries in the world in terms of development, but at the same time our key players in the IT market are missing around 10,000 skilled workers — Pavel Shum, Director of the Development Center, Tinkoff Bank.

The implementation of almost all projects in the Far East comes down to a staff deficit. We have to get people from Moscow and other regions in Central Russia. The current gap between the state and the business is enormous and we need to reduce it at the early stages — Viktoria Lazarenko, Vice President, Strategy of Future Foundation.

No adequate way of assessing quality of education

A consumer for education quality is only just emerging. We have a way of assessing the investment climate. 44 indicators, I believe. More? How many are education-related? One, I believe. You understand, of course, that the authorities and regions base their work on formal indicators — Aleksandr Laryanovskiy, Business Development Director, Managing Partner, Skyeng.

It is clear today that every student is worth the same amount of budget money. But in the end, we get children with completely different levels of preparedness. The result has nothing to do with money — Svetlana Yachevskaya, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, Member of the Management Board, State Development Corporation "VEB.RF".

SOLUTIONS
Developing mechanisms for state-private partnerships in education

The world is changing, and curricula cannot keep up with the reality of business. The key is the synergy of business and state education — Pavel Shum, Director of the Development Center, Tinkoff Bank.

We have offered the market a new financial instrument, the so-called sib. It stands for social impact bonds. In Russian terminology, social impact projects. The government does not spend money at the beginning, but attracts an investor and a private provider, who is better than the government at providing a particular service. The investor spends their own money, but agrees with the government at the very beginning what social impacts the government wants, how much the government is spending today and how much it is prepared to spend to achieve those impacts. If the impacts are not achieved in the agreed time, the government buys it — Svetlana Yachevskaya, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, Member of the Management Board, State Development Corporation "VEB.RF".

Government support for investment in education

To consolidate these achievements, the state has to help companies strengthen their regional presence. Because development and technologies are the most efficient social lifts — Pavel Shum, Director of the Development Center, Tinkoff Bank.

The Ministry of Education used to give grants to new projects in methodology and technology. Let’s bring it back. <...> Showing some progress in the issue, giving at least some money is already a sign of the government’s attention to a sector — Alexander Rudik, President, United Capital Proobraz; Member of the Coordinating Council, Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia).

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS