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Nikita Anisimov: "The Far East is becoming a dream region"

Rector of FEFU - about why foreigners dream of studying in Vladivostok, can you learn how to start the startup correctly, and how does the university become more than the place where they receive a diploma

20 January Far Eastern Federal University holds an open day. In 2018, the best applicants are waiting for 4368 budget places. You can often hear: in FEFU and teachers some other, not as everywhere, and students are unusual, and prospects for graduates are special. About this, and not only, we talked with the rector of the Far Eastern Federal University Nikita Anisimov.

Nikita Anisimov: "The Far East is becoming a dream region"
Photo: VEF / TASS Photobank

- You manage a huge economy, it is enough to say that four universities were united to create FEFU. What helps you cope with managerial tasks?

- I graduated from the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics, and I can exist in any system of axioms. The only question is how to try on these axioms. In this case - to understand how education is developing, to feel its trends and move in this direction. And the people you work with will see the leader's course and follow it. Leadership decisions are built into these trends.

We have, by the way, an excellent team. We did not reduce the teaching staff. And since 2018, by the decision of the academic council, the salaries of teachers have been increased. Young professionals will receive from 35 thousand rubles, plus bonuses and allowances. As for the more experienced teachers, candidates, doctors of science, those who conduct unique research and receive grants for them, their income, in fact, is not limited by anything, and incomes can be greater. I say this with pride, because there is a persistent myth that the Russian scientist is a beggar. So, it is not.

- Your teachers work according to modern international models of organizing the educational process, what does this mean?

- In the world's leading universities, any teacher knows that he is working on a 3-5-year contract. After the expiration of this contract, he moves to another place where he is in demand. Very few get a full-time professor position. Now Russian universities are also moving to this model. And this is normal, because we are involved in international global processes. When we invite a foreign scientist, we know that he does not stay forever, not because he does not like the conditions, but because he knows the rules of the game in the scientific world. He gets a cadre position for a certain period, and during this period he fulfills a certain scientific and educational program, forms young teams around him, works with graduate students, and raises masters. This system is becoming more and more widespread in Russia: the number of domestic teachers who work according to the new educational model is growing. Innovations are introduced without orders, in an evolutionary way. I think this is correct. We are implementing presidential initiatives to create branches of departments of leading Russian universities at FEFU. Teachers will come to such branches for a month or two and work with students. At the same time, the core of the teaching staff of FEFU will be made up of our own teachers. This is a complex, university-specific approach.

- AND how to teach international students?

- Russia allocates 15 thousand scholarships for foreign citizens, and in return Russian citizens receive scholarships abroad. For example, we have quite a lot of Vietnamese and Chinese citizens studying here. These are students who came centrally, according to a quota. But there are also those foreign citizens who come on their own initiative, and their majority.

In the new academic year, we accepted more than three thousand foreign students from 67 countries. We significantly expanded the geography of students from abroad, enrolling freshmen from 15 new states. For the first time students from Algeria, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Cuba, Mali, Nepal, Somalia, Croatia, Chile, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and South Africa appeared at the university.

As for the Russians, in a number of areas we have up to 80% of students enrolled not from the Primorsky Territory, but from other regions of Russia. These, for example, are such specialties as oriental studies, international relations. Throughout the university, such students are 37%.


- Tell us about the funding of the university from a specially created endowment fund?

- This is a new and very promising story. MGIMO, one of the country's leading universities, thanks to its endowment fund, can annually invest up to 300 million rubles in its own educational programs. We still have the opportunity to invest about 30 million rubles in the educational process. Such funds are formed at the expense of donors. The donor, in our case these are the largest companies in the country, for example, SUEK, Gazprom, VTB, Aeroflot, Sberbank, Russian Railways, Russian Helicopters, RusHydro, can choose what it is preferable to spend their funds on. Some donations are non-addressed, and we can use these funds at the discretion of the university. The decision is made by the board of the foundation and the board of trustees, consisting of people who are really serious about the development of the university.

Now we have reached a new level of work: foreign companies are considering investing hundreds of millions of rubles in the university with a university guarantee to conduct scientific research on their equipment. The percentage of these investments will be used for research in the interests of the donor companies. This is a two-way road. The University does have a powerful scientific base, and many people who come to the Eastern Economic Forum (WEF) - leaders, investors, experts - see our potential, understand that we could help them with research, and begin negotiations on financing.
In total, the FEFU fund is replenished per year for 100-200 million rubles, this is a pillow of security, and a pledge of our development.

- Do you have foreign representative offices, centers, for example, studying Japanese-Russian relations?

