Russia has started to implement an ambitious plan to establish a network of 30 “world-class university campuses” across the country, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustine said this week. The aim is to improve the quality of higher education and to attract more international students.
According to recent statements from Mishustin, who personally controls the implementation of the project, out of 27 applications to date for the construction of new campuses, eight have already been selected. This meant that construction work would start in the short term.
It is planned that initially these campuses will be built in Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Ufa, Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg. In addition, three other campus projects in Moscow, Tomsk and Novosibirsk received funding.
The Perm, Irkutsk, Samara, Vladivostok, Khabarovsk and St. Petersburg projects are at a high level of preparation.
Mishustin said at a government meeting on education held on October 5 – Teachers’ Day in Russia – that these facilities will not only be the usual campuses and student dormitories of large universities, but modern multifunctional spaces.
Mishustin said, âA large volume of space will be created for the students where they can not only live and communicate, but also concentrate on scientific research and creativity and spend their free time profitably and with interest.
âMany Russian universities and regions will fight for the right to create world-class university campuses. They are already actively involved in this work. So far, plans for Novosibirsk State University and the world-class Tomsk interuniversity campus have been prepared.
The Minister of Science and Higher Education Valery Falkov clarified that the implementation of three large-scale projects will begin in 2022.
âWe plan to start active construction of three facilities as early as next year. A modern educational campus of Novosibirsk State University will appear in Akademgorodok. In Puchkovo, Kaluga region, we are planning to create a new campus. Finally, in Moscow, on the basis of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, more than 15 interdisciplinary scientific poles will be created.
It is estimated that 36 billion rubles (US $ 502 million) will be invested in implementing these plans over the next four years. Overall, there are plans to build at least 30 campuses that can accommodate over 150,000 people.
The construction will be carried out within the framework of public-private partnerships. Private investors participating in the project will benefit from a return on investment opportunity by participating in the management of the infrastructure created.
Happy higher education
Meanwhile, representatives of leading Russian universities welcomed the initiative of the state, believing that it will contribute to the overall development of the higher education system.
Alexander Shamrin, first vice-rector of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, one of Russia’s leading universities in the field of economics, said News from academia: âWe consider the project to be very timely. Large Russian universities are experiencing a shortage of modern dormitories. This seriously limits student mobility.
âAn important role in attracting foreign students is played by the quality of the university environment, in particular the comfort and accessibility of the dormitories. This project allows us to form a long-term program for the development of university campuses.
Shamrin said that at the same time, the role of the regions was becoming more active, as public-private partnership mechanisms were introduced.
âThe Higher School of Economics is participating in this competition with a project to build a campus in New Moscow (Troitsk), which is a new district of the city of Moscow. We plan to build a campus there for 3,000 to 5,000 students with the necessary educational and social infrastructure.