MOSCOW, May 21. /TASS/. Insufficient work to improve the standings of Russian universities affects their positions in world reputation rankings, the academic director of the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, Andrey Volkov, told TASS on Monday.
"Ratings of educational establishments as a global phenomenon have emerged in the past ten to 15 years. Russia looks very modestly there. This ranking (group 301-400 in the global ratings) has a very simple explanation: university’s reputation accounts for a large part of any international rating. It is based on opinion survey of the people involved in this sector," said Professor Andrey Volkov.
"Russia has been and remains relatively isolated from the English-speaking audience, which is used to discussing these issues on the social agenda rather openly," Volkov said.
He said Russian universities are yet to work on the reputation. "They must learn to speak about themselves, publish research materials and get into discussion with their colleagues from other countries. I believe that in the coming few years, five to ten Russian universities will be able to seek to get into the top 200. This is very prestigious: there are 20,000 universities across the globe, and the top 200 are top-notch educational institutions," the professor stressed.
Volkov believes Russian universities have made a breakthrough in the past five years. He emphasized a two- or three-time growth as compared with 2012, the year when Russian universities first made it into the global ratings.
"One of the problems yet to be solved is focused specialization of Russian universities, while ratings were designed mainly for interdisciplinary universities with a wide variety of specialties," the academic director said.
"As for specialized ratings, we look fairly well there. For example the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, National University of Science and Technology or Novosibirsk University are among the top 100 specialized universities of the world, and some 10-15 other, no less worthy, Russian educational institutions are following closely on their heels," Volkov said.
According to the expert, Russia has fairly good prospects of making it into the world ratings given the existing potentials, while the main challenge is in learning the global rules of the game and overcoming the language barriers. "We are not the only ones covering this road," the professor said, referring to tremendous success of China, Korea, Japan and Singapore. "Several Asian educational establishments have broken into the first, the elite top 100 world universities," Volkov said.
He said Russia has all chances to repeat this success, but for this certain ‘homework’ has to be done. According to Volkov, for this the group of leading Russian educational institutions - those on the Project 5-100 (program to make Russian universities more competitive in the world), national research universities, federal and Basic universities - should get more autonomy.
Moscow’s Peoples Friendship University (RUDN) will hold the QS WorldWide higher education conference on May 22-23, which is expected to attract over 800 higher education experts.