Priority 2030. Far East is a new targeted program for universities of the Far Eastern Federal District that aims to increase the quality and availability of higher education, as well as ensure the universities’ contribution to the social, economic, scientific, and technological development of the district. The program will be operated by the federal autonomous research institution Sociocenter, whose experts will provide the participants with analytical, organizational, technical, methodological, and informational support. Previously, Sociocenter served as the operator of the Priority 2030 project by overseeing its launch and the selection of participants. 

According to Valery Falkov, the minister for science and higher education, the new program has been in development since last year and involves various experts and academics, as well as the district’s managing bodies and real economy representatives.

In order to join Priority 2030. Far East, the district’s universities have to develop their own development strategies and defend them to a committee composed of representatives of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the Ministry for Development of Russian Far East, as well as governors, businesspeople, and experts in science and higher education. 

The Vladivostok strategic session for development strategies of Far-Eastern universities. Credit: Priority 2030 press office

The Vladivostok strategic session for development strategies of Far-Eastern universities. Credit: Priority 2030 press office

On March 24-25, the Far Eastern Federal University hosted the strategic session during which participating universities had the opportunity to decide on the approaches that will make the core of their applications. The session brought together over 200 experts, who made up six themed focus groups. Participants of the session presented their ideas to experts and received feedback that will help them to complete their applications in the future. As a result of the event, according to the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, all 36 Far Eastern universities, as well as two candidates for the Priority 2030 program, will be able to prepare their development strategies and join the new track of the program. 

ITMO University’s First Vice Rector Daria Kozlova joined the expert group on strategy development for Far Eastern universities. In 2021, ITMO excelled in the Priority 2030 program and was awarded 994 million rubles within the research leadership track as decided by the program board. Before that, the university was also named among the project winners, thus also securing the base grant allotted by the program. 

According to Daria Kozlova, ITMO’s success should be credited to the university’s systemic changes and the reassessment of its priorities at different stages of development. For instance, for several years already ITMO has been functioning without academic departments and dean’s offices – instead, students get to choose specific faculties and educational programs, while the Student Services Office takes care of all administrative tasks. Moreover, students aren’t limited by strict guidelines: each of them can follow their own individual learning track and get the skills they need most. 

Daria Kozlova. Photo by Maria Bakina, Megabyte Media

Daria Kozlova. Photo by Maria Bakina, Megabyte Media

ITMO’s ever-expanding list of corporate partners and Master’s programs, as well as its external expertise, ensure that the competencies offered by the university are relevant and sought-after. One such program opening next academic year will train engineers for modern biotechnology manufacturing in collaboration with innovative company Innova Plus and Geropharm, one of the major local pharmaceutical manufacturers. In 2022, the university will also launch a new online Master’s program in machine learning, where students will train under experienced mentors in the format of a distributed project office – a format that has already become common at major IT companies. Over the course of two years, they will acquire skills equivalent to the Middle Machine Learning Engineer level. 

ITMO’s new Development Strategy contains the key principles that will guide the university’s path until 2030. The strategy includes several strategic projects aimed to accelerate scientific advances, ensure a high technology readiness level, customize the educational process, and promote the integration of business, science, and education.

The selection of participants Priority 2030. Far East is scheduled for 2022. According to Daria Kozlova, the team of ITMO University sees a lot of potential in collaboration with universities in the Russian Far East. 

Editorial team