Discover NUST MISIS: CEO of QS Nunzio Quacquarelli interviewing Rector Alevtina Chernikova

NUST MISIS today is a dynamic scientific and educational centre attracting the best graduates, scientists and lecturers. The university specifically focuses on integrating science, education and innovations, as well as establishing a creative environment for unlocking the potential of every student. In this interview, Rector Alevtina Chernikova will talk about the university, its students and the opportunities that will be brought to you by NUST MISIS.

— Good afternoon, Alevtina! It’s very nice to meet you. I’m Nunzio Quacquarelli, the CEO of QS. It’s a pleasure to have this opportunity to interview you today. Could you please tell us three things which define MISIS today? And what are the three things which will define MISIS tomorrow?

— Thank you, Nunzio, for your question. I believe that at all times the most important value of the university was people. We strive to become the center of attraction for talented ones. That is why we create an atmosphere of scientific research, we try to develop academic freedoms and offer bright, interesting and ambitious tasks to solve. And, of course, it’s all about our students. Every year, as a result of professional navigation program implementation, motivated young people come to us. If you look at the statistics, you can see that in 2012, within the Russian academic excellence project, the average exam score of our applicants was 67.3. And, according to the results of the 2019 admission campaign, the exam score was 86.6. People, as the first and the main element, largely determine the essence and competitiveness of the university. Two other equally important elements appear from the challenges facing the university that claims to be a leader. The first one is to create its own scientific and educational agenda or take a look into the future. And the second one is the ability to answer the challenges of our time, requests from the business community. We strive to solve this at the highest level possible. Over time, these tasks will only scale, and their role will increase.

— Right, thank you. Russian engineers are renowned around the world. What can international students expect when they come to Moscow to study at MISIS?

— Thanks for your question! Moscow can be truly called one of the best cities in the world. And if students come to us, they’re going to study at a “smart” university right in the center of a “smart” city, near the Park of Culture and Recreation named after Maxim Gorky. NUST MISIS is a dynamically developing university. In our activities we rely on the principle “Student First”. NUST MISIS has all the necessary facilities not just for getting quality education and involvement in research activities, but also for the development of the abilities and talents of each student. If we talk about international students, we are creating an international environment and devoting a lot of effort to this. Today, young people from 84 countries are studying at the university. Of course, the process of adapting to life in another country is often difficult, and we know that each student may need individual help. Therefore, we established International Friendship Club, where students and adults help to adapt to new conditions as quickly as possible. In our university Russian Language Center has been operating successfully for many years, helping students from far abroad to learn Russian as a foreign language. In addition, we try to introduce students to Russian culture and history. At the same time, we carefully treat and respect the traditions, culture and history of each nation and each country, whose representatives study at our university. Of course, when students come to us from afar, they not only immerse themselves in educational and scientific life, they need to live somewhere 24/7. We offer them an equipped campus — “Commune House”, which was considered the best one in Russia last year. High-quality education, research and project activities, a lot of cultural, sport’s and artistic events — this all is awaiting both Russian and international students.

— And we are obviously living through the pandemic which is affecting countries all around the world. MISIS has many international students and faculty. What are your plans for the next year? How do you plan to start the academic year?

— In 2012 we initiated and started the implementation of Digital MISIS model, which affects all the areas of the university activities. A Student Office has been successfully operating for several years. Any student, regardless of his location, Moscow or any other part of the world, because our students practice and do internships not only in Russia, but abroad, can get answers to all questions at any time: find out about the schedule, submit the homework, ask a question or offer an idea for university development and much more things, that bother them at the moment. NUST MISIS became one of the first universities in Russia to successfully digitalize the admission campaign. This happened back in 2015. And during the 2019 admission campaign more than 95% of applicants submitted their documents remotely through personal accounts on our official website. In 2020 we are ready to conduct the admission campaign completely online. That’s why there is no need to come to Moscow from any part of the world to become a student of our university. It is also important to note that in the new academic year, we are ready to organize distance learning if it will be required because of the epidemiological situation.

— Okay, thank you. MISIS is known for being one of the most proactive universities when it comes to big international student events like Vision Hack and Ice Vision with students winning cash prizes and developing projects for companies. What can a student expect when joining MISIS in terms of extracurricular activity? And what does it mean to be a student of MISIS?

— Nunzio, I believe that it is better to ask this question to our students. At the university we try to form a creative eco-environment to develop the talents and abilities of each student. The variety of art and sport clubs and schools allows every student to find something to their liking. We believe that self-development is the main thing that drives a student in life, and it should be comprehensive. To be a student of NUST MISIS means to be ready to constantly work on yourself and change the world for the better.

— For young professionals the career opportunities are the key factor when choosing a university. What can MISIS offer graduates in terms of employment opportunities? And your alumni are going to be your ambassadors, how happy are they with their experience at MISIS?

— Traditionally the Director of the College, the Head of the Department or the Head of the Educational Program are responsible for the success and the employment of the student. However, in 2014 we established a Career Center, so that during the learning process every student could find a company, in which he or she would like to build professional individual trajectory. Therefore, the Career Center in collaboration with our partners holds more than 100 career events for our students per year. Today our university cooperates with 1645 companies in Russia and around the world, so that we can offer joint educational programs, research projects, individual externships and internships. Thus, students will be able to get to know the corporate culture of each of our partner companies. Many of them have become participants of the traditional Spring Career Fair, which is held in an online format this year. The start of this project was in March and it is still ongoing. Since 2015, our university enters the QS Employability Rankings, the “Employer/Student Connections” indicator traditionally scores more than 95-100 points out of 100 possible ones. Most of our graduates are real ambassadors of the university: they are always happy to come to our students and share the secrets of their success within the “Technology of Success” project. They invest in the endowment fund of the university, the main purpose of which is to establish scholarship and grant programs for the most talented students. But most importantly, children of many of our graduates study at our university. This is, in my opinion, the highest assessment of our work.