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I Intercollegiate Conference "Improving the competitiveness of Russian education in the field of employment and relations with employers" (humanitarian direction), 01/06/2016

 

The Ist Intercollegiate Conference "Improving competitiveness of Russian education in the field of employment and relations with employers" (humanitarian direction) was held June 1, 2016 within the Russian Academic Excellence Project 5-100 (Project M 6.1.3. P3) on the basis of ethnographic "Ethnomir" park-museum with the support of RUDN University, Moscow State Institute of International Relationships (MGIMO) and the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The conference was attended by representatives of employers (RTsPiT, State Budget Institution of Moscow City Center for Social Assistance to Families and Children "trust", Department of Internal Affairs for the Western administrative district of the main Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow, Ltd Company group Sunrise, Ltd Juris, Law and Audit, State budgetary institution of the city of Moscow "Management of sports and entertainment events," the Department of Physical Culture and Sports of the City of Moscow), higher education community (People's Friendship University, Moscow state Institute of International Relations (university) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Belgorod National Research University, Moscow State University, National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute), Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Moscow Region State University), public and government organizations (Federal Property Management Agency, QS Ltd, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Russian International Affairs Council, Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry), as well as students and graduate of PFUR and MGIMO.

Conference Moderator: Dean of the Philological Faculty, Doctor of Philology, Professor Viktor Barabash.

The Conference plenary session was devoted to employment and adaptation to the labor market of students and graduates, universities participation in the world rankings, practical training of foreign students in the Russian Federation, as well as internship organization and employment of students and graduates. In addition, during the conference, a round table was held which paid special attention to the volunteer program. In particular, to "The Interpreter Program - Philological Faculty Volunteer" which is a joint program of the Department of Foreign Languages of ​​ Philological Faculty and the Directorate of sports and entertainment activities of the Department of Physical Education and Sport in Moscow, which is targeted at those who are interested in volunteer work and volunteer-interpreter at sporting events. Volunteer work as the first step on the path to employment and, in our opinion, it works best.

  I Intercollegiate Conference "Improving the competitiveness of Russian education in the field of employment and relations with employers" ended with a stroll through the ethnographic park-museum" Ethnomir ".

 

Reports Summary

 

Moderator of the Conference Ph.D., prof. Barabash VV (welcoming remarks): Dear participants of the conference, I am pleased to welcome you at the I Inter-University Conference on the issue of employment of university graduates and building the university-employer connecting mechanism. I take this opportunity to thank the organizers of this event – RUDN University, MGIMO, Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry for organizing this event. We would like our conference to raise a number of questions in the scientific community, relevant ministries and representatives of the business and at the same time gave the answers and suggest solutions to some of these questions. First, we will hear keynote speeches, then during the round table we will discuss the key provisions of the main speeches.

I want to give the floor to the President of the Chamber of Commerce in Moscow V.M. Platonov.

 

V.M. Platonov, the president of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry:Today, the problem of graduate employment is extremely important. In this sense, we should refer to history and see how this issue was solved in the USSR through graduates distribution system. In Soviet times, it was a universal practice of so-called "distribution" - the employment of college graduates for a certain period. In modern conditions it is necessary to introduce the practice of partial distribution, especially for the graduates trained at the expense of the state budget, who could not realize the opportunities provided by the state.

Solving the problem, we should also refer to the experience of foreign countries (Germany, France, Austria and others).

By consolidating resources of business, government and education in the employment system development, we will be able to solve the urgent problems.

 

Z.O. Zaitseva, Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, QS Ltd. Starting in 2012, a lot has been said on the subject of university rankings, and it is no secret that entry into one of the global rankings in an indicator of the university success. QS WUR universities ranking is based on Academic Reputation, Alumni Outcomes, Employer Reputation, Employers’ Presence on Campus, Faculty Student Ratio, Graduate Employment Rate, H Index, International Indicators, Citations per Faculty, Papers & Citations, Partnerships with Employers, Staff with PhD, Web Impact indicators.

