1 Jun 2011 15:15

Interfax releases second academic rating of Russian universities

Interfax and Ekho Moskvy Radio have released a second academic rating of Russian institutions of higher education. The first, published last year, evaluated the results for 2009 in two categories: classical universities, and universities and departments specializing in law. Each category lists 50 higher educational institutions.

The list of research universities was expanded in 2011 to include national research institutes – educational institutions in which education and research are combined, alongside classical universities. This new status was given to several classical and technical universities, among them the Moscow Aviation Engineering Institute (MAI), the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MFTI), the Moscow Power Engineering Institute (MEI) and Tomsk University, one construction university (the Moscow Institute of Construction Engineering, MISI), one medical university (The Russian State Medical University, RGMU) and one economics university - the Higher School of Economics. Overall, 29 national research universities are listed in the ranking.
In addition to this, given that last year was The Year of the Teacher, a rating of teacher training, humanities and linguistic higher educational establishments was drawn up. Finally, a 2010 rating emerged, encompassing 104 universities and 71 teacher-training institutions.
The assessment of the educational process and research activities (0.2 points, each) was the most weighty factor in the final measure of excellence. Such criteria as socialization and international activities, brand name and degree of innovation, were ranked 0.15 points, each.
The top five has not changed since last year, with Moscow’s State Lomonosov University (MGU), St. Petersburg University, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology MFTI (now scientific research university, NIU), and the Russian People’s Friendship University the leaders on the educational services market. Novosibirsk and Tomsk universities, both now scientific-research universities, are ranked joint fifth.
Following a revision of the method of appraising universities, the top ten also includes the Bauman Moscow State Technology University, the St. Petersburg Polytechnic Institute, both now scientific research universities, and the Siberian Federal University.
Higher educational institutions themselves have a big stake in winning a high rating. Comparing their own and other universities’ positions they will be able to see what is needed to be improved to up their ratings. State agencies responsible for regulating education in Russia are also interested in receiving an independent rating of education establishments.
“The national rating of institutions of higher learning is a product in high demand. Over the 12 months since our first rating was released, the www.univer-rating.ru has become a frequently-visited website, extensively read by applicants to universities and their parents, especially during the entrance examination campaign,” said the project’s chief researcher Alexei Chaplygin. “University managers have contacted us on many occasions, and asked us to highlight weak points in their work,” he said.
“We had an active response from Russia’s academic community, and we have been praised by educational regulating agencies,” Chaplygin said.
“This project aims to promote the development of educational services and to enhance their quality, and to make the national system of education more competitive,” said Interfax Deputy General Director Alexei Gorshkov. “We have to fulfill an ambitious task, extremely important for the entire educational process and to shape a steady national and subsequently international rating of institutions of higher education.

Overall rating of Russian universities for 2010