Federal universities were initially organized as large scientific and educational centers with the objective to provide research, staff and innovation support in the region. That was the reason why federal universities united institutions with heterogeneous professional concentrations. The important arising issue for federal universities is to perform smooth integration and to eliminate similar departments within the new structure. Today, it can be said that the first stage of integration is over.
However, structural integration is not the only step in building the organized system of a Federal university. Rector Ilshat Gafurov discussed this in his article in the newspaper “Poisk” (“Search”) published earlier this year.
Departments of the University vary not only by their disciplines but also by the type of their dominant activity – scientific or educational.
Having said that, the following types of feasible classification models can be outlined:
- High level of research and relatively low level of educating activity – research oriented;
- High level of educating activity and relatively low level of research – professionally oriented;
- Low levels of educating activity and research - problematic;
- High levels of educating activity and research - balanced.
The first three types of models encounter specific risk factors which can pose negative long-term consequences to their activities.
One of the solutions in this approach is a close interdisciplinary cooperation between different units within the university structure. Yet, it should go beyond the “conventional” collaboration between the faculties that have historic connections. Interdisciplinary cooperation should introduce new strategies of “non-conventional” research ties, for instance, between law faculty and biology department or between geological and economic subunits.
The directions of such cooperation might include:
- Dual diploma projects for students of different majors;
- Joint research with participation of specialists from another unit(s);
- Interdisciplinary workshops and research laboratories;
- Attending classes by lecturers of different specialties.