Who is in charge in the University-Region partnership? How can the university participate in regional development, and how can the region capitalize on the university’s intellectual potential? The key topic of the panel session “Can a University Be a Regional Growth Point?” held on the second day of the Gaidar Forum 2021 was the implementation of regional development programs involving universities and regional authorities.
The discussion was moderated by Mikhail Alashkevich, Senior Vice-President of VEB.RF, and Evgeny Szhenov, Research Director of the Expert Analytical Center “Science and Education Policy”. Joining the discussion were governors and rectors of the leading universities from three Russian regions: the first block included Dmitry Azarov, Governor of Samara Region, and Vladimir Bogatyryov, Rector of the Academician S.P. Korolyov Samara National Research University , talking about their interaction experience; Sergey Zhvachkin, Governor of Tomsk Region, and Eduard Galazhinsky, Rector of Tomsk State University, spoke in the second block. In the third block the governor of Kaliningrad region Anton Alikhanov and the rector of I. Kant Baltic Federal University Alexander Fedorov shared their experience of cooperation between the university and the region.
As Sergey Zhvachkin, Governor of Tomsk Region, noted, the University in each region addresses its internal staffing issues, but not every region has Universities that are ready to be the development driver in the region. He cited foreign experience of Oxford and Cambridge as an example.
Speaking of similar domestic experience, Mr. Zhvachkin said that Tomsk Region had examples of dialogue between the university and the region. “We have a number of programs that bring universities and businesses together. One example is the Big University project,” he clarified.
Eduard Galazhinsky, Rector of Tomsk State University, supported him. “On our part, we try to support three basic processes at the Big University: producing the most advanced scientific knowledge, supporting education and implementing new knowledge in the economy and social sector,” he stressed.
The head of Samara Region Dmitry Azarov also shared an example of universities and scientific organizations participating in the life of the region. In that case, a scientific and educational center was created at the regional level, based on rocket-building enterprises in the region, but, according to the governor, the center has a good chance of eventually acquiring a global status.
“If we talk about the potential, the potential is enormous. In principle, we understand what we have to do here. That’s why we’re talking more about a new status. And so we need to change our mindset. By the way, we have renewed rector team, in response to the requirements of the time <...> it is important to note that Samara Region has quite a high share of people with higher education. This is not a reproach to other regions, but actually the rate here is more than 30%, which, in turn, makes it possible to avoid many staffing problems,” Mr. Azarov said.
At the same time, Vladimir Bogatyryov, Rector of the Academician S.P. Korolyov Samara National Research University, expressed hope that the regional government will continue cooperation with the University, including establishing contacts with major technology companies that would act as customers for new solutions.
Kaliningrad Region, according to Governor Anton Alikhanov, has a strong and mutually beneficial cooperation between the university and the region. “For example, we have a lot of folks coming from fishing regions: Tunisia, Morocco, etc. This is due to the fact that Kaliningrad Region is a coastal area, and we are trying to develop the respective shipbuilding technologies”, he explained.
Rector of the I. Kant Baltic Federal University Alexander Fedorov expressed the opinion that a region’s investment into the university should make up only one third of the university’s total budget. “An investment should be structured as follows: One third private partnerships. One third funded from the regional budget. And one third is commercial borrowing,” he concluded.
Photographer: Gavriil Grigorov / TASS
The Gaidar Forum “Russia and the World After the Pandemic” will be held on January 14 and 15 at the Presidential Academy. The Forum will traditionally open the annual business agenda of Russia. In 2021, this large-scale event will be held in a hybrid format, both online and offline.
This time, the main discussion track will be social and economic transformations that have occurred in the country and the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The expert discussions will be focused on the national and global development goals and the search for practical solutions to the most urgent challenges of today. The Forum’s participants include ministers from the Russian Government, members of the Federal Assembly, governors of the Russian regions, largest world experts, representatives of foreign states.
The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom PJSC and Gazprombank JSC.
The strategic partners are Russian Railways OJSC, Johnson&Johnson, ACIG Group, Novartis.
The partner of the forum is MasterCard, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF)
The discussion partners are Magnit, Pepsi, Huawei, Coca-Cola, AstraZeneca, Takeda, EY.
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