The second meeting of the KFU International Academic Council was held on December 06, 2014.
Recall that the International Academic Council was formed in connection with KFU participation in the project “Russian universities promotion to the TOP 100 world’s leading higher education institutions”. The council consists of 13 famous scientists from around the world. All of them are partners of Kazan University in various fields of science.
The first meeting of the Council took place on January 24, 2014. Scientists decided to get together for the second time in connection with the celebration of the 210th anniversary of Kazan University.
The following IAC members arrived for the second meeting: professor, the head of research group "Ribosome Structure", the University of Strasbourg (France), Mr. Marat Yusupov; professor of the University of Potsdam, the President of the International Union of Geological Sciences (Switzerland), Mr. Roland Oberhänsli; professor, the head of the solid body physics laboratory, the University of Paris-Sud, Mr. Henri Raphael Alloul; professor, the head of the chemoinformatics laboratory, the University of Strasbourg, Mr. Alexandre Varnek; professor, academic supervisor of the Institute of Education, Higher School of Economics, Mr. Isak Froumin; professor of the University of Innsbruck and Institute of quantum optics and quantum informatics of Austrian Academy of Science, Mr. Rudolf Grimm; Vice-President of Goettingen Academy of Science (Germany), Mr. Werner Lehfeldt.
Kazan University was represented by the Vice-Rector for Research, Mr. Danis Nurgaliev, the Vice-Rector for Economic and Strategic Development, Mr. Marat Safiullin, as well as supervisors of priority development areas and directors of KFU Institutes.
During the meeting the scientists discussed two main issues: results of implementation of KFU Program for competitive growth (further – PCG) and the plan of measures to enroll talented youth in KFU.
Marat Safiullin reported about results of the PCG implementation in KFU. According to him, our University not only improved ranking indices (by 50 points – in QS, by 19 points – among BRICS countries), but also increased the number of scientific publications in journals with high citation index in Scopus and Web of Science databases – from 550 (2013) to 1185 (as of December 01, 2014).
Furthermore, according to Mr. Safiullin, about seven percent of foreign students have been trained in KFU since this academic year; 400 of them have come to Kazan from foreign countries.
Recall that in 2013 this indicator was two and a half times as low.
According to the Vice-Rector, the University managed to achieve such results thanks to information messages in foreign mass media, extra-mural entrance examinations in foreign countries, active participation of our University in international educational exhibitions, and gradual introduction of educational programs in English.
Quite voluminous report by Marat Safiullin also included a detailed description of infrastructural changes made in KFU in 2014.
Commenting his speech IAC members asked why the majority of positive changes in the University were connected with natural sciences, while social sciences and humanities were almost missed in the report. Answering the question of his colleagues, Mr. Marat Safiullin emphasized that a separate development strategy was being elaborated for that field at that time, and the majority of scientific articles were written namely by scholars representing social sciences and humanities. Besides, a project contest in humanities would be launched in KFU soon.
The foreign scientists also posed questions concerning interaction between natural sciences and humanities in KFU. Addressing the colleagues Mr. Danis Nurgaliev noted that interdisciplinarity was one of the most strong points of our University. Further on heads of divisions took the floor and told the audience about numerous projects and researches conducted at the intersection of disciplines at our University.
Danis Nurgaliyev reported about the talented youth enrollment systems functioning in KFU. According to him, KFU is carrying out a multilevel work with children aged 6+. Little students attend the so-called Children's University, where KFU scientists give them lectures and help to learn secrets of the nature from an early age. The next stage is the Minor University created for advanced development of schoolchildren from middle and senior forms. The Planetarium functioning in KFU plays an important role in the children education process.
There are two lyceums for talented children in the University: N. I. Lobachevsky Lyceum and IT lyceum.
"A problem is that many talented children leave Kazan for Moscow or St. Petersburg. To stop this process we carry out a set of various events – about 160 arrangements per year: those are lectures, academic contests, competitions, expeditions, - the Vice-Rector told the IAC members. “Thanks to this active work more and more winners of academic contests are enrolled in our University".
At the end of his speech Danis Nuraliev told the scientists about graduate and post-dock enrollment programs functioning in KFU.
During the meeting a need to form international advisory boards in the priority development areas was discussed, as well. The IAC made a decision to appoint heads of these newly formed boards in the closest time.
Potential participation of KFU in large-scale international research projects was also discussed. Members of the Council promised to formulate their proposals on this subject and send them to top authorities of the University.
At the end of the meeting the professor of the University of Innsbruck and Institute of quantum optics and quantum informatics of the Academy of Science of Austria, Mr. Rudolf Grimm, was appointed the Chairman of the International Academic Council.
After the event a journalist of the Press Centre asked Mr. Grimm about his opinion concerning changes which occurred in KFU during the last year: "Your University is developing very well now, its progress impresses us, but truly qualitative development can't be rapid. Therefore it will be possible to objectively estimate these changes in several years only!"