International Office (IO) of SUSU has been operating for more than five years. Activity of IO is connected with elaboration and implementation of the strategy of the university’s international activity development; assistance to development of the university’s internationalisation process; coordination and assistance to activity of subdivisions for international development and cooperation; interaction with foreign partners, international organisations, national embassies and consulates, including diplomatic representatives of the Russian Federation abroad, as well as with national culture centres and associations, and with ministries and public offices. Besides, IO performs information-and-analytical support of international activity of the university, including organising and holding negotiations, workshops, conferences, information sessions, vocational enhancement courses, as well as filling information resources, etc. The Office also performs forming of account records and reporting; it promotes extension and support of academic mobility programmes for students and research-and-teaching staff, as well as assists to university subdivisions’ participation in international cooperation programmes, targeted at improvement of educational programmes’ quality and at enhancement of the university’s international prestige. Among IO’s functions is also implementation of joint international interdisciplinary projects with foreign partner universities, and organisation of international students’ education upon the university’s education programmes.
The structure of International Office includes the Academic Rankings Promotion, headed by Andrey Kocherov. The main goal of the Academic Rankings Promotion’s operation is elaboration of a sustainable strategy of the university’s international activity development.
Currently, it is common to evaluate leading universities in the frameworks of rankings. Methods of compiling rankings, both national and international, differ from one another. When compiling a ranking, each organisation chooses prioritised areas of a higher education institution’s activity, and elaborates calculation techniques with display of an institution’s efficiency parameters.
The most influential world rankings are: QS (Quacquarelli Symonds), THE (Times Higher Education), ARWU (Academic Ranking of World University) or the Shanghai Ranking.
For example, the ARWU ranking considers all universities in which alumni or employees are laureates of the Nobel Prize or the Fields Medal, or are frequently-cited researchers, or are employees who are authors of articles in Nature or Science journals.
QS and THE consider reputation – a university’s image among distinguished scientists and employers from all over the world - as the fundamental indicator when compiling their rankings. These agencies also take into account the number of publications indexed in Web of Science or Scopus International Citation Databases.
When working with contacts, employees of the Office not only fill up databases but also perform serious analytical work on systematisation of presented contacts and improvement of their quality, which eventually leads to improvement of SUSU’s reputation in academic and scientific circles.
The most important sphere of the division’s activity is working with statistical data. This includes not only education and science in all their forms, but also financial, cultural and extracurricular activities together with infrastructure.
It is exactly the Academic Rankings Promotion that carries out compilation, analysis and systematisation of information from all structural subdivision in order to determine the spheres in which the university succeeded over the last year, and which spheres deserve a more focused attention. Academic Rankings Promotion specialists also perform evaluation of whether there is a positive dynamics in development of the spheres, provides written and spoken recommendations, and holds workshops and meetings with people responsible for certain spheres.
In their work, employees of the department constantly cooperate with representatives of ranking agencies. Within consultations, representatives of QS and THE agencies visited the university and held a number of workshops for employees, having talked about the principles of rankings’ operation and the methods of a university’s promotion at the global level.
“Improvement of ranking positions itself is not a goal for the university,” comments Head of the International Office’s Academic Rankings Promotion, Andrey Kocherov. “The most important thing in our job is to listen up attentively to obtained recommendations, which will allow conducting global transformations at the university, and this, in turn, will enhance competitiveness of SUSU on the world market.