I would like to begin with expressing my gratitude for participation of our University in the project “5 Top 100”. Let me also introduce our team members (Marat Safiullin – senior manager of the project “5 Top 100”, vice rector for economic and strategic development; Danis Nurgaliev – head of the priority research area “Oil production, oil refining and petrochemistry”, vice rector for research; Andrei Kiyasov – head of the priority research area “Biomedicine and pharmaceutics”, director of the Institute of fundamental medicine and biology; Dmitry Tayursky - head of the priority research area “Advanced materials”, deputy director of the Institute of physics; Airat Khasyanov – head of the priority research area “Info-communication and space technologies”, director of higher school of information technologies and information systems; Elena Smolnikova – manager of the project “5 Top 100”, deputy director of the Center for prospective development; Vladimir Bulat – Consulting leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers).
Kazan University at a glance. Priority research areas.
Let us recall that Kazan University began implementing its first strategy in 2010 after receiving the status of the federal university, established by merger of six independent universities. Currently, the second strategy is under implementation – the Roadmap of the program for competitive growth which sets up four research areas as key growth factors: Biomedicine and pharmaceutics, Advanced materials, Oil production, oil refining and petrochemistry, Info-communication and space technologies.
Dynamics in global educational rankings.
Primary achieved results indicate the accuracy of the strategy selected in accordance with your guidance. They are reflected in QS rankings which present utter importance for our Roadmap. In 2014 we have improved our ranking position by 50 points, and also became 69th in BRICS rankings where our position improved by 10 points.
Furthermore, by the results of in-depth audit, the research and education quality of our University has received three stars (out of five possible) this year.
In QS subject rankings Kazan University takes the lead in three categories. We are the 2nd in the country in Life sciences and Medicine and the 4th in Engineering technologies and Biology. We have also entered the top-5 Russian Universities in Natural sciences, with the following disciplines: Chemistry, Mathematics and Earth and marine sciences.
Webometrics rankings have similarly indicated stable dynamics for KFU.
Improved position in national rankings.
Similar tendencies can be observed in national rankings. In National ranking system Interfax, in 2014 we managed to approach top-10 Russian universities and improved our ranking position by 4 points. Moreover, Kazan University became a leader among federal universities for the first time in the history of this ranking system (it mainly became possible as a result of improved indicators in Internationalization, Brand and Innovation categories).
University focus and target indicators
All these figures represent results, and to be more exact – overachievement of target values in key performance indicators of the Roadmap.
However, there are certain challenges. They concern the growth of non-budgetary incomes and incomes from research and development as well as patent activities. Even though certain values have been achieved, the relative indicators remained at the previous level. It was due to active and successful participation of the University in federal competitions.
Consequently, the onset of the Program for competitive growth outlined the essential transitional strategy from classical into research university, as well as internationalization in education and research components. Now we are consistently implementing this transition.
Centers of Excellence, selected in accordance with priority research areas in 2010, represent the major transitional drivers.
Alongside with conventional approaches (setting up the Centers of excellence by attracting leading world researchers and starting joint projects with international corporations) we have worked out a genuine approach - Open lab centers based on Science Incubator Technology (SPIOLB).
In fact, OpenLab is a platform that is already supported by modern research facilities and infrastructure, which is available for the university faculty, as well as for invited Russian and international researchers in order to implement fundamental and applied research with independent budget and resources for upgrading laboratories and recruiting professionals.
At the same time, in 2010-2013 under the guidance of the Development Program we were intensively involved in the preparation of facilities and necessary infrastructure, and currently, the main emphasis is made on the personnel pool and active involvement of partners represented by leading research and education centers and major international companies.
As a result, today the University has 43 research and 37 training world-class laboratories. Moreover, accumulated research capacity and infrastructure laid the foundation for the further development of additional 30 research units. The complete list of them is provided in the annexes.
Centers of Excellence and funds allocation in priority areas.
Therefore, we have now set up the foundations for the development of 17 Centers of excellence. On these slides we demonstrate their readiness stages on horizontal histograms.
