12-13 October, 2016, Sochi Institute (branch) of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia: Conference “Strengthening the role of employers in developing study programs at universities”

On October 12, 2016 the Sochi Institute (branch) of the People's Friendship University of Russia (PFUR) hosted a scientific and practical conference “Strengthening the role of employers in developing study programs at universities” within the framework of the Program “5-100” for enhancing the competitiveness of PFUR. The conference was aimed at improving the efficiency of interaction between educational organizations and employers, strengthening the role of employers in developing university study programs and was supported by the Administration of the Sochi-City, the Moscow Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Education and Science of the Sochi Administration.


The issues addressed at the conference included directions of interaction between educational organizations and employers; development of methods for creation and coordination of funds of assessment tools (FATs) with the consideration of the employers’ requirements; challenges of the system for assessment of graduates’ qualification and competences; updating of study programs.


The conference was attended by representatives of the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Novosibirsk State University, Southern Federal University (Rostov-on-Don), Sochi Institute (branch) of Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. The conference also brought together heads and representatives of the organizations - partners, future employers of graduates. Thus, the conference became a professional platform for establishing two-way communication between universities and employers and for developing new efficient mechanisms of interaction.


Sergey Karnilovich, the Head of the Department for Organization of Internship and Employment of Students at People's Friendship University, Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Education of Moscow Chamber of Commerce, acted as a moderator of the plenary session of the conference. The Director of the Sochi Institute (branch) of PFUR, Nadezhda Kozlova greeted the conference participants and wished them interesting and fruitful work. She emphasized the importance of efficient interaction between higher school and employers in the development of Sochi and the country as a whole.


The report of Oleg Ignatyev, Vice rector on Informational Analytics of the PFUR reported about the directions of interaction between educational organizations and employers in the modern context.


Elena Zakhvatova, Deputy Head of the Department for Innovative Development of NAA spoke on future development of state accreditation of educational activities. Vladimir Morozov, Vice President for Personnel Policy of MGIMO, made a report covering the problems of graduates’ employment monitoring and issues of legal registration of students’ practical training periods. The theme was further developed by Elena Lotova, Head of AILC (AL) of PFUR, in her report “The methodology and technology for building-up a student’s portfolio to increase the graduate’s competitiveness”. Director of the Career Development Center at Novosibirsk State University Svetlana Dougal presented the University experience of interaction with  business organizations as a solution to the problem of training competitive specialists and future development in this field.


The report of Inga Ignatyeva, Associate Professor of the Department of Information Technologies in Continuing Education, addressed the issues of students’ competences assessment when implementing federal state educational standards of high education (FSES of HE).


At the end of each presentation, the conference participants had the opportunity to ask the speakers questions and discuss the issues relevant to educational organizations and employers. The round table on “Directions of interaction between educational organizations and employers in the modern context” was intended to continue the constructive dialogue in this field.


Another round table devoted to the issues of organization and conduct of students’ practical training, including the legal aspects related to the internships of foreign students was held on October 13, 2016. The round table discussion centered around the problem of monitoring graduates’ employment.


On October 14, the conference participants visited key practices sites of the Sochi Institute of PFUR.


The conference identified the challenging aspects of interaction, made suggestions on improving the internship process with due consideration of the employers’ views, as well as on introducing a special supplement to the graduate’s diploma designed in the form of a questionnaire for a future employer.