Showing posts with label Education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Education. Show all posts

President's meeting with RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau.

Vladimir Putin met with Vladimir Mau, Rector of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) and member of the Presidential Economic Council. Mr Mau told the President about key areas of the Academy’s work and ways for improving training of future public administration staff.

President Putin, Vladimir Mau.
Vladimir Putin at a meeting with RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau.
Mr. Mau said that around 100,000 students study at the Academy. In total, 180,000 people a year pass through the Academy, taking part in re-training programmes, raising their qualifications, and MBA programmes. The Academy’s regional network has 53 branches. 

The Academy puts the emphasis on individualising education and offers around 2000 higher and further education programmes. Around 500 people have gone through the programme for training a reserve pool of management personnel. 

Around 800 people will have completed the two-year regional investment teams’ programme. Alongside Russian specialists, it involves teachers from Harvard University, INSEAD, the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, and a number of other top global schools.

Over the past 6 years, 23,000 heads of schools, cultural, and healthcare establishments, and the relevant sector heads at municipal and regional level have gone through the programme for public-sector managers. Over the past 7 years, 20,000 people have completed the anti-corruption course.

One important project concerns Crimea: over the course of a year, 28,000 regional and municipal officials in Crimea went through a programme to train them in Russian legislation in order to pass qualification exams for the relevant posts.

Over the last ten years, the Academy, together with the Presidential Executive Office, developed and introduced a personality and professional diagnostic system for selecting candidates for the reserve under presidential patronage. 

Mr. Mau noted that Russia has 1.5 million state and municipal officials, whose ongoing education requires much attention. 

Mr. Putin and Mr. Mau also discussed the results of the Gaidar Readings forum, which took place in Moscow in January.


Vladimir Mau.
RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau.
Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Mau.
Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Mau.

Meeting with Education and Science Minister Olga Vasilyeva.

Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with Education and Science Minister Olga Vasilyeva to discuss the current situation in sphere of science, inparticular, support for young scientists.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:
Ms. Vasilyeva, let us discuss how you see the situation in science. What are the challenges and problems, as you see them?

Education and Science Minister Olga Vasilyeva:
If you do not mind, I would like to talk about young scientists. Up until 2014, we had negative figures, with young people leaving science. 2014 was a turning point, when young researchers started coming into the sector.

This is the result, above all, of work on your instructions, which lay the foundation for the instruments we develop. In 2015, we had 379,000 researchers, of whom 8,500 were new to the sector.

Support for developing these young scientists’ careers takes several forms. Above all, there is the first grant, the seeding grant that young scientists can obtain upon their first application to the fund.

The fund in question is the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR). Overall, your support and extra-budgetary and budgetary support for scientific funds brought in 40 billion rubles last year.
The RFBR received 6000 applications, and 2,500 young scientists received grants. This was the first time that we had 500 applications for support for internships at various research centers. This is an mportant start for young scientists.

Another important source of support for young scientists is the opportunity to take part in mega-grants. We currently have 160 laboratories established through the mega-grant program – also a result of your instructions – and we will have another 40 beginning work this year, bringing the total to 200 at 79 universities. This means we cover practically the entire country.

One of the most important developments is that the laboratories are headed by scientists who had gone abroad and have now returned, or who continue working both here and abroad. What is important here is that they are forming scientific schools – 5,000 people now, including young scientists: 2,000 postgraduates and 800 students, and this system continues to develop.

Of course, the presidential grants also offer huge support, with 600,000 rubles a year for PhDs, one million a year for holders of the Doctor of Science degree, and 22,800 rubles a year for postgraduate students. This offers substantial material support for those who wish to remain in science and pursue their careers in this field.

There are other matters too, legal aspects, now that we have put this system in place. I see this as our success, modest for now, but nonetheless asuccess, that all research andhigher education organizations now advertise their vacancies onour website. They post up to 800 vacancies a month. This creates a transparent selection system that we monitor, and we can say for certain that organizations are now competing for young scientists.

The post-doc system is another important development we have launched this year, and it offers new opportunities for young scientists to continue their professional growth. After all, after defending their PhD theses, these young specialists need to find a place to start building their careers.

We received 2,500 bids and selected 444 people who now have the possibility to work, receive money, and pursue their research for 2–3 years. 120 of the applications came from organisations. This is also a positive development. 

It makes me very happy to announce another first, this time concerning research at the student level. The rector of the Southern Federal University informed me that the university earned 200 million rubles from intellectual property rights last year. This opens up completely new horizons and is a new step in relations with businesses, a new model.

I would like to tell you about another rather ambitious project. Young mathematicians from the St. Petersburg's school, winners of the Fields Medal, came to the Ministry to discuss an idea they have.

The number of articles is on the increase, but while young scientists make up 52 percent in other scientific fields, in fundamental mathematics they account for only 37 percent, and the number of PhD theses defended in this field has dropped by 13 percent. However, fundamental mathematics is absolutely essential for physics, biotechnology, and all other fields.

