Magdalena Gaete: "University Reputation Is a Perceived Quality"

Magdalena Gaete
HSE University – St Petersburg


Magdalena Gaete, a representative of the University of Navarra, discusses the challenges that universities face today, and what Russian universities should do to join the ranks of the world's top institutions of higher education.

What challenges do universities face in terms of reputation?

University reputation is synonymous with a university's ‘perceived quality’, which is a reflection of the public's opinion of its ‘objective quality’. The foundations of a good reputation lie in the quality of a university's education and research, as well as its contributions to society and sense of social responsibility. Universities should strive not to lose focus of its primary mission—providing high quality teaching and an excellent student experience. A challenge universities face is understanding that the condition of its reputation includes ‘tangibles’ as well as ‘intangible assets’ in the management of a university, and those ‘intangibles’ include university quality, relationships, transparency, work environment, student experience, and the understanding of the different ‘stakeholders’ of the institution. Reputation management requires a big deal of change, improvement and innovation. Hence, one of the main enemies of reputation is resistance to change—and that might be one of the problems that managers encounter when trying to innovate in their universities.

Are these challenges the same for Russian and foreign universities?

I would say that in every country they have their own challenges. For example, China has the challenge of providing education to millions of prospective students every year and not having enough universities to do so. In the UK, given the uncertainty of Brexit, universities are working on underlining the fact that they want to stay ‘global’ no matter what.
One of the challenges for Russian higher education is making the relationship between teachers and students of central focus. This would allow the institutional managers of the universities to have a reference that serves to guide the identity and mission of the University, and thus improve the reality—the objective dimension of reputation. The point of concentration should be the student and the ‘student experience’.

In this sense, I see in Russia a lack of understanding of the importance of career services centers and alumni offices. In addition, the greatest challenge is developing a focus on ‘social responsibility’, that is, making an effort to meet the demands of society, working for and with society, and changing the ‘way of being’ that permeates all activity of the university. For example, learning based on projects with social impact, research towards the solution of social problems, etc.

Are Russian universities succeeding in entering the international educational arena?

In Russia, the reputation or ‘perceived quality’ of the Russian education system is that it needs to become a ‘student-centered system’. And when it comes to internationalization, most of the focus is put on ‘internationalisation at home’.

Many Russian universities have been making strides in terms of student mobility programmes, which is a key component in international education—in particular, degree mobility for students. Hence, there is still work to be done in the area of ‘campus internationalisation’, syllabus internationalisation, innovation in teaching and joint programmes, intercultural and international competences and learning outcomes.

This year these and other vital topics will be discussed during the conference ‘Education and World Cities: New Horizons of University Reputation’ at HSE University. It will be held for the first time with support of the University of Navarra, a recognised centre on the subject of reputation. 

Table of Contents

Students supported by Skolkovo choose Australia and Great Britain as study abroad destinations

Call for participation – Webinars under the aegis of APQN devoted to Quality Assurance

Regional universities move up in QS University Rankings: Emerging Europe & Central Asia

New Model of State Control (Supervision) in Education

HED Webinar under the aegis of APQN took place on October 10, 2019

Joint Master's programs to be launched by RANEPA and University of London

III Ufa International Education Fair

II Baikal International Education Fair

Adalat Muradov talks about digitalization of education in Azerbaijan

India has a too high number of arts students

Dmitry Peskov names key trends for Russian universities for 5-10 years

Webinars aimed at establishing cooperation between Quality Assurance Agencies and Russian universities

Russia and Iraq have signed a Memorandum of understanding

US will provide a $50 mln. grant to support the education reform in Uzbekistan

Presentation of the Global Survey on Internationalization of Higher Education by the International Association of Universityies (IAU)

The Jean Monnet 30th Anniversary Conference

World Teachers' Day ELT Web Conference

Is it worth relying on all rankings?

The IAEA Annual Conference is taking place in Baku

World universities meet at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University

QS Graduate Employability Ranking 2019 features 13 Russian universities in Top 500

UWC announces that the applications for Russian candidates are open till November 15, 2019

The 7th Forum of Rectors of Russian and Chinese Universities was held in Saint Petersburg

Russia and China are planning to raise the number of exchange students to 100,000 in 2020

The Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan and RANEPA signed an agreement on cooperation

KBSU and Uludag University will exchange medical students under the Erasmus + program

The prospects for Russian education export were discussed in Vladivostok

Uzbekistan took part in the International Summit on Development of Global Education in Zurich

Iraq and Belarus discussed cooperation in education and science

The international center of Uzbek culture opens at Kazan Cooperative Institute

Techno-optimists vs techno-skeptics: the International Open Innovations Forum will take place in Skolkovo

LSTU and University of Science and Technology Liaoning have signed a new cooperation agreement

X International Russian Higher Education Conference will take place at Higher School of Economics

Moscow State University holds top spot in Round University Ranking (Russian version)

Finland wants to abandon school subjects by 2020

Russia and Turkey have signed an agreement on cooperation in quality assurance of higher education

BRICS countries are stepping up technology transfer and transformation

India and Russia are reaching new heights of cooperation

The 'Study UK: Discover You' Exhibition will take place in Moscow and Saint Petersburg in October, 2019

Belarusian universities offer English-taught programs

The first foreign branch of MEPhI opened in Uzbekistan

Novosibirsk expands geography of international cooperation

Uzbekistan and the United States intend to develop cooperation in the field of higher education

Russia and the United Arab Emirates develop cooperation in higher education and science

Georgian universities offer free tuition to international students

A list of 3,500 free online courses starting in August

Next WorldSkills Competition will be held in China

Russia and China will continue cooperation in the field of education and mutual learning of languages

Universities of Excellence selected in Germany

Russian-German animal movement monitoring system ICARUS launched