The role of flagship universities in social, scientific and economic life of the regions was the topic of discussion at the round table "Universities as centers of technological and social development" held as part of the KEF-2017.
Leading Russian experts confirmed the need for foundation of flagship universities. Rector of Tomsk State University Eduard Galazhinsky said that 33 flagship universities have been identified in Russia. Flagship universities system that has been approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia is aimed at association of several regional universities that leads to expansion in scientific research, human and financial resources and enhancement the attractiveness of the institution, especially when talking about advanced technologies.
"Flagship universities must demonstrate both a model of effective management and quality interaction with industrial companies and innovative infrastructure. Surely, these universities will show how they are going to achieve performance indicators", said Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Russia Lyudmila Ogorodova.
Lyudmila Ogorodova noted that today some flagship universities cope with problems of social and economic development of the region through participation in cluster projects, development of engineering centers and carrying out social programmes". The attitude of governors and authorities towards universities has changed. Now we are talking not only about financing the universities. The authorities want universities to become involved in regional projects and turn into the centers for economic, business and social life".
Edward Galazhinsky presented models of some innovative university centers. According to his words, the centers will play a significant role in technological and social development of the region. The first model involves cooperation with clusters, industry and high-tech business, scientific and technological development. The second model is aimed at social services, urban environment and the search for new ideas together with the regional authorities.
Galazhinsky noted that universities need to work effectively with government bodies and business enterprises to attract the resources needed.
At the same time, the models of university centers correspond to the strategies of regional development, and also take into account the schemes fixed in the Strategy of scientific and technological development of Russia and plans of the National Technological Initiative.
Later experts discussed the future of regional universities along with the criteria for evaluating their work. The participants agreed that at present the scientific and educational institutions face a serious challenge – they must assume the main role in effective social, economic and technological development of the region.
The order on establishing a flagship engineering technical university in Krasnoyarsk Krai by merging the Siberian State Aerospace and Siberian State Technological Universities was signed by the Russian Ministry of Education in March 2016. Now 19 thousand students are enrolled in about 100 of its courses. By 2020 at least 20% of post-graduate and PhD students will study at the university.