They have come up with a very interesting project that we are launching now – the Regional Mathematics Centre. It encompasses 10 venues, regional universities. A team would go out there, headed by a prominent mathematician, with five PhD holders, postgraduates, and Masters students. 

They choose the venues and begin cultivating research there, spend a semester or half a year teaching, perhaps even two semesters during one year. This will give young people from those universities an opportunity to do internships at our best institutes: the Steklov Mathematical Institute, the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, and at various universities, and in this way, this school of mathematics will gradually grow and develop. What is important here is that the idea came from the young scientists themselves. In other words, this means a lot to them, and I think this is very important for our project’s success. 

Finally, implementation of the National Science and Technology Development Strategy, which you approved, has opened up new horizons for developing science, and we have set the ambitious task of creating chains that run from research right through to the final product.

To date, we have 100 business organisations that want to work with us. They include not only big organisations that have always supported us, such as Rosatom and Roscosmos, but also small organisations of interest to our young scientists.

We have analysed the figures and what we see is something new, namely, that small technological companies that receive subsidies from us not only return the money, but also make profit. Young scientists are eager to work in these companies, so we see today an obvious interest in these as yet small but very tangible results.

Fundamental science continues to develop as well, and the share of young scientists is growing. It is no exaggeration to say that we have visible results today.

Vladimir Putin:
Science is growing younger.

Olga Vasilyeva:
Yes, it is growing younger, and this is great.



Olga Vasilyeva.
Education and Science Minister Olga Vasilyeva.
Vladimir Putin, Olga Vasilyeva.
Vladimir Putin  and Olga Vasilyeva.
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin, Russian President.

Putin met with Mikhail Fradkov and Leonid Reshetnikov

Vladimir Putin hold a meeting with the head of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Good afternoon.

Mr. Reshetnikov, I would like to begin by thanking you for the work you did as head of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies. A great deal has been accomplished over the past seven years. I hope that Mr. Fradkov will carry on this good work and will not just stand at the head of a very effective agency, but will also do his best in this position.
(Addressing Mikhail Fradkov)

I am confident that you will be able, using your past experience, to organize the work so that the institute will provide support to the Presidential Executive Office, the Government and other agencies, which need relevant and objective open information and analyses.

I would like the institute to have close, strong and stable ties with the media and to provide them with reliable, full and relevant information and analytical materials.

Director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies Mikhail Fradkov:

Mr. President, thank you for these directions and for the trust you have yet again invested in me and the agency I currently head.

I am taking over a very good agency from Mr. Reshetnikov, an agency that has won high prestige and has implemented important projects. We are ready to work to fulfil the tasks you set for us. Frankly speaking, these are difficult tasks, but we can fulfil them with your support. I hope that we will continue to receive material, financial and moral support from you. We are ready to work hard.

I would also like to express gratitude to Mr. Reshetnikov. We worked together for a long time before. Considering Mr. Reshetnikov’s current possibilities, I believe that the institute stands to gain from the new position he is assuming.

Leonid Reshetnikov:

Mr. President, thank you very much for the attention you have given to the institute. I would like to say that we did our best for nearly eight years to implement your foreign policy concept. The policy of Russia and the policy of the President of Russia have been the cornerstone of our operation. I am sure that the institute staff, who worked hard these past years, will continue to provide analytical support for the implementation of the country’s foreign policy under Mr. Fradkov’s guidance.



Vladimir Putin, Mikhail Fradkov.
Vladimir Putin. Meeting with Mikhail Fradkov and Leonid Reshetnikov.
Leonid Reshetnikov in Kremlin.
Leonid Reshetnikov. Meeting with Russian President.
Mikhail Fradkov in Kremlin.
Mikhail Fradkov. Head of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies.
Vladimir  Putin, Mikhail Fradkov, Leonid Reshetnikov.
Vladimir Putin, Mikhail Fradkov, Leonid Reshetnikov.
Vladimir Putin, Mikhail Fradkov, Kremlin.
Vladimir Putin and Mikhail Fradkov in Kremlin.

Moscow State University Board of Trustees meeting.

Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Moscow State University (MGU) Board of Trustees.

On the agenda were the interim results of the programme for developing MGU through to 2020 and progress in developing the Vorobyovy Gory science and technology cluster.

Other items on the agenda included developing fundamental science and the higher education system within the National Science and Technology Development Strategy, and measures to improve training of specialists and facilitate their employment in Russian companies.

* * *

Excerpts from transcript of Moscow State University Board of Trustees meeting.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Good afternoon, colleagues,

We are holding this latest meeting of the Moscow State University Board of Trustees on the day of the university’s founding, which, as you know, has become by tradition a date celebrated by Russia’s students as their holiday. Let me therefore congratulate all of Moscow State University students and faculty and actually, all students and faculty around the country. I congratulate you on this occasion and wish you all the very best.

