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Alexander Misharin: “We must use all the advantages of merging in UrFU of the classical and the technical universities”

15 July 2011

As part of the “Innoprom-2011” agenda the Governor of the Sverdlovsk Oblast Alexander Misharin took part in the round table discussion on the future potential for the development of the Ural Federal University within the context of the Sverdlovsk Oblast and the Ural Federal District development.

In the course of discussion it was noted that the prototype of UrFU was the Large Eurasian University group, and the work on establishing the university started even before the federal program was announced. Alexander Misharin emphasized that the development of UrFU was one of the most important areas for the development of the region as a whole. Today a lot is being done in Ekaterinburg for the creation of urban infrastructure, raising the image of the city and the Sverdlovsk Oblast. This work is closely related to the task of raising the image of the main University of the Ural Federal District. On the one hand, it is only a little over one year old, on the other – it is over 90, and has a long history, traditions, authority, a great number of renowned alumni.

The Governor mentioned that the Supervisory Board of the University, which he chaired, recently approved the UrFU 5 year development program. “We set the goal of making it a major research and educational center not only in Russia, but also at the international level. This requires addressing several important issues in the near future, -stressed Alexander Misharin. – First of all we need to review the principles of the University’s budget formation: 50% of the funds must be spent on education, 50% - on R&D work. The second task: we must have at least 20% of foreign students and lecturers”.
The Governor suggested discussing questions about the desired number of students in the university, and what should be given priority – the quality of teaching, or the number of students; what should be the role of campus and industrial park; problems of PPP, further functioning of the network of UrFU branches. Today we have a good basis for work, but at each stage we must adjust our strategy”, - said Alexander Misharin in conclusion of his opening address.

The President of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of the Sverdlovsk Oblast, member of the Supervisory Board of UrFU, Dmitry Pumpyansky remarked that the University will have a serious influence on all development processes of the city and the region as a whole. We have approved a huge program, it is worth dozens of billions rubles. Over one and a half year’s period a lot has been done, however this is still only modernization of the existing education process. At the same time we need to move to a qualitatively new level. Dmitry Pumpyansky emphasized that by the results of discussion it is necessary to draft a resolution which will be approved in the autumn by the Supervisory Board meeting.

The rector of the University, Victor Koksharov in his turn mentioned that the UrFU development project was of a federal importance and required cooperation between authorities of all levels and business community. “At the new facility, the construction work where will start in the near future, the quality of education should be different. We set a goal of cultivating talent on an individual basis”, said Victor Koksharov. He mentioned that today UrFU has already 39 functioning small innovation businesses, in September a business incubator will be opened, which will house, among other projects, a consulting center of Skolkovo business school. A number of innovation centers have been already established, including the ones with the participation of foreign companies. From 2011 UrFU enrolls students only for the two-tier programs in line with the international standards. The University Rector emphasized that maintaining the branch network has a significant social aspect. Particularly for the towns, which are home of large manufacturing companies.

Closing the first part of the discussion Alexander Misharin stressed that all proposals made by the participants will be reviewed by the Supervisory Board and included into the program of further development of UrFU. “We have a good starting ground, - said the Governor, - today we expect from the “round table” participants specific proposals for the future functioning of the University. We’ve made a right decision placing under one roof the technical and the classical universities, and today we must use all the benefits of this merger”.

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