Ural Federal University: The University Maintained Its Position in the New RAEX Ranking

According to the results of 2020, Ural Federal University ranked 12th in Russia according to RAEX ranking agency. Thus, UrFU repeated the result of 2019.

The ranking of Russian universities is already the tenth by RAEX agency. In its preparation, statistical indicators were used, as well as the results of surveys of more than 70,000 respondents: representatives of academic and scientific circles, students and graduates, employers.

“Ural Federal University together with academic institutions and industrial partners has for many years been forming one of the largest centers of high-tech, innovative economy in the region. All of this contributes to the comprehensive development of the territory, increasing its competitiveness and investment attractiveness. An important factor here is the work of the world-class Ural Interregional Research and Education Center for Advanced Industrial Technologies and Materials. With partners from the Sverdlovsk, Kurgan, and Chelyabinsk regions, we are developing domestic science and increasing the efficiency of enterprises by implementing the latest developments,” says Victor Koksharov, rector of the university.

Victor Koksharov also notes that UrFU is currently one of the leaders in digitalization of education.

“This was especially evident during the pandemic – the university opened all of its courses, resulting in more than 10,000 students from other universities studying on them in the spring semester of 2020. The combination of online courses and face-to-face university training is an important tool for the spatial development of the whole country,” emphasizes Koksharov.

The annual RAEX-100 ranking of Russia’s best universities was presented today in Moscow at the Global Competitiveness forum of higher education institutions. During the forum there was a ceremony of awarding the leading universities according to the results of their activity. Ural Federal University was awarded a diploma for the high level of research infrastructure development.

All in all, the rating includes universities from 31 regions. The clear leader in the number of participants is Moscow: 32 of the first hundred universities are located in the capital (a year earlier – 31). St. Petersburg (11 institutions), the Moscow and Tomsk regions (5 institutions each) and Tatarstan (4 institutions) are widely represented. Three of the best universities are located in Voronezh, Kursk, Rostov, Samara and Tyumen regions.

“National rankings are able to respond quickly to changes in higher education and reflect the priorities set by the state in the system of criteria. Thus, we have already measured the impact of the pandemic on universities – for example, we recorded the slippage of international integration indicators, which had been improving all previous years, and the reduction of additional professional programs. In spite of the most noticeable changes in methodology in recent years, top universities managed to maintain their positions: shifts in the top 30 of RAEX ranking are insignificant,” says Dmitry Grishankov, CEO of the RAEX ranking agency (“RAEX-Analytics”).

Results of RAEX-100 showed that limitations associated with epidemiological situation have slowed down the growth of the share of foreign students in Russian universities: during the year it increased from 11.7% to 11.9%. Universities compensated for the negative impact of the pandemic through distance learning: many foreign students studied fully or partially remotely last year. However, the average share of students who had internships abroad decreased significantly, from 0.78% to 0.66%, due to border closures.

In 2020 the volume of funds attracted by universities at the expense of VET programs decreased noticeably: per one university the index decreased from 142.7 million rubles to 130.7 million rubles. Many potential consumers abandoned their plans to receive additional education in the spring of 2020, as they were not ready for distance learning. In addition, the universities concentrated their efforts on the transfer to the online format of the basic educational programs, having moved the programs of additional education to the second plan. Representatives of universities believe that this setback is temporary and count on a rapid recovery of the market due to pent-up demand.

Over the past year, the availability of higher education in the country as a whole has increased. The percentage of first-year students in the universities included in the RAEX-100 ranking, enrolled on a budget basis, increased: in 2020/21 it was on average 58.4%, while a year earlier it was 56.8%. As for paid education, for the first time in the history of RAEX rankings, the average cost of first-year studies at universities participating in the ranking has not increased.

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