I would like to thank the Board members for their active participation in the university’s life. I suggest that today we discuss some of the decisions that will enable the university to continue playing a determining part in shaping Russia’s intellectual and technological potential.

The university has always been proud of its graduates, and justifiably so. They make unique scientific discoveries, achieve success in business and civil service, carry out important social, cultural and educational projects and bring glory to the country and to their alma mater.

If we judge the university by the results and achievements of its graduates, Moscow State University counts deservedly among the world leaders. This raises MGU’s prestige and influence both at home and abroad.

Our universities, including MGU, have made significant advances in different ratings in a number of areas. At the same time, we have said before that piecemeal success is not enough. We need to set more ambitious goals and join the ranks of the world leaders, above all in training top-class specialists and in contributing to the development of new breakthroughs and of science in general.

It is also our responsibility before the young generation to reach this ambitious and absolutely vital objective. We have many talented young people who seek a high-quality and competitive education and want to take part in promising research, projects and developments of the highest level, right from their student days.

Ever since the days of Mikhail Lomonosov, Moscow State University has always attracted the most talented and driven young people from all around Russia. Last year, 371 winners and runners-up of national Olympiads and 9 winners and runners-up of international Olympiads were accepted to MGU. Young people who have shown particular talent in technical and humanitarian fields study at the university and have received special grants of 20,000 rubles a month. We will continue to support talented children from throughout the country.

[Rector of MGU] Mr. Sadovnichy said that the university school has started work and its students have already gone to the Sirius Centre in Sochi, where they attended lectures by scientists, business representatives and other prominent and interesting people who have achieved exceptional results in their fields of activity.

I draw to the Board members’ attention that we must ensure the required conditions not only for study but also for subsequent employment of these gifted young people in the state agencies and in Russian companies. They should have an interest in working here for the benefit of our economy and our country’s development.

I ask you too to reflect on further measures we can take to support student teams already working on promising new developments in the sectors of greatest priority for the country. This could include measures to integrate their projects with the activities of the world-class laboratories that have also been established at MGU through the so-called mega-grants programme.

Let me note in particular that many of these laboratories are headed by compatriots who had been working abroad. More of them are coming home now and working here, and this includes Moscow State University graduates.


We adopted the National Science and Technology Development Strategy at the end of last year. Its implementation will enable us to make our country more globally competitive and respond to the serious ‘big challenges’ that practically all countries face today.

In this respect, I think that we should review once again the development programmes for our leading universities, including Moscow State University. The idea here is to establish and develop so-called technological valleys. You know that Moscow State University is examining just such a project. I want to ask Mr Viktor Sadovnichy to tell us how this work is going and update us on Moscow State University’s development plans in general.

Let’s begin our work. Please, you have the floor.

Rector of Moscow State University Viktor Sadovnichy:

Mr. President, thank you for these congratulations and for these warm words about the university.


Yes, today is our birthday, Moscow State University’s biggest holiday, the day marking its founding. Your executive order in 2005 gave this date official status as Russian Students’ Day. We are deeply grateful to you for the constant attention you give to developing science and education in Russia, to MGU’s life, and to the decision to hold a meeting of the Board of Trustees at the university today.

We will look today at Moscow State University’s development. I would like to speak in brief about what we have accomplished since the last Board of Trustees meeting took place just over a year ago, and tell you about our plans for the future.

Since 2010, we have been working on implementing the development plan that you, Mr President, approved. Budget funding for the development programme from 2010 through to 2019 comes to around 11 billion rubles. MGU’s contribution through various means to this programme comes to around 50 billion rubles. The programme continues with success and I will now brief the Board of Trustees on the results.

Our main task is to teach. As you know, Moscow State University works according to its own independently set educational standards. These are unique standards that exist only in our university. We have set a six-year study programme or so-called integrated Masters course, for a number of disciplines. In other words, the course involves four years at the undergraduate degree level and then a two-year Masters programme in the same field, mathematics, physics or biology say, thus making a six-year programme overall. Such was our choice.

We had 10,000 graduates in 2015, and more than 7,000 in 2016. As was said, they are good specialists in their fields. We have taken responsibility for the six-year study programme experiment and have added to student living allowances from our own funds to cover the sixth year of study, and we are sure that study programmes of this length are what are needed to develop a modern knowledge economy in a modern country.

Good students become good specialists, and good school pupils become good students. The university’s affiliated boarding school, the Kolmogorov Boarding School, has been running for more than 50 years now. Its graduates count 8,000 doctorate holders – one in four graduates has a doctorate. The school also counts more than 800 holders of post-doctoral degrees, five academicians, and prominent members of the business community among the ranks of its graduates.

Mr. President, as we discussed earlier, we opened another school on a new site here on September 1. The school has 6 buildings and unique infrastructure, and talented children from around the country are studying there now. We held several selection stages. During the final stage, they went through a preparatory course at the Sirius Educational Centre. We are sure that this new university-affiliated school will soon become the school of the future.