Employer Reputation indicator is the best way for the applicants to understand which university to choose necessary, and university recognition range and its brand are a benefit for future graduates. “In the employer's eyes, a degree received in an elite high school is a sign of a potentially high performance of an employee”, explained Zoya. However, there are situations where long-established brand of the university no longer corresponds to the state of affairs in educational institution and there is a gap between the employers' expectations from the “university brand” and the actual quality of its graduates.

Employer Reputation and Academic Reputation play an important role in the QS rankings. Although experts are polled only once a year, their votes are used in almost all of QS rankings, including global and subject area ratings. Unfortunately, the percentage of Russian employers' participation in such surveys is extremely low, as the business community is reluctant to readily share its opinion. Zoya would be very happy if one day of the five-odd thousand people pool all five thousand experts responded, rather than 1000, as it usually happens.

At the end of her speech, Zoya proposed the steps for conducting such surveys. First of all the universities should create a separate staff unit within each educational division of the university in order to form a database of potential experts, regularly interact with respondents (e.g. holiday greetings, invitation to the workshops, etc.), receive feedback from employers (in the context of improvement proposals, expectations, offers, etc.

 

V.M. Morozov, the Personnel Policy Vice-Rector of MGIMO (U) MFA of Russia: Today, in the process of internship organization practices the university faces a certain reluctance from the companies in taking students on short-term internship. Employers openly state that they are not willing to accept short-term student internships. Moreover, companies are creating their own training systems themselves and select and train the staff required (e.g., Unilever company).

The current challenges faced by many universities, namely, MGIMO, can be divided into 4 main blocks, which will be mentioned below:

1. Employment. A student graduated from university at the expense of the state budget is unfortunately useless to the employers. No company is ready to offer them a job, and their alma mater is often unable to help with employment. In this regard, a solution may be achieved through the partial transition to the job distribution system, as it was in Soviet times.

2. Reports and accounts. Introduction of graduates’ employment ratings results in more reports for the universities to the point when the educational institutions are forced to focus more on the reports than on the actual work. Remarkable experience of Belarusian colleagues shows that the reporting system can be significantly simplified and still provide a 100% correct information on graduates’ employment.

3. Individual internship contracts. Again, this kind of internship is hindered by an excessive amount of bureaucratic regulation both for universities and a reporting system and for employers. It is necessary to simplify the procedure for internship registration starting with sending a letter of recommendation from the university to the employer and obtaining a response from the employer.

4. Foreign students’ internship. Today Russian employers are not willing accept foreign students for internship, as they are simply "afraid" to offer them a job afterwards. Foreign students must obtain a work permit under the standard procedure for three-four months, subject to availability of employee quota in the employer company. To get a work permit, the applicant requires an application, a migration card, an employment contract, a certificate from the university, where they train, as well as a receipt for payment of state duty. "It is necessary to simplify the procedure as much as possible and develop a legal procedure of foreign students’ internship in their home country", said V.M. Morozov.

 

S.P. Karnilovich, Head of the Department of Internship Organization and Employment Assistance.

During the speech the main points concerning the employment of the university graduates and internship of the foreign students were summarized. S.P. Karnilovich expressed the view that in a market economy and the unstable economic situation, the transition to a system of redistribution does not seem possible. A way of regulation to foreign students’ internship is necessary to be developed. As a possible step towards employers’ involvement in a close interaction with university we see a reduction of taxation in cooperation with universities (as seen in the experience of Kazakhstan).

 

12.20 - 13.00 Coffee break

13.00 - 15.00 Round table discussion

 

During the round table discussion representatives of employers, RUDN University and MGIMO discussed the details of foreign students’ internship registration practices, the procedure for drawing up reports on the employment of graduates, shared their experiences in solving problems. "The Interpreter Program - Philological Faculty Volunteer" which is a joint program of the Department of Foreign Languages of ​​ Philological Faculty and the Directorate of sports and entertainment activities of the Department of Physical Education and Sport in Moscow, which is targeted at those who are interested in volunteer work and volunteer-interpreter at sporting events, presented by M.E. Kupriyanova drew particular attention of the participants. Volunteering is a first step on the path to employment. Ms. Kupriyanova’s speech completed with a video presentation of sporting events featuring RUDN students.

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