The organization convened the meeting to discuss cooperation between universities and employers.
The Head of the Secretariat of the Association, First Vice-Rector of St. Petersburg State University Ilya Dementyev, First Vice-Rector of Kazan Federal University Riyaz Minzaripov, and representatives of the universities-members of the Association are partaking.
Welcoming the participants of the conference, Ilya Dementyev stressed that the issue of graduate employment is one of the most topical issues in Russian education.
"We are working on this constantly. One of the results of today's conference should be general recommendations for all Russian universities, not just members of the Association,” he added.
In turn, Riyaz Minzaripov greeted the participants of the discussion on behalf of the University’s management.
"The problem of interaction with employers, employment of graduates is an urgent issue for all universities," said he. "The demand for graduates is an indicator of the viability of any university."
Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, Extra-Curriculum Affairs and Methodological Support of St. Petersburg State University Yekaterina Babelyuk presented her report "Modern models of strategic partnership with the employer. Employers today and tomorrow: who are they?”, where she talked about SPbSU’s most successful practices in this matter.
"Speaking about the educational process, we have expanded the number of ways in which you can work closely with the employer. One of the new tools that we have launched in our university was the creation of educational councils," she said.
Dr. Babelyuk noted that Councils for Educational Programs are expert bodies for external evaluation of the quality of education. Such councils are created for each educational program and comprise leading Russian and foreign scientists and representatives of potential employers, with the latter accounting for 70%. There are currently 597 external experts at SPbSU.
In addition, she spoke about an information system called "Partner" which now includes almost 3,000 employers. Employers are included in graduate exam commissions. In 2016, St. Petersburg State University went on an experiment, and all such commissions were composed from employers in their entirety. If last year the examination commissions included more than 1,700 representatives of employers, this year there are about 1,500 of them. They have already proposed more than 5,000 topics for graduation theses.
"We have developed a certain mechanism which allows the student to choose a potential employer and the topic of work beforehand," she said, saying that post-graduation employment has significantly increased as a result.