Regional Development Leadership
The University regional development strategy aims to create a favourable intellectual and business environment in the region and foster investments and jobs creation in the new economy.
Chelyabinsk is Russia's eighth largest urban center with a population of 1.5 million inhabitants. With its manufacturing facilities, the Chelyabinsk Region represents one of the country's biggest industrial clusters, ranking sixth nationwide in per capita industrial output. The University is at the heart of the regional economic and social infrastructure, helping to spur diversified economic growth and contributing to a higher quality of life for the region's population.
University of Michigan provides a perfect example of regional development leadership. It is located in the Rust Belt in the USA and has become an engine of the state economy during the recent industrial crisis. University of Michigan attracts talented people from all over the world and foster development of high growth industries such as IT and medicine. It creates thousands of high quality jobs. In concert with the local and national government it carries out a number of entrepreneurial, supplementary education and social programs. Thanks to the University of Michigan, a state in the middle of the continent has its own place in the global intellectual agenda. Taking into account UoM experience, South Ural State University aims at:
- Attracting major companies and investments to the region. The best example is the University’s partnership with Emerson. The company invested in R&D and manufacturing facilities in the region, opening July 2015 a new industrial complex in Chelyabinsk. Traditional Chelyabinsk industries including machine tool building, instrument making, crane building, steelmaking and radiation medicine all benefit from a strong university, increasing their regional production and capacities.
- New high-tech companies formation. Engineering companies founded by SUSU graduates work all over the world and cooperate with industrial leaders such as Siemens VAI, SMS-Group, BoschRexroth, Fortum, FUCHS, LINCOLN, Konar.
- Fostering innovation environment and small business development. SUSU currently possesses an innovation infrastructure which has enabled to create 58 small innovation businesses over the last five years. These organizations are intended to commercialize University’s scientific activities. In order to broaden this sphere SUSU will create an innovation accelerator. The annual revenues of SUSU's innovation belt already stand at RUB 700 million. SUSU's innovation belt specialises, among other things, in the production of training equipment for Russian universities and schools, with the University enjoying an aggregate domestic market share of 80%.
- Solving the region's environmental issues. SUSU's R&D outcomes have helped to foster the sustainable development of the region. For example, SUSU researchers recently developed absorbents that immobilise heavy-metal ions and radioactive nuclides. Such absorbents provide protection from industrial contamination at minimal cost. Another example of new products for sustainable development are heat meters for measuring individual heat energy consumption. A pilot project for implementing this technology in Chelyabinsk households has led to reduction of heat energy consumption by 20%.
- Promoting regional intellectual community. The University hosts open discussions on the regional social and economic development, University’s faculty is instrumental in developing regional strategy and participate in expert councils held by Chelyabinsk region government.
Reputation Enhancement Strategy
The University’s reputation strategy aims to raise awareness of SUSU among potential applicants, researchers and business partners all over the world and to foster a positive image among these groups.
The University will take the following actions to improve its reputation:
- Rebranding of the University, including developing and implementing new, content-rich brand attributes, and preparing brand books in English-, Chinese- and Russian-language editions
- Boosting awareness of the University in mass media, including developing a system for the integrated promotion of the University in social networks, leading newspapers and magazines, and optimising the University's website
- Improving the University’s global academic reputation by stimulating faculty participation in the highest-profile conferences as keynote speakers, developing a CRM system to maintain contacts with the University's alumni and partners, promoting top-rated journals published by the University, etc.
Currently the University is undertaking a project in expanding Supercomputing Frontiers and Innovations magazine to international level. The editorial board of this magazine includes a number of prominent academics, such as Ian Foster (University of Chicago, Hi=47), Jack Dongarra (University of Tennessee, Hi=42) and Thomas Lippert (Julich Supercomputing Center, Hi=40); the average H-index of article contributors is 7.
Innovation in Education
The University aims at improving the quality and efficiency of education through implementing new educational models and technologies.
The establishment of the Institute for Open and Distance Learning has allowed SUSU to implement innovative technologies in its existing training programs, as well as to offer a number of Russian- and English-language courses in the massive open online course (MOOC) format aimed at attracting applicants and boosting the University's image.
The University's plans include making its MOOC-format courses available on such leading international forums as edX and Coursera.
Innovations in education
Among the University’s MOOCs are:
- Advances in Database Systems Development
- Distributed Computing
- Environmental Economics and Natural Resource Management
- Organic chemistry
- Linear Sobolev Type Equations
- Spectral Theory of Differential Operators
SUSU has a MOODLE-based distance learning system, called E-SUSU 2.0. In the short term, the University plans to upgrade it to a complete Learning Management System (LMS). LMS will encompass all educational programs and will help to guide and support students through all stages of their education and subsequent career growth.
At the admissions stage, the LMS will offer career guidance (interactive modelling of future career options), and will allow for participating in academic competitions, enrolling in pre-admission courses and submitting online applications. For the University, the LMS will provide a rating of applicants and an opportunity to recruit young talent.
Learning Management System
Throughout the educational process, the LMS can become a virtual personal manager for the student, providing access to such information as curriculum, class schedules, academic performance and personal career path. This "smart" learning system will help to reveal student's weaknesses and gaps in the process of mastering various disciplines. It will also suggest how to overcome them by redirecting the student to disciplines or sections studied earlier.
When used by the teaching staff, the LMS will help to improve the learning process by introducing modern interactive teaching techniques and means for achieving better communications with students, as well as offering tips on self-development. The integration of graduates' personal accounts into the University's LMS will help SUSU keep in touch with them, as well as to improve employer engagement and develop vocational training programs.
SUSU strives to improve quality of education by training teachers and disseminating innovative educational methods. Major attention will be focused on linguistic training of staff and IELTS certification. Major improvement will be achieved through implementation of the MOOCs technology. On this stage, the teachers will be encouraged to take and pass MOOC-format courses through edX or Coursera, and eventually to prepare their own MOOCs. Pilot projects show that such initiative significantly improves teaching quality: teachers first get to know the new technology and best practices in teaching and then get the chance to examine themselves and to work under the innovative schemes.