In 2016, ITMO University was dynamically improving its position in international rankings. In September, it entered the Times Higher Education rankings for the first time, placed in the 351-400 interval, thus becoming 3rd in Russia according to this ranking. Also, ITMO entered the top-100 universities in THE's Computer Science subject ranking by ranking 56th worldwide. The university also got UNESCO's international medal for its unique educational environment.
"For me, 2016 has become the year when our university entered the THE general ranking; we've also successfully conducted the IT and Innovations Business in Russia exchange program that united students from various countries. Another memorable achievement was organizing the Art&Science project in collaboration with the State Hermitage museum which will serve as a basis for our new Master's program in this field," notes Daria Kozlova, Vice Rector for International Relations.
With each year, there are more and more international scientists and lecturers working at the university. While in 2013 there were less than 1% of them, in 2016 their amount reached 5.6%.
Since 2013, ITMO University has been increasing the amount of publications in science magazines indexed by such international databases as Scopus and Web of Science. On average, in 2016 each of the university's scientists has published 6.33 articles in Scopus and 4.82 in Web of Science. In comparison with last year, these indicators doubled, as well as citation rates of articles by the university's staff and students.
Attaining such results became possible thanks to the university investing maximum resources in the most relevant and in-demand research. For that purpose, the university's structure was changed so as to create three new Schools: School of Computer Technologies and Control, School of Photonics and School of Translational Information Technologies.
"We've created these Schools not to just merge faculties with common subjects, but in order to focus on completing major tasks that imply making use of particular competencies and technologies. As each School focuses on certain challenges, the applicants find it easier to understand which competencies they can get and which tasks they will be able to solve in the future. The academic mobility for each faculty has increased, as well," comments Marianna Chistyakova, Head of the Strategic Development Department.
Opening of ITMO's Chemical and Biological Center
The university also increased the amount of practice-oriented research. In August, ITMOs and Kazan Quantum Center's scientists launched the first multinode quantum network in Russia. Also, new projects are being conducted at the Institute of Translational Medicine. For example, ITMO and Federal Almazov North-West Research Center are now developing a new decision support system. In 2016, ITMO University won grants as part of Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation Action project, including those on developing Smart Home technologies and improving MRI technology, as well as strengthened its collaboration with the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology on researching nanocarbon materials.
What is more, the universities are planning to launch a joint Master's degree program. The University is also working on creating new promising laboratories and research centers. In March, the international Art&Science cluster was created at ITMO University. In autumn, the University won a grant for creating a laboratory for researching hybrid light conditions. Specialists from ITMO University in collaboration with the University of Texas at Dallas also won a grant for creating a laboratory for creating organic-inorganic materials with integrated nanophotonic structures. In November, a new Chemical-Biological Center was opened at the University.
ITMO is an entrepreneurial university. In addition to its business incubator and accelerator, this spring the SAP Next-Gen Lab center where students and staff can work on the order of international companies - clients of SAP - opened at ITMO University. In 2016, Russia’s first office of the National Technology Initiative also opened at the university.
ITMO University is a university that shares the knowledge it accumulates. Last year, it launched 15 new online courses, including a course on Science Communication which was launched at the same time as the new Science Communication Master's program, which is at this point the only program of this kind in Russia.
The competition among applicants for ITMO's Bachelor's, Master's and PhD programs continues to grow. Thus, in 2016 the average Unified State Exam score of applicants was 86.9 (being 82.7 in 2015 and 78.9 in 2014). The best of the best study at ITMO University, and the university does its best to provide them with all the necessary conditions. The university has its own KronBars sportsclub, as well OLYMP and FabLab laboratories where any student can work on his independent projects free of charge. Each year, ITMO hosts different contests such as "Miss ITMO" and "Mister ITMO", as well as various festivals and sports competitions, and also participates in such major events as Vkontakte festival and Geek Picnic. ITMO's 2016 main open-air event was the graduation ceremony that took place in the very heart of St. Petersburg - Peter and Paul's Fortress.
"If I were to comment on the reasons behind the university's success in 2016 in several words, that would be speed, pro-activity and creative input. Our main task for 2017 would be developing the ITMO.FAMILY community which will unite all kinds of people - from applicants and their parents to graduates, the university's partners and just all citizens of St. Petersburg. ITMO University can provide new opportunities for just anyone," underlines Anna Veklich, Head of Strategic Communications Department.
You can see ITMO's 2016 full annual report in English here.