The high level of our graduates has received recognition here and abroad. According to the Russian Education federal website, MGU is in first place in terms of the number of its graduates on the boards of Russia’s biggest companies. We are in first place too among universities as the ‘forge of oligarchs’. We are not a university specialised in the technical fields, but even so, we are in second place in terms of demand for technical specialists trained by us. A recently published global rating that ranked universities in terms of their graduates’ employment put us in third place, after Stanford and Oxford, in terms of graduates’ success around the world.

And a couple of words about ratings. This is a sensitive issue for Moscow State University and for other Russian universities, as you know. The well-known international ratings are shaped to the Anglo-Saxon model and give our universities rankings that, in our opinion, do not reflect the reality. You gave the instruction to develop an objective, international rating system that would reflect universities’ work objectively. Moscow State University is heading this work. We have created the Moscow international rating Three Missions of the University, and it is now at work and collecting information. We held talks with universities in China, India, Iran, Turkey and Japan, and they have given their support. We will publish the rating’s first results this September, Mr President, acting on your instruction.

As the country’s leading university, Moscow State University also has an important international mission to perform. I will say a few words about this. We have already opened five branches in the CIS capitals (Astana, Baku, Tashkent, Dushanbe and Yerevan, where 3,000 students are studying. These universities were opened at the request of these countries’ governments). In just a few days, we will add a branch in Slovenia, a NATO member country. I know that the Slovenian President’s visit is on the programme, and he will put this question of opening a branch of MGU in Slovenia.

Russian is the language of teaching at these branches. This is another step forward in the educational space. We want to spread our culture and language.

MGU and Beijing Polytechnic recently established a joint university. It has already received a licence to conduct educational activity. The main building’s cornerstone has been laid. They want to build a copy of the Moscow State University building and have already begun construction. They plan to complete construction by 2018, and the university will then take 5,000 students a year. This is a joint university, but, starting this September, we plan to begin classes for several groups in a temporary building. We have an interesting letter that the Russian Consulate in Guangzhou has received, speaking of the growing interest among various sections of the population in China in eventually studying at this joint university.

Finally, Moscow State University has 10 Lomonosov centres in different countries. These centres are engaged in spreading Russian language and culture. The branches and the centres are all part of this work. We see this as the kind of ‘soft power’ that works to bolster our country’s image.

I must mention too our excellent branch in Sevastopol. It was established in 1999. Back then, I indicated from on board the Moskva cruiser a part of the branch that had just opened, Mr. President. There were difficulties in branch’s work in the past, but now it is one of the best universities in southern Russia with a very good infrastructure. They currently have 700 students from Crimea, Sevastopol and other Russian regions. One of the teachers has the highest h-index [Hirsch index ranking for citation of publications] in Crimea and Sevastopol. In other words, they have good teachers there.

The recent meeting of the Presidential Council for Science and Education noted that our priority should be to ensure leadership in chosen fields and not take an approach that depends on importing technology. We try to direct our research at Moscow State University in these priority directions.

I will start with information technology, a very important field today, as it determines a country’s level of development and influence. A supercomputer race is underway in the world and we cannot stand on the sidelines. Our Lomonosov supercomputer is the most powerful in Russia and has a good place in the world in general. It has a speed of three petaflops today, and we plan to bring its power up to five petaflops over the next few months. Supercomputing is becoming essential now for all high-tech tasks. Work with Big Data is becoming ever more important.

Let me give two examples. First, information technology is essential for ensuring computer security and protecting data transfer. This uses what are called hash functions, the electronic equivalent to fingerprints, and you need to check how reliable this protection is. Our young teachers and students, using the Lomonosov supercomputer, recently set a world record for compromising the most complicated hash function. They have all stayed here and will work in Russia.

The second example. The recently approved National Science and Technology Development Strategy focuses on overcoming global challenges. Use of information technology and development of the digital economy are among these challenges. At MGU, we are establishing a national digital economy competence centre for research and training. A good foundation has already been laid by joint work with the Russian Academy of Sciences’ IT and Management Federal Research Centre, under Academician Igor Sokolov, other research organisations in the real sector of the economy, and the state agencies.

We plan to use our supercomputer to go a step further and set up an experimental segment using Russian-made Baikal processors, in order to have our defence and civilian industries move to using Russian supercomputer technology and software, and most importantly, train specialists. Leading Russian company T Platforms is developing the components base, and a number of ministries are already using these developments. Our proposals in this area have received the President’s support. We received the instruction to start this work with the Industry and Trade Ministry, and we have done so.

In the field of space research, we are probably the only university in Russia and in the world to launch so many satellites. Over the 60 years of space exploration, we have placed instruments on 400 satellites designed by scientists and postgraduates at Moscow State University. We have six satellites – a whole fleet – to our name. I spoke about our preparations to launch the Lomonosov heavy satellite, made by Moscow State University, at the last meeting. Our Lomonosov satellite was the first satellite launched from the Vostochny Space Launch Centre in April 2016. We remember this launch, Mr President, and your decision at the site to have the satellite launched the following morning. Of course, we want to thank you for that decision.

