RAEX ranking agency, which has published an annual ranking of Russian universities since 2012, assesses universities according to three criteria: educational quality, demand for a university’s graduates among employers, and the level of research activity. The ranking is compiled based on statistics and the results of a survey conducted among 30,000 respondents, among who are employers, academics, scientists, students and graduates. In 2018, 145 universities participated in the ranking.

This year, ITMO University has shown the best growth dynamic among the top 20 by jumping from 19th to the 15th spot in the ranking. Its performance in all three criteria has also improved: the university moved up by two positions in the educational quality ranking, by 12 positions in demand for graduates, and by four positions in the research activity ranking, making it 8th in this category. According to the ranking’s authors, ITMO University’s success this year is explained by three key factors: its increased popularity among new students, extensive international integration and ITMO students’ successes at international competitions. The amount of students who enrolled into the university as a result of success in various competitions has doubled (from 12.7% to 23.5%), while the share of double-degree program students has grown from 1.6% to 2.9%. ITMO University also made it to the top 5 Russian universities for the quality of students who enrolled through international entrance competitions.

Also of note is that, according to RAEX, among ITMO University’s students each year are 4% of all graduates of Russia’s top high schools (based on information from 2016 and 2017 enrollments). Another influence on its performance is the transformation of ITMO’s educational system and the development of its ecosystem.

“Unlike, say, the Interfax ranking, the RAEX ranking takes into account surveys made among academic and scientific professionals, students and graduates. Over the course of the last year, ITMO University has changed the principles of its interactions with graduates and potential employers, with a focus on providing the conditions for these groups to be more involved in the educational, research and innovation activity at the university. We’re launching new initiatives and projects and we hope that, in the future, this will be reflected in an improvement of both the quantity and the quality of our relationships with external partners and the evaluations they give of our work,” – comments Ilya Kuftiryov, head of ITMO’s Rankings Research Center.

The RAEX universities ranking is an integral evaluation of the quality of training received by university graduates, and is determined by the universities’ educational and research activity, as well as the opinions of key reference groups: employers, academics, scientists, students and former graduates. Universities specializing in art, sports, or affiliated with law enforcement structures do not participate in the ranking. Regional and other branches of universities are also not taken into account.