Vladimir Mau highlights cooperation prospects between the SCO countries in training personnel for public administration
On July 27, RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau attended the SCO Forum on Governance and Leadership. The conference, timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, was hosted by China National Academy of Governance and the SCO Secretariat.
In his remarks, Vladimir Mau noted that the Presidential Academy is one of the largest universities in Eurasia: in 2020 alone, more than 250,000 people were enrolled in various RANEPA programs, including state and municipal officials, heads of state companies, entrepreneurs, and leaders of non-profit organizations. Almost half of Russian regional governors, Government members, representatives of federal and regional ministries have been trained at RANEPA. The rector stressed that training highly qualified staff for the civil service is the Presidential Academy’s priority.
“A modern state’s key competitive advantage is the quality of public administration – rather than its natural resources or the cheapness of labor. Our consolidated efforts in training personnel for the civil service is certainly one of the key factors in the SCO countries’ robust development,” Vladimir Mau said. “We should channel our collective efforts to develop new educational programs that foster skills civil servants will need for digitalization in public administration, for decision-making that supports sustainable development, fighting climate change and epidemic risks, and promoting low-carbon economy. Such training highlights would effectively complement any conventional public administration programs.”
According to Dr. Mau, the most effective option for cooperation would be to focus on continuing vocational education programs ranging from short advanced training courses to MPA (Master of Public Administration) and EMPM (Executive Master in Public Management) programs, including those delivered online, via remote participation. Vladimir Mau proposed discussing the possibility of establishing a network public administration academy of the SCO with an emphasis on continuing vocational education and training. Meanwhile, SCO countries can set up a council on remote learning that will include representatives of the interested partner universities, as well as develop an SCO information portal on public administration to offer up-to-date online courses and educational materials. This will open up new opportunities for using the best practices from all partner universities in training public administration personnel, as well as attracting the best professors, experts and practitioners to this process, he added.
He mentioned some problems that are hampering joint development and implementation of educational programs such as differences between the SCO member states’ legislations in regulating educational activities; the possible language barriers; and the need for additional financial resources to fund joint educational and research projects.
According to the rector, some of the previously used cooperation mechanisms seem to hold significant potential, such as internships for civil servants in partner countries; development of joint graduate programs that involve priority research on public administration problems; inviting representatives of partner universities as research supervisors of graduate students, members of dissertation councils and editorial boards of specialized journals; as well as conducting joint research and holding major thematic international conferences.
In conclusion, Vladimir Mau noted that our joint work should result in high-quality administrators joining the civil service in our countries, who will live up to the great Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu’s maxim: A leader is best when people barely know he exists; when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.