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Vladimir Mau: "Our main objective is to prepare administrative staff who will form the agenda in Russia and in the world"

07 October2015
Vladimir Mau: "Our main objective is to prepare administrative staff who will form the agenda in Russia and in the world"

The rector of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) Vladimir Mau told Interfax in his interview about the main trends and prospects of the education development in Russia.

– The Presidential Academy has turned 5 years old. But along with this they say that RANEPA is a higher education institution with almost a century history. How is it possible?

– Yes, five years ago in accordance with the Presidential Decree the Academy of National Economy under the Government of the Russian Federation (ANE), the Russian Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation (RAPA), and 12 federal educational institutions were united. The educational institution was founded to solve any kind of educational problems emerging on the territory of the whole country. This merger became an experiment: our experience sparked the same process among other higher education institutions in the educational sphere, however, our merger is one of a kind in terms of its scale.                   

However, it would be wrong to say that we have a-five-year-old history. The academy took its rise in the beginning of the XX century and is based on the national administrative education traditions. Our history is rather long. Administration schools of the Soviet Union like The Institute of Red Professors of the All-Union Communist Party of the 1920s lie at the heart of RANEPA. Curiously enough, this heritage can be traced by our library which includes literature collections of the Imperial Corps of Pages, the State Duma of the early XX century, political and managerial personnel preparation establishments of the Soviet times.

Today RANEPA is one of the largest universities of Russia and Europe with its branches all over Russia.

– How does the joint Academy differ from other Russian higher education institutions?

– Our higher education institution solves four large problems. The Presidential Academy is a university, a state administration school, a business school and a think tank. Another advantage of the Academy is connected with  continuous education provision. RANEPA is the only Russian educational institution, with the prevailing number of professionals and people with practical experience who are studying here and the minority is represented by students who finished schools. Professionals come to us to invest their time and money to get education here.

What is more, another Academy feature is presented by its income structure. We earn more than the half of the income ourselves by providing education. And it is also very important. At the same time, one of the problems we are facing now is the global competition in the educational, expert and consulting services market. Moreover, this source of competition does not include higher education institutions, to be more precise, not so much higher education institutions as many large business structures for which education and consulting are additional sources of development. But with a stronger competition we become stronger as well.

– In the modern changing world education also requires changes. Can you name the main world education development trends? What are they?

– Speaking of the world trends, education demands more and more time, the person stays in the system of formal education longer and longer, not to mention the informal one. The higher education, turning into mainstream, becomes also very different. In pursuit of students, teachers and scientific developments the competition between higher education institutions is increasing. First of all, one of the trends is globalization of the education market, development of technologies in the field of e-learning, emergence of new players on the market like corporate universities, educational corporations, hyper availability of information, the growing role of mass media and the Internet in the educational process. All this creates a fundamentally new context for the Russian education system development and demands its accelerated adjustment to a new situation with its new inherent challenges.

Another important challenge and trend also deals with the changing labor market. So, some of the most popular professions of the present time didn't exist 10 years ago, and not all modern higher education institutions manage to catch up with the new economy requirements. Now RANEPA provides entrants with a wide range of educational programs: administrative, economic, legal, humanitarian. An individualization of program trajectories is one more major feature of the education of the XXI century.

A person of today has to study constantly. People have to receive educational and moral guidelines at schools and universities. The mission of the modern education is to teach how to think, reflect and study.

– Your Academy teaches civil servants including the active ones. What do they study?

– It is essential for the university to get good students and to satisfy their educational needs, without spoiling them. If you have good students in the very beginning, you have good graduates in the end. Annually we provide 200 thousand people with education where 40 thousands are students and the rest are experts: businessmen, managers, civil servants and heads of the state institutions.

There is no point in telling me: "I want to study in your academy – what program should I choose?" It is more correct to say: "In the future I see myself in … and want to get a qualification in …». And then it is possible to discuss how and where to study.

We have the highest personnel reserve program where 25–30 people are taught, these are young civil servants of a rather high level. They develop projects which would be interesting for them in terms of putting them into practice, taking their experience into account. From this year the Academy will also prepare representatives of basic and perspective reserve levels. We are trying "to adjust" our programs to meet students’ and their employers’ demands (first of all, in pre-ordered corporate programs). Our task is to offer our participants the most individualized educational approach.

