Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today is a very happy, festive day for us. We first began talking with representatives of the business community about establishing such an educational institution, a distinctly new type of institution, around two years ago. Moreover, they were both representatives from the Russian business community and from our foreign partners. And the reason is clear: today as the economy of the Russian Federation is developing rapidly, the demand for highly-qualified management personnell is very great, and the business community itself is feeling this demand. The business community is able to solve this problem but the fact that today it lacks its own base for preparing the most highly-qualified young graduates within the Russian Federation makes finding such a solution difficult.
This project is supported by and will continue to be supported by the state within the national project Education. However, the project is being carried out exclusively by private initiative and by using private money — unlike the other project we have conceived and that will be carried out in St Petersburg (we are also planning to establish a major business school there). These will be absolutely new kind of educational institutions; they will be different from one another. As we just heard, in Moscow we are planning to train graduates to enter the highest ranks of management, to act as highly-skilled professionals. Without any undue exaggeration, they should be the business elite of the 21 st century.
Skolkovo is an ambitious project of the Russian – and I emphasise Russian – business community that, as we understand and as I have already said, has a significant interest in implementing these projects. The Moscow school is being established thanks to private investments. All the participants in this project, all of its founders, are listed on the poster over there. The school will have its own capital and the income this capital will produce will allow the school to develop further.
The future programmes for this national higher education establishment are as pragmatic and as innovative as possible. They are focused on providing applied skills and allowing graduates to bring essentially practical experience to business affairs. It is well known that new techniques in business education are being developed. And we would like for these techniques to also be developed and perfected right here, in Skolkovo.
Today all branches of industry – manufacturing, the service sector, innovative businesses – have a very high demand for management personnel. And I think that establishing such schools will, undoubtedly, act as positive contribution towards developing the Russian economy and system of higher education. Already the project of the Moscow School of Management is an innovative element within the national system of higher education. Internationally renown experts, prominent representatives of the business world, Russian and foreign state and public figures are expected to teach students how to resolve real business problems.
I believe that the international selection of students should also be in harmony with the training our graduates will receive. I am referring to the fact that future graduates will have the opportunity to make all necessary connections. We expect that Skolkovo will make its own positive contribution to the modernisation of Russian education. Here many modern educational techniques conforming with international standards for business education will be tested for the first time. And new economic approaches to organising the educational process will, I hope, provide a future model for many Russian universities.
Of course implementing initiatives of such a large scale and in such a long-term perspective will require the most serious, including personal, participation from the founders and teachers. These five million dollars of initial capital will obviously be insufficient. In such cases one must put one’s soul into one’s occupation and give one’s time, including personal time – in other words, a part of one’s life. And I hope and very much expect that the ambitious plans – the founders want this establishment to become one of the most prestigious such establishments in the world within ten to fifteen years – will be implemented. Of course, the best proof of the realization of these plans will be the success of the graduates.
I would like to congratulate all those who have any involvement in this project and to wish us all success.
Thank you very much.