2015 became a year of change for ITMO University, as it opened up new opportunities. Having made the first steps towards the world’s top rankings, it began to gather pace. The bicycle became a symbol of this new stage in development – maneuvering and light transport of the future, as mobile and dynamic as ITMO University itself is.

University courses evolved rapidly: in the beginning of the year the International Council on Competitiveness Enhancement of Leading Russian Universities announced that ITMO University was one of the leaders of Project 5-100. While presenting “road maps” the university’s team made an outstanding but unusual presentation which didn’t let them down: the presentation described five “pros” and one “con” of the university’s progress into the TOP-100 of International Rankings, and was highly praised by the members of the International Council. Let us note that in 2016, ITMO University successfully confirmed its status.

Following the opening of an international representative office in Brussels (Belgium), the main objective of which is to develop educational and scientific collaboration with the European Union, in 2015 the university together with group of companies “Diakont” opened a second international representative office in the Italian city of Arezzo. Its priority spheres of development are the search and engagement of new partners among European hi-tech companies, as well as the transfer of technology and R & D on the western market.

The presence of ITMO University on the international scene was strengthened in several other areas. For example, on the grounds of the University and its partners the first ITMO International Days were held. The total number of joint educational programs amounted to 52, including 15 Master’s programs in English. Also, 23 short-term programs were launched, and about 500 students from the world’s leading universities came to St. Petersburg to participate in them. ITMO University does not forget about its own students and staff: for those who want to get degree from a local and a foreign university, a project for intensive English language learning “University Study Skills” was launched. As for the development of a comfort English language environment, courses for university faculty are still going on.

“If in 2013-2014 initiatives of ITMO University were mainly quantity-oriented, 2015 was definitely quality-oriented. Of course, last year we, launched more educational programs, and welcomed more international students and experts, who joined us after our events. However, foremost we develop our international strategy as a leader of Project 5-100: we are proud of the high-level conferences and meetings that we organize and participate in, of the education quality, talents and achievements of engaged students. In order to make ITMO University brand more well-known, we keep practicing a pro-active attitude. 2015 was a splendid year, it passed in a flash, and the main output of that year is – everything we do, we do with love. There is no other way,” - said Vice Rector for International Relations Daria Kozlova.

As far as other educational programs are concerned, in 2015 ITMO University started to develop online learning courses, and the first courses on the National Platform “Open Education” were launched in the fall. Collaboration with a global educational platform edX turned out to be fruitful as well: recently ITMO University published its debut course “How to Win Programming Competitions: champions’ secrets” on it. The university’s trainers know the program they plan to teach to edX’s users like the back of their hand, since in 2015, ITMO University students won the International Programming Contest ACM ICPC for the sixth time in a row. Moreover, for the first time in history the team completed all of the problems in the contest. Among other glorious victories are prizes of Yandex.Algorithm, Google Code Jam и Facebook Hacker Cup, which were all won by a student of Computer Technology Chair Gennady Korotkevich, as well as three first prizes of “VK Cup 2015”.

2015 was marked by development of scientific work at ITMO University: researchers of the university submitted more than 2000 articles, while the volume of financial support of R&D and experimental work exceeded two billion rubles. University experts started research in a new field: together with Federal Almazov North-West Medical Research Centre, the Institute of Translational Medicine was established, aimed at transferring advanced scientific R & D into everyday medical practice.

Furthermore, ITMO University was honored to become a Russian coordinator for the world’s main scientific and educational event established by UN - International Year of Light. Under supervision of the university dozens of large scientific events were run, including conference “Optics 2015”, X International Symposium on Display Holography, spatial development Harmony of Versatility forum, Magic of Light exhibition, which were visited by more than 75 thousand St. Petersburg citizens. In the last year the University repeatedly proved its slogan “IT’s MOre than a university”. Many visitors of GEEK PICNIC and “VK” fests camped out to get into ITMO University’s “Smart House” and taste innovational ice-cream, thousands of the university’s alumni came from all over the country to “SIBUR ARENA” to celebrate 115 Anniversary of Alma-mater, while the students counted “Likes” and chose their side of the force. 2015 proved yet again that only in a non-classical university even the boldest idea can be put into practice.

“We are a dynamic university, and our annual report proves it. It totally reflects the university’s development pace and its image strategy – of a non-classical university, a bicycle that whirls forward constantly achieving new goals. The brand of the University develops from year to year, and our main secret, apart from our speed, is our uniqueness. Every day we work on becoming memorable, modern, and creative. We are not afraid to take risks and be open-minded and free. For a modern university it is vital to feel the trend and be the trend-setters. And, of course, our master key is love, in the name of which we began the year of 2016 in the most non-classical university”. - says Head of Strategic Communications Department, Anna Veklich.

The annual report is available in English here