The total amount of funds spent from 2010 to 2014 for sustainable infrastructure and human resources development of these Centers, is more than 7.1 billion rubles.
Biomedicine and Pharmaceutics laboratories will offer world-class centers in the following specialties: "Genomics, Proteomics and Biotechnology", "Pharmaceutics", "Neurobiology" and "Regenerative and translation medicine."
As it can be observed, three of them are supervised by influential researchers in these specific fields. Thus, the Center for genomics, proteomics and biotechnology is supervised by Marat Yusupov (h-index = 21), Center for Neurobiology by Rustem Hazipov (h-index = 35), and the Center of Regenerative and Translation Medicine by Yoshida Hayashizaki (h-index = 71).
Along with the educational component, the Program for competitive growth allocated approximately 455 million rubles, or 38% of the subsidy from the Federal budget. Together with the funding from the Development program, the Federal program "PHARMA-2020", Federal target program "Research and development" and the megagrant by the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 220, this figure amounts to almost 2.5 billion rubles.
The promising growth points in info-communication are represented by such competence centers as "Autonomous systems and intelligent technologies", "Visualization interface, digital media, game industry", "Computation Technologies" and "Fundamental Informatics".
Unlike Biomedicine, here we focus on close cooperation with international IT-companies - Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, Epic Technologies, DigiPen and several others. As a sidenote, on October 8, a joint innovation center with Cisco Systems opened at KFU. Today there are two such centers in Russia, the first center opened in Skolkovo. Within this center, we plan to implement concepts of advanced systems and data communications, "Internet of Things", intelligent video surveillance systems, and more.
We are planning to focus all intellectual and material resources in space technologies at such centers as "Astrophysics and Cosmology" (Centre supervised by Starobinsky (h-index = 60)) and "Studies of near space" with the support of the Russian Space Agency and Agilent Technologies'.
470 million rubles were allocated to implementation of these initiatives in "Info-communication and space technology" in 2010-2014, including 63 million rubles in the current year.
Our main focus in "Oil production, oil refining and petrochemistry" is represented by the following centers of excellence: "Oil and gas reservoir modeling", "Underground processing of high viscosity oil and natural bitumen", "Study of complex collectors and hydrocarbon reserves," and also "Petrochemistry and Catalysis."
In 2014, we have allocated total funds of 373 million rubles from the Program for competitive growth to promote research in this area. Taking into account the retrospective value, the overall budget funding for Centers of competence in oil direction exceeds 2.8 billion rubles.
The progressive development of "Advanced Materials" is planned to be implemented at the Centre for Quantum Technologies and the International Centre for Magnetic Resonance. 1.3 billion rubles were allocated to equip and launch the centers, including funds from the program of competitive growth amounting to 145 million rubles.
I would also like to highlight the establishment of the Centre for archeometry based on 5 research laboratories: paleogenetics and paleantropology; paleoecology and paleoarheometry; information technology and non-destructive methods for the study of cultural heritage; arheotechnology and archaeological material science, as well as laboratories of interdisciplinary archaeological and ethnological innovation and research.
In 2014, more than 36 million rubles were spent on the development of the center. This is one of the clearest examples of interdisciplinary research cooperation involving both basic priority areas and most institutions of social and humanities sciences.
Current infrastructure development projects
The demand of research and educational potential of the Road Map is evidenced by participation of the leading Tatarstan companies in advanced co-financing of University key projects.
Currently, the construction of two new laboratory campuses with the total cost of 460 million rubles is close to completion.
The first of them is a seven-story research facility (7,500 sq.m) for the Chemical Institute under the sponsorship of Taif Company, where we plan to locate 38 laboratories within the priority areas of "Biomedicine and Pharmaceuticals", "Oil Production, Refining and Petrochemicals" and "Advanced Materials".
Second of them is a laboratory campus with the area of 1,633 sq.m for research on non-conventional collectors and hydrocarbons together with Tatneft.