This satellite carries what is an ambitious scientific programme for the university. We have registered powerful ultraviolet flashes, discovered more than 10 space gamma-ray bursts, and register potentially dangerous natural and manmade objects. In general, the information obtained (it is still coming in from orbit) makes this satellite the most successful recent space project.

Another of our successes in the space field. Gravitational waves were recently recorded for the first time in what was a very important scientific breakthrough in the world. They were generated by the merger of two black holes with a mass of 29 and 36 times the mass of the sun. This happened 1.3 billion light years away, but the signal has reached us now. Physicists from Moscow State University, the Braginsky group, played a big part in this. MGU’s robotic telescope is carrying out the most extensive and rapid search for the source of these two black holes’ merger.

We proposed a new space project: Create a satellite group to monitor in real time the radiation situation, and potentially dangerous natural and manmade objects, space junk, asteroids, meteorites and so on in the near space. Mr President, you gave the instruction to carry out this project together with Roscosmos, and this is what we are doing.

Moscow State University decided recently to open its 43rd faculty, the faculty of space studies. It will train specialists in important fields related to outer space, such as space medicine, biology, training cosmonauts for spaceflight and their behaviour in weightlessness, study of various not yet explained phenomena in space, information technology, and development of new instruments, of course. This faculty’s scientific director will be twice Hero of Russia, pilot and cosmonaut Vladimir Solovyev. Classes at this new space studies faculty will begin this year.

Of course, one of the top priorities for every country is the science of life. This field is developing intensively at the university, in particular, at the Faculty of Fundamental Medicine at the Medical Research and Education Centre. And we want to report that our medical centre is operating well: in under a year, 1,030 patients underwent treatment there and over 500 complex surgeries were carried out. Recently, the Institute of Regenerative Medicine opened at the medical centre. This is a unique institute in Russia. At 400 square metres, it is the largest laboratory in Russia and Europe, meeting the highest standards of cleanliness. Cellular therapies and pharmaceuticals will be studied here. The Healthcare Ministry recognised both the faculty and the centre as the flagship for training staff in the field of regenerative medicine.

In this regard, I would like to report that we will create a national anti-doping lab, under the President’s instruction. This provides us with new opportunities, including with respect to scientific research. This lab will become an organic part of our medical centre and faculty, and will be involved not only in analysis but also in research. We are ready and are implementing this presidential instruction and have already established this anti-doping lab. But we propose to house it at Moscow State University. Here we have a very good building and have already developed a project to renovate it. But we would like to ask you to include us in the federal targeted investment programme, so that we will be able to renovate this building as soon as possible and get the lab fully running according to the agreement with WADA.

Of course, this project is very prestigious and it will meet world standards, according to which anti-doping labs are located at independent institutions, like the Moscow State University. We would just like to include our project in the investment programme to renovate the building more quickly.

I would also like to point out that the effectiveness of science today is evaluated on the basis of publications, but we do not always agree that this alone determines a scientist’s standing. We believe that our Russian journals should be included in the lists that are cited by other databases. However, in the present situation, Moscow [State] University has very high citation indices. Moscow State University’s citation indices are double the Russian and international levels in terms of the share of frequently cited articles. We are double the world level. This means that we do not conduct routine research but are on the cutting edge of science and working on breakthrough subjects.

Finally, I would like to bring up a very important matter (Mr. President has already raised it). We continue to develop new territory. This refers to our scientific-technological valley. We have already built about 1 million square metres of new space in the new territory and during these 10–12 years we have doubled our campus [area]. Previously, 1 million [square metres] were built. We have doubled that. Members of the supervisory board have corresponding materials, photos of training facilities, labs and buildings. We have done a lot of work on the concept of our further territorial development. Seven main areas or clusters were identified. They correspond to scientific development clusters in Russia. This concept was approved by the academic council. It calls for the development of the country’s priority areas in science and technology. New-generation training and research facilities, labs, dormitories, sports facilities and other infrastructure will be built. The project has been finalised.

I would like to cite Nobel Laureate Michael Spence. He said: We will drastically change the situation if we invest in infrastructure, in making the education system more effective. We are in sync with the expert’s remarks.

The territorial development plan was supported at a public hearing by district residents, city residents and the Moscow city government. Interdisciplinary scientific-technological groups can work on this territory, a system of effective commercialisation of research and development projects will be created, and Moscow State University’s extrabudgetary financing sources will be expanded and diversified. Generally, the project’s implementation will strengthen Moscow State University’s positions and it will, without a doubt, be one of the world’s leading universities with powerful infrastructure. Incidentally, this is the only development opportunity for the university in the foreseeable future. There is no other opportunity.

We talked about our scientific technological valley project in detail at our previous meeting. Now is the time to start working on it. I have presented Moscow State University’s proposals, Mr President, and we are ready to carry it out. I hope that we will report the first results of our efforts to develop the territory and implement the project in the near future.

