Vladimir Mau: The obvious response to the challenge of uncertainty is knowledge that never grows old
RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau attended a discussion, The Future of Universities: Challenges and Opportunities for Intellectual Corporations in the New Age, held in Sochi on September 2 as part of the 2nd Novoye Znanie (New Knowledge) Marathon organized by the Znanie Society, a nationwide public and state educational organization. The forum is taking place from September 1-3 in six Russian cities including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Nizhny Novgorod, Innopolis (Tatarstan) and Vladivostok.
Lyubov Glebova, Chair of the Znanie Society Coordination Council, and Rector of the Presidential Academy Vladimir Mau, who had been previously elected to co-chair the coordination council, moderated the discussion, which was attended by Skoltech Rector Alexander Kuleshov, Rector of the Higher School of Economics Nikita Anisimov, MIPT Rector Dmitry Livanov and MGIMO Rector Anatoly Torkunov.
Welcoming the participants, Vladimir Mau pointed out that the education system is facing serious challenges; one of them is the growing uncertainty that stems from the rapid development of technology. “Competition is growing in education, and not only between schools: corporations and other entities that provide educational services have come to the market. These trends are not unique for Russia; they embrace the whole world, and in the future, the competition between traditional educational institutions and new market participants will, if anything, grow,” the RANEPA rector said.
According to Vladimir Mau, in a rapidly changing world, one needs to continue learning throughout their entire life, and this poses new challenges for universities, which have to cater to not only school-leavers, but also established professionals willing to study throughout their careers. In this regard, one of the most important challenges for modern universities is remaining in demand among adults who need new knowledge, new experience and new practices. Their interest is an important indicator of how effective a university is.
However, for all the importance of applied skills, university programs should primarily provide fundamental knowledge, Vladimir Mau emphasized. The obvious response to the challenge of uncertainty is possessing knowledge that never grows old. At the same time, it is important we develop adaptability and can respond to new technological, organizational and institutional challenges that we will have to continue tackling throughout our lives. “Our students are well aware that education is not a service, but an investment in their own development. Adopting this new perspective on learning is the most important modern trend. A person invests their energy and time in learning something while understanding that studying should be difficult; only in this case can they make an investment in their future and expect a return on their invested capital. Learning must be difficult, and this is also a serious challenge for universities.”
Answering questions from the audience about the choice of an educational trajectory, Vladimir Mau noted: “Studying should be interesting. There are no “promising” specialties today. In any field, there is something that fascinates you or doesn’t. However, the general rule is this – to achieve success, you need to study and work hard.”
In May 2021, RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau was elected co-chair of the Coordinating Council of the renewed Znanie (Knowledge) Society. President Vladimir Putin announced an initiative to revive the Znanie Society on a modern digital platform in his Address to the Federal Assembly on April 21; earlier, the President supported the idea of creating a permanent education and development platform for young people based on this organization. The Supervisory Board of the Znanie Society is chaired by First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Kiriyenko. Senator Lyubov Glebova chairs the Coordinating Council.