Our collaboration with "Nizhnekamskneftekhim" under mega-grant No. 218 by the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation results in opening a plant in the end of October 2014 for production of basic catalysts for monomer synthesis that are in demand by petrochemical industry of the country. The total volume of capital investments amounted to more than 500 million rubles, the production capacity of the plant is 2,400 tons per annum, which fully covers the requirements of "Nizhnekamskneftekhim" in the catalysts that had been previously imported.
Within the framework of the project, 100 scholars were invited to participate in the research. As a result, 2 patents have been received and another two are expected in the nearest future.
It should be emphasized that the personnel pool of the University increased by 52 researchers from leading Russian and foreign research centers. Their list with scientometrics indicators is presented for your attention on the slide. 24 of them are highly influential in the global arena.
The young scholars were offered a considerable number of post-doc positions. Regarding 9 months of 2014, more than 60 external post-docs and approximately 40 post-docs of Kazan University have been employed in labs to conduct research in priority areas.
Moreover, we have made significant attempts to organize advanced training and internships in 2014 for our researchers and the representatives of administration. 36 academic staff members undertook an internship in Russian educational and scientific centers (Moscow, St. Petersburg); 13 – in Europe (Spain, Great Britain, Italy, Greece), 5 – in North America (USA).
Consequently, due to the extensive recruiting campaign and advanced training the percentage of academic staff with international expertise came around 15%.
Publications and citation index in Scopus и WoS
As of 01.10.2014 the total number of KFU faculty research publications, indexed in Web of Science and Scopus databases, has reached the point of 907, which is almost twice the value of 2013. Taking into account our 2014 obligations for this category, the assumed number of articles is going to approach the level of 1,200 items by upcoming December. It is noteworthy that by primary estimation we had to get this point only by 2015-2016.
At the same time, dear ladies and gentlemen, I would like to draw your attention to the emerging changes in the quality of publications by KFU faculty. The diagram in the middle of the slide demonstrates the growing number of highly cited publications in global flow across all percentile groups.
Recruitment of international students
Another major challenge we faced when launching the project of international competitiveness, was connected with the internationalization of the students' body. And at this stage we have significantly improved this indicator.
Having the results of 2014 admission campaign, the number of KFU international students has increased almost 2.5 times up to 1,800 people, including 380 students from non-CIS countries.
Strategy for international student recruitment
What facilitated the achievement of such outstanding results? I will highlight the more important aspects without listing the whole set of activity within the Program for international student recruitment.
The first aspect includes conducting off-site entrance examinations in the CIS countries. As a result, in 2014 there were accepted 111 students – on the state-funded basis and 392 students – on the contract (payment)-basis.
The second aspect is the Grant program for international students to study on graduate and PhD programs in priority areas which declared and actively promoted in international mass-media and on-line educational portals (70 grants for Master's and Specialist's degree studies and 46 for PhD studies).
The third aspect represents active participation in 19 international educational fairs, including 11 - in non-CIS countries and 8 - in the CIS countries.
The fourth aspect implies strengthening cooperation with recruiting agencies (29 companies). Establishing direct links with secondary schools abroad also had an essential impact on the overall results.
And lastly, increasing the number of academic programs in English up to 12 has made its contribution to the success of the international students' enrollment campaign. The programs are on the screen.
Cooperation with leading international companies
Earlier, I have already informed you about major infrastructure projects that are implemented jointly with real economy industries.
Speaking of collaboration with business in educational domain, Kazan Federal University signed more than 10 cooperation agreements with leading Russian and international companies in 2013-2014. In 2014, 8 agreements have been signed. Among our partners are Schwabe, Damco, EMC, Cisco, Rohde & Schwarz, Pfizer, Rosneft, Lukoil, Russian space agency and several others.
In final part of the report I would like to indicate major challenges in implementing the Roadmap, our short-term plans and the work carried out based on your recommendations made last October in follow up of KFU Roadmap presentation.
