Ahead of the meeting, the head of state was shown a model of the internationally recognised campus of the Moscow State University of Civil Engineering. The university is expected to become a centre for the strategic development of science and education in the construction sector, housing and utilities, as well as a design, civil society and business cluster.
* * *
Excerpts from a meeting on creating a network of up-to-date campuses
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, good afternoon. Welcome everyone.
Those present here have seen me meeting with young people, schoolkids and teenagers from the Movement of the First. Today is the last day of their congress.
It got me thinking how demographers project that the number of young people in Russia will grow without interruption for more than a decade. Very soon, children who are 10–12 years old today will enroll in vocational schools and universities. And, of course, we need to be working right now, today, to provide them with expansive, qualitatively different conditions to achieve their potential, a successful career and life progress, so that they become true professionals in their field, and have reliable values and moral guidance. This is, without exaggeration, a strategic goal for the entire nation. This is why we are implementing several large projects to develop educational infrastructure together with the regions and businesses.
Large companies are not only involved in the federal programme to build campuses; they finance the construction of advanced educational research infrastructure of higher education. This is a good example of public-private partnership to develop the intellectual potential of the country’s workforce.
Today we will begin our meeting with the opening ceremony for new educational buildings, dormitories, laboratories, and universities in several Russian regions. Almetyevsk, Kogalym, Ufa, as well as Moscow are in touch with us now.
(This was followed by the presentation of the completed facilities and construction projects of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University; the Almetyevsk State Oil Institute in Tatarstan; the branch of the Perm National Research Polytechnic University in Kogalym, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area; and the inter-university campus of the world-class Research and Education Centre in Ufa, the capital of Bashkortostan.)
Vladimir Putin: Of course, I would like to congratulate the authorities of these regions and the governments of Moscow, Almetyevsk, Kogalym and Ufa on these achievements. It is a major step in the development of education infrastructure throughout the country. This is only the beginning, and some of the projects we discussed just now are only at the first stage of their development. There will be 25 such campuses across the country, 17 at the first stage and another eight later on. We are thinking of ways to extend this programme, and we will certainly extend it because we must really change the environment in which future researchers, engineers and other professionals live and work. This is necessary and important, and we will certainly continue to do this quickly and well.
It has been said just now that the Bashkortostan authorities did their best to create a model environment for students, post-graduates and the faculty. Creating model environments is precisely the goal of these modern campuses, and we will definitely continue working towards it.
I would like to congratulate all of you on this event and to express the hope that you will continue working apace.
Thank you very much.
And now we will discuss the implementation of the programme to create a network of up-to-date campuses. We will talk about this in more detail.
I congratulate you on today’s event once again. I would also like to thank the architects, engineers, building technicians and the construction staff and to draw attention to the initiative of our companies, which, as we have seen from the examples of Almetyevsk and Kogalym, are actively financing the creation of new educational spaces and modern platforms for training. This is exactly what we have spoken about many times, constantly urging businesses to make a vital contribution to tackling one of the most important tasks facing the country, that is, the training of modern personnel which our economy needs. If we do together what we are doing now, we will succeed without a doubt.
We must consider the experience we gained while implementing our plans on developing education infrastructure, including the federal programme focused on building university campuses. We will talk more about this programme today.
Let me remind you that within the next decade, we plan to build 25 campuses from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean, with modern study buildings, accommodation and spaces for creative activities, sports and leisure. This will provide students with broad opportunities for balanced development, high quality education, research and even entrepreneurship, and subsequently enable companies and organisations to recruit highly qualified personnel, and conduct research and development projects with undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as to develop new technology and competitive products.
Of course, we all know about the ongoing major industrial, IT, technological projects, and the urban and rural development programmes. It is a comprehensive development stage for all the regions of our big country.
These large-scale, ambitious and complex projects are jobs for highly-qualified specialists, experts in a variety of areas. By building advanced education and research infrastructure for university campuses, we will make a huge leap in the overall development of the regions’ education systems.
These projects require the development and launch of new study courses and methods, providing career guidance to school students and professional development opportunities to teachers and, of course, training sought-after professionals for the country’s economy and social sphere.
I want to stress that these university campuses must become intellectual resources that will find solutions to issues concerning the development of our territories and improving the quality of life for local residents. They must make a tangible contribution to the development of the entire country.
Therefore, it is important to consider at the approval stage how these projects correlate with the priorities of national and regional development and the prospects for implementing infrastructure and large industrial projects. It is necessary to form a material base for these specific strategic tasks, comprising study buildings, laboratories and technoparks. I want to emphasise that these projects must be more than architecture designs and beautiful walls. Design is important, of course, but we must clearly envision the future life of these campuses. I would like to ask you to pay special attention to this matter and to the efforts to equip the campuses with all the necessary technology and equipment.
In addition, we have to understand at this stage the exact volume of expenses for operating and maintaining new buildings, and we have to stipulate the required budgetary and extra-budgetary funding for this purpose. Of course, while implementing the campus programme, we need to pay attention to the opinions, requests and assessments of the student community.
By the way, at our recent meeting, students at universities in Kaliningrad (you probably noticed that I met with them recently) raised an important issue, in my opinion. The thing is, university campuses should consider the needs of young families. This is important for several reasons. We also have to create opportunities for raising children there. I am asking you to pay attention to these issues, no matter what, under the campus programme and while renewing the overall infrastructure and dormitories at our universities. I am drawing the attention of all colleagues in the Government and in the regions to this.
We discussed one more issue in Kaliningrad: it is necessary to create an open campus infrastructure, so all regional residents can use it. We need to use education infrastructure for educational, public and sport activities. All these aspects should be regulated, while certainly not overlooking safety and security issues, but modern technology makes it possible to accomplish this. This is how campuses are designed, and I am asking you to pay special attention to it.
I also hope that modern and convenient campuses will help create a modern urban environment and the entire essential infrastructure for business, for work and leisure and for a more comfortable life. They will blend with the surroundings in terms of their content and architecture. We will also use this experience when implementing urban development projects in accordance with the master plans.
We are now doing this work for Far Eastern and Arctic cities, and we will certainly spread best practices to other Russian regions.
Of course, improved and people-friendly campus environments should become a platform for exchanging best practices, for implementing joint initiatives of undergraduate and postgraduate students and lecturers from all Russian universities. In effect, the entire campus programme should help expand academic mobility, consolidate our young people and define the vector of our higher school’s development. I am asking you to keep all these things in mind when selecting new participants for the campus construction programme and while implementing projects that we have already approved.
Now that we are all here, let’s start discussing the theme we are focused on.