Moscow State University Board of Trustees meeting 2015-05-28 14:50:00 The Kremlin, Moscow Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Lomonosov Moscow State University Board of Trustees. The discussion focussed on interim results of the Moscow State University development programme through 2020 and work on the Vorobyovy Gory science and technology cluster. * * * Speech at meeting of the Lomonosov Moscow State University Board of Trustees President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, Today we are holding the second meeting of the Board of Trustees to talk about our plans and priorities for further development of Moscow State University (MGU). MGU’s role in the nation’s history is enormous: for over two and a half centuries, it helped multiply Russia’s cultural, scientific and intellectual heritage. This country is proud not only of Moscow State University professors and alumni, which comes without saying, but also of its benefactors and trustees. Thus, Yekaterina Dashkova of the Romanov dynasty and other outstanding personalities assisted in the establishment of Moscow University, helped its students, donated money, restored it after the war of 1812, donated their book, art and science collections, created university museums that remain, without any exaggeration, a national heritage. I would like to note that the creation of the Moscow State University Board of Trustees is a tribute to the traditions of charity and civic involvement in major projects our country needs. Present here today are people of authority, undoubtedly, and, what is more important, those who are convinced that science and education are the most important resources for the nation’s development, while their multiplication is the joint responsibility of the state, society and business. I would like to thank all the members of the Board of Trustees for their assistance to the university, both in the form of financial support and substantive, constructive ideas on personnel training and the development of science and technology. I expect the role of the Board to grow and all of you to be taking an ever more active part in the implementation of major projects to develop Moscow State University. Colleagues, I would like to remind you that five years ago we approved the Moscow State University development programme through 2020. Over these years, the university has made qualitative progress both in personnel training and in strengthening its research and technology base. Moscow State University alumni traditionally occupy leading positions in Russia’s companies and research centres. I would like to note that at least a quarter graduate with distinction. This is very good, of course. New departments have been created to train experts in promising areas. The university is working to find talented, gifted children, and interdisciplinary research has received a serious impetus. Significant steps were made in such advanced areas as medicine, bio- and nano-technology, which will to a large extent decide which states will lead the way at this new stage of technological development. I would like to highlight the growing authority of Moscow State University not only in our country, but abroad as well. You should, undoubtedly, move on, strengthening your position. Moscow State University has the necessary potential for this. Let us consider together what additional assistance Moscow University needs to implement its development programme. I would like to remind you that the decision has already been made to expand the university’s research and educational infrastructure, as we discussed in detail at the first meeting of the Board of Trustees. The university should actually create a new generation multidisciplinary complex with laboratories for fundamental research and experimenting, centres for the implementation of innovative studies and trial production facilities in priority areas of the country’s scientific and technological development. The idea is to link science and business, so that companies could use the educational and research capabilities of Moscow State University, while researchers could develop their projects commercially. In other words, to ensure that our companies that are interested in the latest technology and developments could acquire them here, in Russia, and use the national research and intellectual base and the national potential. Next. I am convinced, that Moscow State University should further strengthen cooperation with leading national and foreign research centres to attract world-class scholars to joint work. The university’s efforts to spread scientific expertise and knowledge and ensure our humanitarian influence in the post-Soviet space and the world at large are of paramount importance. I would like to give special thanks to faculty and students of the Moscow State University Sevastopol branch for their loyalty to the traditions of the national school of higher education and their contribution to preserving historical, cultural and educational ties between Russia and Crimea. Colleagues, I would like to focus on further development of science and education. In the difficult years of 2008–2009, the key decision was made to invest significant resources in research and higher education. I would like to stress that this was done amid an economic crisis and limited budget. This was in fact a decision to invest in the country’s future, its long-term priorities. Significant qualitative changes have already occurred in the past years: we have implemented programmes to develop top universities, new funding mechanisms for strong research teams have been put forth and the number of young scholars and specialists has grown. This reserve is helping us today to create new production facilities and technologies, to organise import replacement where it is reasonable and necessary and to upgrade our industry, including the defence industry. At the same time, it is important not to scatter financial resources but to concentrate our efforts on areas that are crucial for the country. The selection of these priorities should be based on clear principles, with the involvement of the state, the scholarly community and business. Let us consider this also at the meeting of the Council for Science and Education that will take place in late June. I would like to conclude my opening remarks here. Thank you for your attention. <…> Vladimir Putin: I believe every one of you has this brochure on the history of Moscow University, and here, at the very end, paragraph 12 features an excerpt from the first University Charter of 1804: “The University will not refuse to assist in the desire of the benefactors of education who have decided or may decide in the future to cover the cost of tuition for underprivileged students. The University will do everything possible to express the proper gratitude to such benefactors.” In our case, we are not only speaking of underprivileged students, but of overall support for the University. I know that many of those present here stay in contact with the university leadership on certain programmes and development areas, use university laboratories in their day-to-day work and send their specialists there. All this also means significant support for the university. Let us agree that we will continue working together with this leading educational establishment, bearing in mind that the successful development of Russian education will largely depend on how striking its development is and how strikingly it proves the advantages of Russian education. Such leading universities and research centres as Moscow State University serve as models for the country’s entire educational complex. Let us wish success to Mr Sadovnichy. Thank you very much.