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Miners approved the idea of developing Engineering University Rankings by Subject

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Improving the subject rankings system in the universities is an important issue and the matter of interest for the management of mineral and energy companies. These are the words of Valery Yazev, the President of the Voluntary Association "Russian Miners", following the signing of an agreement with Quacquarelli Symonds.

On Wednesday, October 24, the "Russian Miners" association and the rankings agency Quacquarelli Symonds (QS, UK) signed an agreement in support of subject rankings "Engineering – the mining industry and mineral production". The ceremony was held as a part of the Second Russian-British Raw Materials Dialogue, which took place in London.

The non-profit partnership "Russian Miners" is comprised of executives of the largest energy and mining companies, scientists and core business representatives. According to Valery Yazev, the President of the Association, association members are strongly interested in improving the system of subject rankings. In Yazev’s opinion, the system of rankings by subject is an effective tool that will help to assess the qualification level of labour-force entering engineering graduates more precisely. This is also a good indicator of the quality of education in each particular university.

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As Valery Yazev explains, "There are numerous academic rankings, but to the mining companies this specific ranking is of particular importance. Through the use of this ranking, it is possible to see what universities are the leaders in workforce development. Given the problem of a shortage of qualified engineers, this issue is very important for both the Russian and global business arena."

QS analysts evaluate higher education institutions from 74 countries in 48 disciplines. One of the indicators of their effectiveness in compiling of subject rankings is the opinion of employers. Due to the shortage of qualified engineers and the lack of a national university rankings system in Russia, it is the QS subject ranking that often becomes the touchstone for the choice of a partner university for the management of mineral and energy companies. Whether the task of creating a talent pool has been executed successfully, strongly depends on the appropriateness of that choice.

Язев и Зайцева
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Zoe Zaitseva, the Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at QS, adds, "The mining engineering ranking is quite different from all the others. It was initiated back in 2012 by the Principal of the Mining University, Vladimir Litvinenko, who managed to convince us that Mining Engineering is a very specific industry, and universities that train specialists in this industry deserve their own ranking. Some work has been already done, for we have collected expert opinions as well the votes of employers, academic communities, and international professional associations. At the point when we had gathered enough statistical data, it was decided to launch the subject ranking. It has been two years since then, and, despite the fact that the ranking system is newly founded, it is in high demand. The signing of an agreement with the association of miners in Russia may be seen as another proof of it."

In 2018, eight Russian universities hit the QS University Rankings under all subject categories. The highest spot was taken by St. Petersburg Mining University, which was on the 16th position in the subject "Engineering – the mining industry and mineral production".

Vladimir Litvinenko, the Principal of the Mining University, adds, "It is a second year in a row for us to hit the top 20 of QS Rankings by Subject. It is not a goal as it is, but we rather see it as a sign of efficiency of the chosen development strategy. Of course, we are receptive to the opinion of such a prestigious agency as Quacquarelli Symonds. It is important for us and it also confirms that the first higher technical university in our country is one of the major world universities".