Among the goals of the Russian National Priority Project “Education” are training of high quality professionals for macro-regions and integration of education and research. The Priority Project also previews support to mobility of students, teachers and researchers, which shall contribute to Russia’s integration into the global education area. Activities within the Priority Project are aimed at international recognition of the educational programmes; provision of support to basic and applied research in national priority areas.
A programme to establish top level university centres has been introduced with the Federal Universities (FU) programme. Two university centers, the Siberian Federal University and Southern Federal Universitie have been created in Krasnoyarsk and Rostov-on-Don, with the support of this programme. The ambition is to upgrade the performance of selected universities to allow them to reach a position within the top 100 universities worldwide by 2015-2020. Other 5 FUs were created in 2009 namely Arctic (Arkhangelsk), Volga (Kazan in Tatarstan), Ural (Ekaterinburg) and Far-Eastern (Vladivostok) and North-Eastern (Yakutsk). The Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University was established on October 13, 2010 on the basis of the Immanuel Kant State University of Russia by a decree of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev. Implementation of basic and applied research in national priority areas, creating conditions for academic mobility of students, teachers and researchers, enhancement of international cooperation with universities of Europe, Asia and US, achievement of international recognition of realized educational programmes and integration of university into the worldwide education and research areas are envisaged within the FU’s directions of growth. In July, 2011 the President of the Russian Federation has signed a Federal Law, which establishes the 9-th Federal university, North-Caucasus Federal University.
Federal Universities obtained substantial financial resources from the state budget: 2007: 6 bln. RUB; 2007-2009: 13,4 bln. RUB; as well as co-financing by businesses and regional administrations. These resources may be used, inter alia, for attraction of leading professors and researchers.
The difference between Federal and National Research Universities is that the first group will focus on the particular region where they are located, while the latter will train highly-qualified specialists for different sectors nationwide. National Research Universities will be characterized by a high percentage of university funds earmarked for research and science, effective systems for the commercialization of scientific research and development activities, and their affiliation with innovation companies. Federal universities aim at optimizing regional educational structures and strengthening links with economics and social sphere of the federal districts. One of the directions of the development of the FUs is the creation of conditions for academic mobility of students, teachers and scientific workers. In this respect, they contribute to the internationalization of higher education in Russia.
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