Project Analysis Session Held at SUSU

The Project Analysis Session entitled “Projects that ensure implementation of the university’s strategy and transformation” has finished at SUSU. The session was devoted to analysis and assessment of SUSU’s strategy implementation process, determined in September of 2017; to specification of approaches and target milestones of the university in comparison with the world’s tendencies and best experiences of leaders in education; and to correction of projects that ensure implementation of the corrected strategy.

The session was held upon a directive of Aleksandr Shestakov, the Rector of SUSU, Viktor Khristenko, the Chairman of SUSU’s Supervisory Board, and Andrey Reus, the Director of the Project Analysis Session.

“This strategy session summarizes results of the half-year-long work of the university’s team,” noted Viktor Khristenko. “During this time, projects were discussed multiple times on both Moscow’s and Chelyabinsk’s venues. Now the main goal for all groups is to try to specify goals and ideas of development, and concretize the organization of work for achieving the goal, which means creating a competitive global platform of a university of the future. Any higher education is a market, the product on which is the graduates. In order to become internationally competitive, one needs to understand the essence of the market, its tendencies and trends; and to find some specific advantages and characteristic features which give the chance to enter the market. Half a year ago, the main idea of SUSU’s development for the nearest three years was determined: the new Engineering 3.0. In order to develop this idea, we created the groups which determine the best ways to demonstrate SUSU’s distinction from other universities, to develop this uniqueness and efficiently show it to the world.”

The area of South Ural State University’s development was determined at the previous session: the university of digital technologies.

“The main vector of our development is digital industry, where we should become one of the leaders in Russia. We cooperate with key employers who are specialized in this area. We are lucky that the world’s leader which moves the digital industry, Emerson, has a global engineering center in Chelyabinsk, and we are working together,” said Aleksandr Shestakov.

Employees, teaching staff and students of SUSU, who within three days had been working in 10 topic-related project groups, took part in the work. Among the topics were: project-based learning on the basis of a network of integrated technology centers, an accelerator of innovative development, the Industry 4.0 Eurasian Research and education center, etc. Participants needed to recover the understanding of the university’s strategy, register the progress of a project’s implementation, analyze experience of the world’s best universities and business schools, determine key areas of their development and compare them with the projects being implemented at the university.

“All the projects that we discussed today are very important. We have set the goal to implement project approach to education and we are now achieving it. In order to make our innovations successful and efficient, fundamental knowledge and works should be used; one of the groups is working exactly on this topic. Also, nowadays people talk about the Smart City project, and the Chelyabinsk region is among the regions where this project is to be implemented by Rostelecom. We should discuss these questions at our university because we see our role in the perspective of the region’s development. SUSU is ready to use its potential, to develop itself and to be useful for the region,” noted Aleksandr Leonidovich.

On the first day, working groups presented their reports on the subject “The place of the project in the university’s strategy, content of the project, situation in the project, characteristics of the system of works for achieving the project’s goals”. Participants presented their ideas, answered questions and discussed problems of the projects.

The second day of the project analysis session started with summarizing of the first day’s results. Svetlana Kraychinskaya, group work organizer, reminded about the university’s strategy, orientation on fundamental sciences, work with the Big Ural’s economy and corporations, creation of multilingual environment, technology park and the Center of Engineering, and about other strategic areas of SUSU development. Besides, she told about education in the digital world.

“In the modern world, education is becoming a part of digital environment; it is oriented on people who live in this environment. Elements, people, environment and types of workplaces are changing in education,” said Svetlana Kraychinskaya.

Group reports were dedicated to the subject of “Modern approaches to education, the ideology of education, experience of the world’s best universities and business schools”. Each group analyzed the best experiences within the frameworks of their topics and presented them at the general meeting.

On the final day, participants of the project analysis session adjusted the existing approaches, goals and contents of projects, and summarized the three-days-long work.

“We evaluated 10 projects connected with the strategy of our university’s development. Part of them is ready to be implemented; another part will be improved. We determined a concept and an action plan for the nearest future. I think that within a week we will process the questions that we’ve analyzed, make managerial decisions for implementation of the projects and put them into operation,” commented Aleksandr Shestakov.

As the university’s Head noticed, first of all the university will focus on implementation of project-based learning, without which, according to the Director of the project analysis session’s opinion, efficient work is principally impossible.

“I think that project-based learning is very important. It completely corresponds with contemporary requirements and should be implemented. Otherwise, people simply won’t be ready to work in modern conditions,” shared Andrey Reus his opinion.

Also, SUSU will focus on development of fundamental education and improvement of the project connected with language training. These projects are already being partly implemented at the university. They will be improved taking into account the comments of experts and put into operation in the nearest future. Ultimately, the university intends to implement all the projects that were discussed at the project analysis session.

“It is necessary to finish the work as soon as possible. I think that this half a year spent for the search and filling the strategy with real content, for the search of adequate forms and schemes, wasn’t spent for nothing. Now the work is very close to be finished,” summarized Viktor Khristenko the session’s result.

The next meeting is planned to be held in autumn. The main topic of the session will be discussing the results of current projects’ implementation.

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Ekaterina Kuznetsova, Oleg Igoshin; photo by: Oleg Igoshin
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