I consider it important to express our gratitude to all those who have provided and continue to provide substantial support and assistance to Moscow University.

Trusteeship is the university’s historical tradition. When the university was founded, Prokopy, Grigory and Nikita Demidov donated 21,000 [rubles], which was more than the student support budget provided at the time by the monarch. And then they also donated a mineralogy laboratory to the university. Generally, the charity tradition has never stopped, and members of the Board of Trustees continue this tradition. On behalf of the university’s entire staff, I would like to express our gratitude to all those who provide substantial aid and support.

I cannot name them all – there is simply no time for that, but I thank all those who have taken the initiative to establish corporate departments at Moscow University to train personnel for their corporations: Mikhail Gutseriyev, Vladimir Yevtushenkov and Oleg Deripaska. I would particularly like to thank Igor Sechin for his constant assistance, as well as Nikolai Tokarev, Sergei Chemezov, Grigory Berezkin, Oleg Grigor and of course, Sergei Sobyanin. I am certainly grateful to all the Board of Trustees members for supporting the university’s development.

A few words about another gift. Nearby is a gallery of Russian landscapes: 300 original paintings by Levitan, Vasnetsov and Shishkin. At the previous meeting I already thanked supervisory board member Sergei Bednov for handing over these paintings. However, recently, Vladislav Malkevich, former president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and prior to that a deputy to Nikolai Patolichev [USSR foreign trade minister] and general director of Expocentre, who assembled the collection, presented another 30 original paintings. Now I believe this collection has no equals in the world. It is on display here, on the seventh floor.

In 2006, another historical treasure was transferred to Moscow University: the personal archive (100,000 sheets) and library (630 publications) of Ivan Ilyin, a well-known philosopher and Moscow University alumnus. For over 40 years that library had been stored at Michigan State University, USA. Recently, it was given to Moscow University following the discovery of the philosopher’s last will and testament. We accepted the gift. Ivan Ilyin left his motherland in 1922. He became a prominent philosopher and remained a patriot of Russia and Moscow University.




Vladimir Putin at the Moscow State University Board of Trustees meeting.
Vladimir Putin at the Moscow State University Board of Trustees meeting.

Forum of Student and Youth Organization Leaders.

Vladimir Putin met with participants in the Forum of Student and Youth Organization Leaders on Russian Students’ Day.

The forum, organized by the Moscow State University Students’ Union, the Russian Union of Student Organizations, and international youth organization Eurasian Community, has been taking place at Moscow State University since 2006. This year, the forum has brought together more than 120 representatives of student and youth organizations from 28 Russian universities.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Good afternoon. I want to greet you all and offer my warmest congratulations on Russian Students’ Day, congratulating all Russian students through you, and all postgraduates and faculty at your universities, especially at Moscow State University, of course, which is hosting our today’s meeting.

I hope very much that your student years will be a happy and successful time, that you will complete your study programs and will work with interest and pleasure for the good of our country, for Russia’s benefit. Happy holiday! I wish you all the very best.



Vladimir Putin with Moscow State University Rector Viktor Sadovnichy.
Vladimir Putin with Moscow State University Rector Viktor Sadovnichy.
Vladimir Putin, students
President's meeting with participants in the Forum of Student and Youth Organization Leaders.
Vladimir Putin, Viktor Sadovnichy
Vladimir Putin and Viktor Sadovnichy, Forum of Student and Youth Organization Leaders.
Vladimir Putin and Viktor Sadovnichy, Student Organization Leaders.
Vladimir Putin and Viktor Sadovnichy, Student Organization Leaders.
Russian President, Rector Moscow State University, students
Russian President and MSU Rector answering the students questions.
Vladimir Putin, Viktor Sadovnichy.
Vladimir Putin and Viktor Sadovnichy.

Meeting with Moscow State Univesity Rector Viktor Sadovnichy.

Viktor Sadovnichy updated Russian President on the implementation of the development program at Moscow State University and branch network expansion.

Russian President Vladimir Putin:

Mr. Sadovnichy, what achievements can you report in 2016?

MSU Rector Viktor Sadovnichiy:

Mr. President, we ended 2016 with very good results. We have over 50,000 students, including 35,000 undergraduates and also post-graduates. Last year, we graduated 10,000 students, and this year we will have over 7,000 graduates, 25 percent of them A-level students.

We have completed several very good projects connected with the establishment of a University Gymnasium. We have enrolled the first group of talented young people from around Russia who have studied at the Sirius educational center for gifted children.

We have built a campus for 3,000 students, a healthcare center with European-class equipment, the Lomonosov and Shuvalov buildings and a library. In all, we have built 1 million square meters of floor space within five to seven years. In other words, we have implemented the development program.

We can also report good results in research. For the first time in the history of Russian and even Soviet universities, we have been ranked third in the world by academic reputation, that is, in terms of education quality. This has never happened before: Moscow State University is now rated third in the world, after Stanford and Oxford. It is a very high ranking; we have never received it before.