- From the point of view of the Japanese government, I think this is an investment in the development of Russian-Japanese relations. We, in turn, are the only university in Russia with a branch in Japan, in the city of Hakodate on the island of Hokkaido. In our branch, about 60 students study Russian every year. Good-neighborly relations are being built thanks to the cooperation of the leaders of our countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shidnzo Abe. Mitsubishi Corporation, which is an investor in this process, considers, I believe, its duty not to stand aside and to support the efforts of politicians.

The branch was opened in 1994 year, it has the status of the main center of Russian culture in Japan. In the teaching staff there are eight Japanese teachers, seven of whom are Russian citizens. The branch implements the bachelor's program in the field "Foreign Regional Studies", the program of additional professional education "Interpreter in the field of professional communications (Russian language)", the program "Practical course of the Russian language". Over one hundred employees of leading Japanese companies and government agencies, such as the Customs Service of Japan, Hokuyo Bank, Aomori Prefecture, Hokkaido Governorate, Hokkaido Education Committee, Marubani Company, Kurod Resaikl, were trained at the branch. Now the branch trains 74 people, including 22 - under the bachelor's program.

- A little earlier you mentioned that oriental studies is an important discipline at FEFU.

- We strive to revive the national school of oriental studies. We plan to equip the campus zones in Korea, China, Japan and other countries of the Asia-Pacific region. It is not so much about architectural delights as about creating a space for the interaction of cultures. When the Eastern Economic Forum takes place, a huge number of guests come who want to see the role of their country in strengthening relations with Russia. Considering that we are an expert center in the field of relations with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, we are in the cards.


- What is the fate of your graduates? Do they stay to work in the Far East?

- You can see what growth the Far East is now showing. Infrastructure begins to develop, including social and educational, the Far Eastern Hectare and Advanced Development Area programs have been launched ... People are beginning to believe that they can stay in the Far East and make a successful career. Previously, this was not even close.

As for FEFU, we are increasingly preparing students together with future employers, representatives of the largest companies operating in the region. It is important that the children believe that the Far East is the space of their opportunities for realization. Why did we create an industrial park? Not because it's fashionable, but because the technopark is an opportunity to create jobs for every student, help him to create his own business. Working with the APR countries is a dizzying prospect, a crazy market, great opportunities. We are trying to ensure that the graduate of the university does not need to be re-educated, so that he immediately gets exhaustive competence in the course of training and becomes a resident of the technopark. What's the result? As a result, we already have the best indicator among the universities of the country, 70% of graduates remain working in the region. Previously, the guys taught Japanese, Chinese, and went to work in trade missions. Now with the knowledge of Oriental languages, they open a business here, they pay taxes and sell goods to the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. This is a completely new model.

- The role of state support is great in the creation of this model?

- Sure. A huge number of preferences are being created for the region. We expect that Russky Island will become a priority development area; this regime will provide tax incentives for those who open their own business on the island.

- What will happen on the island? Technopark?

- Yes, maybe not only a technopark, but a scientific and technological valley. The legislation is already being formed. For example, a law has been passed that citizens of 18 countries can stay in Russia for eight days in the territories managed through the Free Port of Vladivostok. For six months, more than 6,5 thousand electronic visas were issued, according to which, for example, 2,6 thousand people entered Primorye from the People's Republic of China, Japan - in second place. The mechanism is very simple: a person visits the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, fills out an electronic application form, within four days an answer comes, and that's it, you can go to Vladivostok for a period, as I said, up to eight days, in fact, obtaining a visa takes 20 minutes.

Here, in fact, the prerequisites motivating us to develop economic education. We work with the Faculty of Economics of Moscow State University. It provides a strong fundamental education. We project applied education, practical knowledge on how to open a start-up, work in the territory of advanced development, conduct audit of projects in the interests of the authorities, and much more. We do such programs, for example, together with Sberbank, we discussed this more than once with the head of Sberbank German Gref, and not without his help launched a system of training personnel for the enterprises of the Far East.

In September, we launched the EMBA business course "Business in Asia: creation and promotion" in conjunction with the Agency for Human Capital Development in the Far East. Already, 21 people are studying there - acting top managers and business owners.

- How do you interact with schools?

- Firstly, we have our partner schools, with which we are striving to ensure the synchronization of training programs. Secondly, we actively help schools develop the teaching of mathematics, the Russian language, history and other disciplines, conduct master classes for young people showing outstanding results. We want to create a branch of the famous children's educational center "Sirius" on the basis of FEFU. This will help gifted schoolchildren of Primorye feel that their efforts will not be wasted, that their knowledge and talents are needed. According to the instruction of the President of Russia, the analogue of "Sirius" should appear in every subject of the Russian Federation, and this will happen. We are already one of the sites for the implementation of this project based on the Primorsky Territory.
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