In the “Brand” category, considerable attention is paid to how the university interacts with society and its media presence. For example, universities are evaluated in terms of how much they communicate with target audiences including the international audience, media activity and perception of the university’s research by both the international and Russian academic society. The organizers of the ranking also tried to broaden the criteria by including some experimental “measures”: such as how the university uses social networks and mobile phone apps.
“The university’s brand is much more than just the external perception of the style of the university. It is more about what you feel when you hear the name of organization. When we talk about ITMO, we focus on the dynamism, openness, modernity, creativity and non-classic approach of the University’s progress. For ITMO University, it’s not so important to make it to the first place in the rankings, but to have rapid and constant growth. For us it’s important to be constantly moving, and not be “stuck in a traffic jam”, explained Anna Veklich, the Head of Strategic Communications Department.
ITMO University has made several steps towards being more recognized in both Russia and the international arena, since last year’s announcement of 2015-rankings. The Science Communication Office which is targeted on building international science networks as well as creating bilateral dialogue between science and society has begun working in full force. Together with “Bumaga media” ITMO University organized a popular science project “Open University”. The first St. Petersburg science slam was held under ITMO’s brand name. Many St. Petersburg citizens and tourists have found out about what happens in ITMO by visiting the biggest summer city festivals such as GEEK PICNIC and “VK”.
Once year, National University Rankings evaluate universities by such criteria as “Education”, “Research”, “Socialization”, “Brand” and “Innovation”. In 2016, “Interfax” agency divided date of the sub-ranking releases, so the university’s place in the rankings in other categories will be released at a later date.