V. Putin:

The assessment has become more objective.

V. Sadovnichiy:

It has.

Mr. President, we have implemented your instructions and have created and are applying our own ranking of universities, the Moscow International Ranking. We will publish the first results, which will include foreign universities, in September – we discussed this at a meeting of the Presidential Council for Science and Education.

Vladimir Putin:

What can you say about your network of branches?

Viktor Sadovnichy:

We have unique branches. There are six of them. Look, these are the Lazarev Barracks in Sevastopol. We have completely renovated them. The branch opened in 1999 and now has 700 students. This is a sports centre; it has no match in southern Russia, with a 10-metre-high diving board and a swimming pool. And this is the campus and the academic buildings.

In general, we encountered great resistance when we decided to open a branch in Sevastopol back then. We were denied a license and excluded from the local academic environment. We had to use personal contacts, getting support from local education leaders, who continue to live there. And so we saved the branch. It was once in a difficult situation, but now it is prospering.

Vladimir Putin:

What is its specialty?

Viktor Sadovnichy:

It has five departments: mathematics, economics, geography, the Russian language and physics.

Vladimir Putin:

It sounds like a full-scale branch.

Viktor Sadovnichy:

And so it is.

Or take our Astana branch, which I have recently visited. We have set up a research department there at the request of President [of Kazakhstan Nursultan] Nazarbayev, who asked me to visit. Apart from the branch, we also contribute to the work of the Presidential Center in Astana.

This is our branch in Tashkent. It was established at the request of President [of Uzbekistan Islam] Karimov and opened in 2006.

And this is our branch in Baku, with a campus of its own. It is probably the best university in Azerbaijan. It has six departments and 500 students, the republic’s future elite.

Overall, our branches have 3,000 students. It is important that tuition at our branches is in Russian, and their graduates receive MSU diplomas and find employment in their countries. In other words, we are teaching friends; we hope we are.

This is our branch in Dushanbe [Tajikistan]; it has been successfully operating since 2010.

And this is the branch we opened last year…

Vladimir Putin:

In Yerevan, Armenia.

Viktor Sadovnichy:

The project was supervised by the President of Armenia.

In fact, presidents sponsor all our branches, which I see as the success of our mission – I consider our work there as a mission.

This is in China. In keeping with your agreements with the Chinese leaders, we are opening a joint university in Shenzhen. Our Chinese partners want a building that would resemble the MSU building in Moscow. We had a ground-breaking ceremony and received a [teaching] license; classes are to begin in September. It will be a joint university between MSU and the Beijing Institute of Technology, the first joint university in the history of Russian-Chinese relations.

In addition, after your visit to Slovenia, we will open a branch there as well.

We have very close ties with our Iranian partners. We have signed 37 agreements and have opened several Lomonosov Centers in Iran.

We are following the example of China’s Confucius Institute by opening Lomonosov Centers. We have them here and here…

Vladimir Putin:

Yes, in Lebanon and Italy.

Viktor Sadovnichy:



Vladimir Putin and Viktor Sadovnichy.
Vladimir Putin meeting with Moscow State University Rector Viktor Sadovnichy.

Putin met with Higher School of Economics Rector

Yaroslav Kuzminov updated the President Putin on the implementation of the Academic Excellence Project 5–100.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr. Kuzminov, the Higher School of Economics will mark its 25th anniversary this year. How will you celebrate this notable event?

Rector of the Higher School of Economics Yaroslav Kuzminov:

We will celebrate it with new achievements, as usual.

Thank you for this meeting and the opportunity to discuss the development of not just the HSE but also the entire group of our leading research universities that are participating in Project 5–100, which has been launched upon your instructions.

As you know, we have created an association of these universities, so-called global universities. This association includes all the 21 members of Project 5–100.

Every time I prepared for a meeting with you, people wondered if I brought you presents. I have, this time. I am pleased to report that over the two and a half years since the project was launched, five Russian universities have joined the world’s top 100 universities in individual subjects. They are the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, Novosibirsk State University, ITMO University from St. Petersburg (you know it very well) and the HSE. They were ranked by different subjects, including computer science and physics. The HSE was ranked in the economics and management category.

I must say that projects such as Project 5–100 are being implemented in many countries. As you know, China first launched such a project in the 1990s. Their logic is very simple: to enhance the competitiveness of universities, to bite off a bigger chunk from the pie of intellectual capital, which has become the most sought-after resource, and to attract the world’s best students. We can say that the result we have achieved is based on the latent potential of Russian and Soviet universities, the potential that was unnoticed by the global community. It is very good that we started opening it up and demonstrating it to the global research community, particularly in the humanities and social studies, where Russia was strongly underestimated.

