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

The HED magazine for applicants available in Arabic and Chinese

The fifth issue of the quarterly HED magazine has been published

Подведены итоги конкурса «HED-Scholarship»

International students in Russia can start studying without restrictions


Webinar 'Internationalization of higher education' under the aegis of APQN to be held on February 18, 2020

The QS expert highly appreciates Valery Falkov's achievements as Rector of Tyumen State University

International students of Tomsk universities to apply for Russian citizenship by the end of their studies

North-Eastern Federal University promotes Russian language and culture in China

The Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education to review the mechanism of international students' education

Scholarships to study in Russia in 2020-2021

KazNU expands partnership with leading universities of Saudi Arabia

Uzbekistan and Japan will move to a new level of scientific cooperation

EU allocates 8 million euros to support education in Kyrgyzstan

RUDN University has created an integrated space for digital cooperation

Russia and China have mapped out joint plans in the field of science and higher education

China promotes international education in space science and technology

TPU International Week 2019 held in Tomsk

Webinar schedule: Internationalization of higher education

Study shows which universities lead the way in promotion of summer schools

The National Aggregate Ranking of Russian Universities

The Accreditation in Education Journal and the Public Fund Edinstvo have become partners

Belarus and Nigeria are cooperating in the field of education

Russian and Chinese universities have agreed to establish the International Transport Academy

Summer schools attract international applicants to Russian universities

Russian and German experts discussed the issues of university and academic science

The 15th FICCI Higher Education Summit in India

Russia to create 50 Pre-University Training Centers abroad by 2024

More than 30 Russian Universities in the THE ranking

Russia will simplify work rights for international students

The First Russia-UK University Rectors Forum

Webinar 'How understanding neuroscience can help you transform your team and your organization'

“MEDIAactivity of Russian universities” and “TOP-50 MEDIAactive Rectors of Russia” announced at Interfax

RUDN and Rosatom will train staff for African projects

Is Africa the future for recruiting international students?

Danish Government Scholarships under the Cultural Agreements

Over 7,000 foreign students will study IT at Russian universities

European Universities Initiative – Chances and challenges

Belgian students demand free higher education

Uganda and Russia signed a Memorandum of cooperation in higher education

Angola and Russia signed an Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Education, Qualifications and Academic Degrees

The 10th ENQA General Assembly took place in Yerevan

Students supported by the Global Education Program 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