Civil servants preparation is the most important function of RANEPA today, which has been initially created for these purposes. It should be pointed out that we have succeeded tremendously in this field. Apart from all three personnel reserve levels (the highest, basic and perspective) development and completion of a personnel evaluation system have been a very important subject of the last two years which can be actually considered as the basis for the personnel reserve formation under the patronage of the President. We are also actively introducing the system of personal and professional personnel evaluation in regions, departments and parties.

– Name the main academic projects in the field of public administration?

– The Social Sector Management networking Program (aimed at the heads of authorities of the municipal and regional levels) has become essential in the unity formation. It has been prolonged, and since the end of this year heads from the cultural and health care sectors have been added to the heads from the education sector.

We carried out a quick training of civil servants in the Crimea. The Academy consulted federal and regional authorities, among them are Moscow, Tomsk, Ivanovo and some other regions. The relationships between the Agency of Strategic Initiatives (ASI) and our Academy are developing pretty well in promoting some of the projects. And now there is the most difficult task on our way connected with the preparation and formation of regional investment teams. The President assigned the Academy and ASI to create a center which will generalize and distribute the best practices in the field of business climate and investments among the regions.

Our anti-corruption program is well-known. It the end of May Sberbank and the Academy held a seminar for the Government of the Russian Federation.

– And what does the Presidential Academy do in the sphere of business education?

– On the Russian market RANEPA is both the pioneer and the leader in the field of  business education in Russia. With the help of RANEPA the Russian association of business education was founded. What is more, the Academy established MBA standards in our country. The Academy has 43 Master of Business Administration programs, 5 EMBA programs and 5 DBA programs. More than 37 thousand people have completed RANEPA MBA programs. The Academy has the greatest number of programs (10) with the international accreditation. There is no other Russian educational institution where you can find the same great amount of programs accredited by the main international associations for business education. More than 300 graduates of the Academy were included into the list of the best managers of Russia.

– In general what tasks do RANEPA and the Russian education system set for the next upcoming 5 years?

– To be the leaders in the field of applied liberal arts education, to develop actively the researches which directly correspond to our specialization and consulting field.

However, the conditions in which the education system works are changing, and the understanding of high-quality education according to the society is also changing. The change in social and economic conditions sets new tasks both for the higher education system and RANEPA.

This is the way how social educational functions are transformed. It causes the necessity to develop a new educational model taking the personalized approach into consideration. It is necessary to create a new competitive specialist. Our purpose is not simply to train him, we aspire to provide multi-sided development of the personality and meet the society need to have a well-qualified competitive staff. At this stage it should be pointed out that our main function is to prepare administrative personnel who will form the agenda in regions, the country and in the world. That is why it is especially important for us to promote the creation of this many-sided harmonious personality and high-class professional.

The achievement of a similar goal can't be done by simply increasing the resource provision of the existing programs and activities. New strategies and the principles are required to ensure a fast new quality breakthrough.

– What main educational directions are you developing?

– The main objective of the Academy is applied liberal arts education. And in this sense I don't see the point to transform us into a classical university with natural, technical and mathematical specialization programs. It doesn't exclude, let’s say, the development of engineering economic education in the Academy which seems very perspective to me.

One of the main objectives of our Academy is to prepare civil servants, and civil servants in general, however, this task is difficult. I as a person from business education, understand that one of the main problems of the civil servants preparation is the lack of the effective demand. Here in business education people or the enterprises where they work for spend money and their demand is the certain quality. Talking about civil servants, their education is included into the budget, however, they need to present a certificate after their training. It is a different way to build relationships, let’s say, "the teacher – the participant". In this regard we raise the question of an urgent deep need to  transform the civil servants preparation. But it is a separate subject the discussion of which will take a lot of time.

– How is the education quality in RANEPA regional offices controlled?

– The education quality control in RANEPA branches is exercised in accordance with the current legislation. RANEPA branches undergo planned and random unscheduled inspections on compliance with the requirements of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and Federal Education and Science Supervision Servicer. Analytical information is collected on a regular basis, quarterly branches add information to the «Regional Network» data base. The educational activity quality is also controlled by the state examination committee (SEC).

Approaches towards the system of educational process quality provision are constantly improved. For example, the North-West Institute of Management of RANEPA (NWIM) along with traditional approaches is now passing on to the overall assessment of conditions evaluation appropriate for high-quality educational and scientific activity. The major point in the assessment of the educational activity efficiency is the educational results.

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