Actually, if we compare our university rankings, which are no less important than Doing Business, something we are also involved in, China has 36 universities among the top 100 universities in various subjects, India has nine and South Korea – 10 universities in a number of subjects. These countries have invested heavily in attaining this result: China has invested tens of billions of dollars over 20 years; and the other countries have invested billions of dollars over at least 10 years. Russia has attained its current rankings by investing some 40 billion rubles of budgetary funds and some 20 billion rubles in university funding. In other words, we have achieved a lot, and I am sure that more Russian universities will join the rankings in the future. Four are on the verge of joining the top 100 universities, and one university may join the top 150 or top 200 group in different subjects. The HSE is on the list of top 150 and top 200 universities in seven subjects, lagging behind only Moscow State University in this respect.
Of course, these rankings are only an indicator of the achievements, an acknowledgement of very hard work. The number of international publications by the association members has increased by 50 to 300 percent; fourfold at some universities, which also shows that they did not know how to present their results more favorably. They have learned to do this, and their achievements have been acknowledged. Their works have been published in the best and most popular magazines. The Global Universities Association accounts for 39 percent of all Russian publications in natural and engineering sciences and for 68 percent in social studies and the humanities.

Over the past two years, the volume of research per faculty member at our universities has increased by 50 percent reaching 1 million rubles per capita. This is a great deal, four times more than the average for Russia. Project 5–100 universities last year accounted for 27 percent of research projects at Russian universities. It was 21 percent before Project 5–100 was launched.

I will not list all the companies we work with, since I have already shared the materials with you. It would be fair to say that we work with practically all the major Russian companies. I think that the key achievement of this project is that we were able to reverse the trend in what is called global “brain circulation.” According to our calculations, at the Higher School of Economics, at ITMO University, at Novosibirsk University and a number of other participating universities, if not all of them, more foreigners have become permanent faculty members than Russians who left to work for Western universities.

We need to be part of this global movement of skill and talent and have a surplus in this area. The fact that we were able to achieve a surplus is a major accomplishment by our colleagues.

Vladimir Putin:

One may even say that it is a major breakthrough.

Yaroslav Kuzminov:

At the Peter the Great Polytechnic University in St. Petersburg, the number of foreign faculty and staff increased 10-fold compared to 2013.

Vladimir Putin:

This is an impressive and positive development. What matters most is that we attract specialists we really need.

Yaroslav Kuzminov:

Why would we hire people we do not need?

Vladimir Putin:

There was another figure I liked. The number of students who study remotely via internet using modern technology.

Yaroslav Kuzminov:

I think that we are going through an education revolution, almost like the revolution set off by Gutenberg and the printing press. In 2012, Coursera and edX, two major university associations, were formed. Today, the online courses they offer have almost 30 million users. Only half of them are students, while the other half are people with university degrees. This means that online courses have become the main form of life-long learning. According to estimates, by 2020 the number of people using international education online platforms will reach 100 million, while there are only 150 million students in the world, which means that by 2025 all but a few students will use online education tools.

This does not mean, however, that in-class education, seminars and lectures where students can be face-to-face with a professor will cease to exist. After all, when people started reading books they did not stop talking to their teachers. What this means is that uncompetitive education courses and universities will fade away, since we are operating in a competitive global environment that transcends borders.

It is also very important that we established the National Association for Open Learning in a timely manner. Currently, we have almost one million students using our online courses. If you look at the statistics of the Higher School of Economics, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and ITMO, we have almost 150,000 students in the United States, around 100,000 students in the EU and 50,000 students in Ukraine. This is the soft power that we gained thanks to new opportunities because we boarded this train just in time. We are not just working independently; we also cooperate with Coursera and edX.

Last autumn, Coursera, which is actively cooperating with Russian universities, convinced the US government to lift the embargo on teaching in Crimea. The ban has been lifted despite the fact that Coursera is an American company. Our colleagues from Coursera say that the reason they insisted on this was that Russian universities are actively involved in this education project and they respect Russian universities.

Vladimir Putin:

In general, I am pleased to see that the indicators are quite good and we are moving towards fulfilling the plans that we discussed before. Congratulations.

Yaroslav Kuzminov:

Thank you Mr. President. I think it is time to set new objectives for this group of universities. Speaking of subject-specific rankings, there are around 60–70 subject rankings in the world. With regards to continuing the project, technically it has been completed since five of our universities are in the top 100.

We discussed the matter before this meeting with you. We would like to suggest extending the project until 2025 and setting the objective that at least one Russian university be included in every subject-specific ranking by 2025, be it biology, life sciences or engineering.

This goal will place responsibilities on the Ministry of Education and Science for investment and additional support. Russia must be represented at the top of each ranking in all academic subject areas, not just in those where we have managed to get through.

Vladimir Putin:

We need to talk about this in greater detail.



Higher School of Economics Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov
Higher School of Economics Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov.
Vladimir Putin and Yaroslav Kuzminov. Meeting. Kremlin.
Vladimir Putin and Yaroslav Kuzminov meeting at Kremlin.
Vladimir Putin at the meeting with Higher School of Economics Rector.
Vladimir Putin at the meeting with Higher School of Economics Rector.