Strategic Initiative 2 "Global Education: Personal Development and Professional Competitiveness"

While developing the concept “Hello, we are looking for talent”, attracting best students to ITMO University for Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD programs, ITMO University is setting up a competitive and highly professional educational environment. The fundamental components of educational activity at ITMO include a high concentration of talented students, availability of high quality, and unique, educational provision, and a close connection to research, industry and business.

       The implementation of SI.2 will be carried out in three stages:

       Stage 1: 2013-2014: Establishing a comprehensive system of joint Master’s and PhD programs with the world’s leading universities (including double-degree programs); international accreditation of educational programs; development of online education; increasing the marketing of educational programs and expanding the export of educational services.

Key results of the first stage:

·        Establishment of 40 joint Masters and PhD programs in partnership with foreign universities, including delivery through online learning.

·        Eight Master’s double degree programs received international accreditation and were awarded the EUR-ACE ® Label based on the NAEE General Policy Statement.

·        Establishment of processes for collaboration between IRLs, departments and administrative units for the support of students and staff, including foreign nationals.

       Stage 2: 2015-2016: Internationalizing the recruitment of talented young people onto University’s programs, focusing on science and educational international programs, intensive development of English language programs for students and staff, establishment of a system of balanced support and localization for foreign students and researchers, active development of open online courses.

       Stage 3: 2017-2020: Establishment of a sustainable system of collaboration between the Centers of Excellence and managers of educational programs through the creation of Academies for the main areas of research; launch of competitive graduate research programs, based on the aforementioned Academies; delivering practice-oriented engineering education based in a network of innovative departments and high-tech partner companies; positioning  ITMO University as a global educational center through its online programs.

       SI.2 is aimed at creating a globally competitive model of education through realizing six interconnected objectives:

Objective 2.1. “ITMO-Talent Search – recruitment of talented undergraduate and graduate foreign and home students onto ITMO University’s educational Programs.” Forming a motivated international student-body is possible through such instruments, as organizing knowledge competitions in Physics, Math and other subjects, promoting scientific creativity and grant support for talented Russian and foreign students on a competitive basis.

       For younger students, Edutainment, as well as competitions and online interaction, can also be an effective means of finding talented and motivated future students. To implement these ideas, ITMO University will invest its efforts in the “World of Science” project to be opened in the “Lakhta-Center” – one of the key projects of the SI 2. Please refer to Appendix 9.   

Objective 2.2 “ITMO – Unique educational programs”: Establishment and development of globally competitive and unique educational programs for undergraduate and graduate students.” This objective is aimed at the development of a multidisciplinary PhD, graduate and undergraduate network programs in collaboration with the leading foreign and Russian universities and research organizations, high-tech companies, as well as using POL and PBL technologies. Today ITMO University will offer three types of Master’s programs: research, technological and entrepreneurial. A unique model of practice-oriented learning has been implemented thanks to the Departments’ cooperation with local businesses. Multi-disciplinary Master’s programs, based on the teaching of management, language and social skills (the ‘Common Core’) are targeted at developing a research and engineering elite.

Delivering a large spectrum of disciplines and modules in English through academic mobility and through open education is geared towards increasing the level of internationalization of education at the University.

       Implementation of the “ITMO Fellowship and Professorship” program is designed to attract Russian and foreign instructors working in priority fields. By offering a competition for the positions of ITMO Visiting Professor and ITMO Professor three times a year, the University expects to improve the quality of education and to support the internationalization of the educational process.  Please refer to Section 1.3.3

Objective 2.3 “ITMO – International quality management”: Ensuring the quality of education in compliance with the standards and demands of the global job market.” This initiative focuses on developing effective assessment mechanisms in accordance with international educational standards and accreditation. The delivery of international educational programs necessitates strict quality control.

Objective 2.4 “ITMO – Exceptional experience”: Support of an attractive English-language and cultural environment for delivering educational services to a world-class level.” Along with developing such an environment, this initiative focuses on the full support of foreign students and researchers and the establishment of a dedicated “Student Admissions Office” (SAO).

The Student Admissions Office focuses on providing full support to foreign students, starting with online communication with exchange students and prospective students up to graduation.

The introduction of the new English Language curriculum is aimed at boosting the students’ level of English during the four years of university from the Beginner level (A2) to Advanced (B2). An English-speaking student will become ITMO’s “Ambassador” abroad and will help promote the University in the global community.

Objective 2.5 “ITMO – open course”: Participation in the international and Russian associations of leading universities for open education.” Participation is such organizations forms and supports ITMO’s status as a global university as it provides access to open online courses and software in the global learning environment. Stage 2 is also marked by the active development of distance-learning programs. These have proven to be highly efficient in attracting students to Universities, especially foreign ones, and also to raising additional finance.  

Objective 2.6 “ITMO – PhD: Internationalization and development of the PhD programs” is aimed at the implementation of double degree PhD Programs and broadening the scope for international PhD internship opportunities, support for the young TRS and formation of a system of research internships for  PhD students.

Key aspects and the instruments of implementation for SI 2 are given in the Table below:

Key Emphasis

Key Instruments

Search for and retaining talented youth

ITMO University’s own contests, international centers for high-school kids, grants

Competitive international educational programs

Internationalization and promotion of the best projects and programs

International educational programs in partnership with leading world’s universities


European accreditation of educational programs

Development of English-language environment

New programs of intensive English language learning