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Russia Boasts 53 Institutions in the QS University Rankings: BRICS 2014

London, 18th of June 2014 - QS University Rankings: BRICS, which compares the Top 200 institutions in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, provides encouraging signs for Russian institutions, and shows that there is steady progress in many key indicators.

The acronym BRICS has become standard shorthand for the idea that the world’s economic future is not in the hands of traditional players such as the US, Europe and Japan.  However, to compete with the existing institutions in the developed world, these fast growing economies need to increase the impact of their research at a global level.

Alexandr Klimov, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, notes: “Since 2012, Russia has invested on the internationalization of its higher education system.  Among the numerous initiatives undertaken, we have produced and opened for public a comprehensive report which includes key data and statistics on the Russian universities and allocated a significant budget to develop international research collaborations.”

The impact of these policies is slowly percolating – even if there is only one Russian university in the top 10 QS University Rankings: BRICS - the rankings point to the greater strength of Russian universities. Unlike many of the major research institutions in the other BRICS nations, Russian institutions are notable for their exceptionally low student/faculty ratios. Russia has 17 of the top 20 institutions in this indicator, including all of the top 12 - a measure of total dominance. However this is just one indicator with such an outstanding result: when it comes down to citations or research productivity, internationalization or reputation in expert communities, there is still room for growth.

In general the performance of the universities from the region has strengthened, in the total number of participants in the international rankings, but also in the QS University Rankings: BRICS we see advances – the majority of the Russian universities have improved their positions.

Zoya Zaitseva, Regional director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at QS, notes that: “Academic institutions and the Ministry of Education and Science are making great strides and Russian universities are beginning to show the real picture of their achievements and progress. For many universities joining the international rankings sounded like “mission impossible” five or six years ago, however today they are making steady progress in many indicators.  Two universities made the top 100 for the first time – MISIS and Plekhanov University – and ITMO joined the ranks for the first time. The main challenge they face now is to keep improving on the global impact of their research and on internationalization, two key indicators of world-class institutions.”

Russia has announced its goal of having five universities in the global top 100 by 2020, while India has ambitions to establish 14 world-class universities under the government’s “brain gain” policy. QS University Rankings: BRICS will provide a window on these initiatives’ success, and will shed light on the specific mission of academic institutions from these countries. Going from evaluating the top 100 universities in 2013 to top 200 in 2014  shows the importance of the higher education sector in  emerging markets’  and the increased demand from stakeholders across the globe to learn more about the top universities in the BRICS. The future has already arrived.



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