Sputnik: In December, we traditionally look back on the year and make plans for the future. Could you name the key events for NUST MISiS in 2019?
Alevtina Chernikova: This year we had the most successful admission campaign in recent years. Its results confirm the emerging global trend: more and more school leavers are eager to obtain a higher technical education since with engineering knowledge and IT competencies it’s possible to build a successful career in most sectors of the economy.
Every year we have better and better prepared and purposeful applicants – olympiad winners, honour certificate holders, graduates of subjects sessions of all-Russian children’s centres. In 2019, the average Unified State Examination score of enrolled applicants was 86.6; a year earlier, it was 82.8. In 2019, the average Unified State Examination score of enrolled applicants was 86.6, compared to 82.8 in 2018.
In 2013, NUST MISiS won the Competitiveness Enhancement Programme for Russian universities. Based on the results of the ‘road map’ defence in October 2019, the university has confirmed its position in the first group of absolute leaders of the “5-100” Project.
Today, NITU MISiS is in the world’s top 50 universities in Engineering – Mineral &Mining according to QS World University Rankings. It’s also in the top 100 in Metallurgical Engineering according to the ARWU ranking. The university is a leader in the field of materials science among Russian universities, entering the 101+ group in the field of Materials Science of the QS subject rating.
Sputnik: How has the training of specialists at the university changed?
Alevtina Chernikova: We are introducing a project-based approach to training. Starting from the first year, our students work in laboratories, do research in priority research areas, as well as solve real scientific and production problems and business cases developed together with our key partners.
We involve world-class scientists in the educational process and create collaborations with leading foreign educational and research centres. This year, the second set of the joint training program of NUST MISiS and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) “Promising solutions, technologies, techniques and materials to search for new physical effects” was held.
In 2019, we opened Russia’s first Integrated PhD programme in three disciplines: Biomaterial Science, Additive Technologies for the Production Industry, and Quantum Material Science. Both NUST MISiS leading scientists who have experience working in well-known foreign universities and young researchers who became iPhD leaders in their subjects were involved in the development of the programme.
Sputnik: What application do the developments of NUST MISiS young scientists find?
Alevtina Chernikova: Many developments are supported by the Russian Science Foundation (RSF) and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research. In 2019, 23 research teams of MISiS received RSF grants worth more than 220 million rubles.
Young researchers take an active part in research and development work n behalf of our business partners. Every year, the university fulfils more than 500 contracts with leading companies in Russia and the world.
For example, scientists at the Scientific Research Laboratory “Hybrid Nanostructured Materials” under the direction of Doctor of Science Alexander Komissarov, together with Severstal, have created the new Severkor steel to roll oil field pipelines, which is uniquely resistant to the aggressive crude oil environment. In the near future, the Severkor steel will guarantee a two-fold increase in the product life.
Young scientists at the Centre of Composite Materials of NUST MISIS, headed by Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Fedor Senatov, have developed a new technology for creating implants from biocompatible materials – biomimetics. Light, durable and flexible implants can serve to replace injured or cancerous areas of bone tissue. This material has already found application in veterinary medicine; a number of successful operations have been carried out together with Blokhin National Medical Research Centre of Oncology.
More than 150 graduate students and young scientists under the age of 35 are engaged on a full-time basis in the activities of laboratories created during the implementation of the 5-100 Project, with six of them leading research teams.
Sputnik: How does global digitalization affect the life of a modern university?
Alevtina Chernikova: The state pays great attention to the training process for the knowledge economy. The federal project of the same name, which is part of the National Digital Economy programme, provides for the development and scaling up of a digital university model, creating conditions for students to master the relevant competencies and the introduction of individual educational trajectories for students.
NUST MISiS, like other Russian leading universities, is engaged in improving the quality and accessibility of education, creating a modern digital educational environment - a lifelong learning system for every citizen of the country.
Since 2012, our university has been implementing its own model of digital transformation – Digital MISIS. The model includes the introduction of new educational technologies, the use of digital tools in research activities as well as the creation of digital services for students and employees allowing them to focus on study and work.
More than 900 courses developed by university teachers are available on the university’s educational platform LMS Canvas.
About 40 mass open online courses of NUST MISiS, with the total number of students exceeding 100 thousand people, are available to users of leading domestic and foreign educational online platforms: the “MDEE in Russia” aggregator portal, the National Open Education Platform, EdX.
The digital transformation of education is not only advanced opportunities for universities but also new challenges that require all parties involved to take a balanced, responsible approach, as well as the ability to combine proven traditional methods and promising solutions.