Russian universities presented their programs for the competitive selection for the Priority 2030 Federal Program


Russian universities have completed the first stage of defense of their strategic development programs in front of the Priority 2030 Federal Program Commission.

According to Valery Falkov, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, at least one hundred Russian universities that have applied for participation in the Priority 2030 Federal Program may become holders of the core part of the grant. The selection results will be published on September 27 on the official website of the Priority 2030 program.

Also, upon the results of evaluating the development programs of universities selected to receive the core part of the grant under the Priority 2030 Program, the Council members will determine the number of nominees and universities that have passed the selection procedure to be awarded a special part of the grant.

Universities will be able to send a special grant to ensure breakthrough scientific research and the creation of science-intensive products and technologies, including building up the human resources of the research and development sector, ensuring the socio-economic development of territories, strengthening human, research and technological potential of organizations working in the real sector of the economy and social sphere.

Members of the Expert Commission spoke about the transformation of the higher education system in Russia through the ten-year Priority 2030 Federal Program. They worked throughout September at various meetings and sessions and evaluated the programs of strategic development of universities – candidates for participation in Priority 2030.

According to Valery Falkov, Head of the Ministry, a third of the universities were yet not ready for future digital transformations and failed to present acceptable development strategies. Andrey Volkov, Science Director of the Priority 2030 Federal Program also confirms the fact. “From problems relating to purely human resources, which are undoubtedly  important, universities must move on to an agenda aimed at research and innovation. In order to teach advanced knowledge, master skills and competencies, the university itself needs to be on the frontline of research and innovation and promote the innovation agenda,” believes Andrey Volkov.

But there is good news as well. According to Kira Kim, Deputy Director of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Biochemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the implementation of the research component in universities is reaching a new level.

“During the competitive defense procedure, we got an opportunity to how and what is being done in the country to transform the research agenda of universities. I am happy that there is a great number of universities with a huge potential, which covers quite large areas in science throughout the country. And in many ways, it is like an evolutionary transition when life was born moving out of water to the land surface: new opportunities appear, new objects and transformations come into being,” she emphasized.

For Denis Kovalevich, member of the Expert Commission, a technology entrepreneur and founder of TechnoSpark, the first Russian startup studio, the Priority 2030 Federal Program is primarily associated with the increasing competitiveness of Russian universities in the context of Russia and macro-regions and all over the world.

“Programs of this level are mandatory for implementation in any self-respecting country. Universities all over the world are not only and not so much points of direct personnel training, but centres to produce of innovations, create start-ups, develop new technologies, influence regional development, ” says Denis Kovalevich with certainty.

If we talk about the specifics of the universities strategic development programs submitted for defense, then, in addition to the strategies of digitalization and the development of additional professional education are mandatory for the program, many have focused on IT technologies and a great scientific breakthrough. R&D forecasts, a change in the direction of research - from academic biology to IT technologies, digitalization of humanities, the development of individual educational trajectories and the preparation of entrepreneurial platforms were reflected in such programs.

A separate item in the strategy of each university is the number of full-time students. Some happen to be ready to increase the capacity two or three times in ten years, others prefer to stay at the 2021 level and concentrate their efforts on the selection of the best applicants to increase the science and research component. It is noteworthy that most of the announced programs received support at the regional level in terms of co-financing the development budget, and they fully fit into the tasks of the regional economy – personnel, innovations, technologies, and even student entrepreneurship – in the form of support for startups which are scheduled for every coming year.

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