As for implementation of recommendations, in the context of strategic initiative risks, we have proved that all our ambitious goals have corresponded with our capabilities.
KFU organizational structure has undergone significant changes during the year in order to adapt the management system for the effective implementation of the Program for Competitive Growth.
We launched two transformation processes simultaneously.
First process is the optimization of the campus network and the number of basic structural units (institutes). This year we have decided to close two campuses in Zelenodolsk and Chistopol, and also merge a number of social and humanitarian institutes.
Second process is the reorganization of management system in accordance with the best international practices. Thus, Recruiting office, Employers coordination office, Sociological service, Publication support office, Marketing center, University brand building office, and International student and staff support service have been introduced in KFU structure.
Moreover, collegiate management boards and coordinating bodies have been set up and successfully assist the promotion of the Program for Competitive Growth. These bodies include International Academic Council, Project Office and PCG Directorate.
In the previous slides I have shown that we are far ahead of our target indicators in nurturing human resources by recruiting more than 50 leading Russian and international researchers with high citation indexes and more than 100 post-docs.
In terms of resource endowment activities, I would like to inform you that on June 9, 2014 the President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov signed the law “On government support of Kazan Federal University”, which sets up basic tendencies, mechanisms and amounts of long-term financing.
Estimated funds of the State Program for the implementation of KFU PCG activities amount to over 5 bln rubles by 2020.
Now, let me focus on areas of concern faced by the majority of universities participating in the Project “5 Top 100”.
First. There are in-demand structural divisions and specialties that are inefficient in terms of competitiveness. This presents a risk of declining University rankings in conditions of limited resources, and leads to failure of target value implementation in a number of performance indicators approved in the Program. Phasing them out without providing similar alternatives in other universities can lead to social risks in the territories covered by the university.
The possible solution is to make changes in the existing legislation establishing affiliated education and research branches among participants of Project “5 Top 100”.
Second. Legislation inefficiency in the field of public-private partnership significantly hinders the implementation of joint projects with the real sector companies. Donations of property net profit-based assets to the University leads to recurring of taxes. Therefore, special set of documents is also required.
Third. Participants of the Project “5 Top 100” should be given more freedom in defining Road maps funding in conditions of limited resources for implementation of the strategy of advancing development in comparison with the referential universities (including 20:80 liberalization). Such support measures can be listed as: introducing small innovative enterprises and leasing them with space and equipment, since their proper operation is a lever for the innovative development of the university, as well as the formation of “innovative university zone”.
Goals for 2015-2016
Now let me briefly describe the plans to close the gaps in target indicators during the second stage of Roadmap implementation in 2015-2016.
First of all, we focus on breakthrough research within priority areas or, in other words, unique research scope within each of them.
In the short-term future we plan to determine and allocate financing to those directions within priority areas where high scientific potential has already been accumulated. It is so called exponential technologies serving as a basis for advanced global development within the next ten or fifteen years.
Secondly, to transfer to KAM (Key Account Management) concept in interaction with real sector economy. Such an approach will allow to allocate additional financing for cooperation with industrial partners in joint R&D, recruit counteragents for joint delivery of lectures and workshops together with focus on specific research directions assigned by industrial enterprises. The complex integrated approach will contribute to positive ranking dynamics including goals of revenue diversification.
Thirdly, in order to enhance KFU visibility in international academic arena we plan to focus on:
- redesigning English version of KFU web-site;
- active implementation of internet-marketing tools, enhancement in social networks and blogosphere (YouTube, Vimeo, Slideshare, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+).
Undoubtedly, here are only some initiatives we plan to implement during the second stage of Roadmap; the more detailed report will be rendered during March meeting in Tomsk in 2015.
In conclusion, on behalf of our team let me express my gratitude to the representatives of the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, Center for Social Research, Association of Global Universities, QS, Thomson Reuters and our consultants from PricewaterhouseCoopers for active methodological, organizational and technical support in the implementation of KFU Roadmap. I am convinced that their contribution was invaluable in the achievement of the above results within the limited period of time.