Russian leaders aspire to top international university ranking
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Igor Magomedovich Isaev experiences the National Advanced Driving Simulator.
Igor Magomedovich Isaev experiences driving the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) as part of the group's research management professional development as NADS Director Omar Ahmad provides instruction. All photos courtesy of Mei-Ling Shaw Williams.

A delegation of 10 central administrators from an elite Russian university is visiting the University of Iowa with a major goal. The distinguished group has been charged by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science to become a top-100 international research university by 2020.

To meet that goal, The National University of Science and Technology (NUST/MISiS), located in Moscow, has sent five groups of institutional leaders to visit the University of Iowa and other top U.S. institutions since 2011. The current delegation arrived Oct. 6 and will leave Oct. 12. Prior to arriving at the UI, the group also visited MIT, Olin College of Engineering, and Georgetown University.

Igor Magomedovich Isaev, who holds a position similar to a U.S. provost at NUST, says his group is interested in learning about everything from how the UI allocates financial resources to how students live on campus.

“The more we know, the more it helps,” he says. “We want to achieve a certain level to compete in the world market. We come with a very strong technological base already existing, but we are missing certain ingredients.”

NUST/MISiS delegation on Old Capitol steps.
NUST/MISiS delegation visits Old Capitol.

Highlights of the group’s visit to Iowa City included a welcome event with central UI administrators including President Sally Mason at the Old Capitol on Monday and a panel discussion about the initiative to improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (commonly referred to as STEM) education in Iowa led by Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds on Wednesday.

The delegation also visited with experts in the National Advanced Driving Simulator and the UI College of Engineering as well as experts in many different departments and centers across campus to share insights and ideas.

Nicholas Colangelo and Igor Magomedovich Isaev on the Old Capitol staircase.
Leaders Nicholas Colangelo and Igor Magomedovich Isaev advance education through international partnerships.

The delegation’s visit was hosted by the UI College of Education with assistance from UI Russian Professor Margaret Mills in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

College of Education Dean Nicholas Colangelo says he’s enjoyed participating in this ongoing partnership.

“What they’re doing is taking a look at some best practices and successes at our university and hoping to implement those,” he says. “At the end of the day we really are a global society and the things we do here in Iowa City have impact in Moscow and vice versa.”

To read several related stories, see Mentoring Moscow, Russian educators visit the UI, and Educators learning from each other.