The debate around the practical value of an MBA is not likely to finish anytime soon. However, for leading Business schools today, a full time MBA is only one aspect of a successful business model. With continuous education rapidly becoming the norm for leaders in private, public and charitable sectors, leading business schools need to Read more
Posts from the ‘Education’ Category
The Power of Alumni Networks – Building Bridges Between the University, Its Graduates, and the World
Those of us who have graduated from some of the Western world’s most prestigious universities will no doubt be intimately acquainted with the concept of the alumni association. Fundamentally driven by the goodwill and voluntary support of graduates, an alumni association can be instrumental in supporting the university’s long-term strategic ambitions. It should be a sprawling, multigenerational, international family Read more
Following February’s highly successful first Reunion at St Petersburg State University (SPbSU), my alma mater where I am President of the Alumni Association, there has been more positive news relating to higher education in Russia. Five Russian institutions now feature among Europe’s top 200 according to the Times Higher Education (THE) rankings. Read more
“A man who doesn’t take risks loses opportunities for further development.”
from the SPbU Reunion 2016
St Petersburg State University (SPbU) is the oldest university in Russia, and is consistently ranked among the country’s top three universities. Founded by Peter the Great in 1724, in what would become the heart of St Petersburg, the university now has 576 programmes, 350 partner universities and over 30,000 students. The university’s alumni body includes 7 Nobel Prize winners, 2 Fields Medal winners, 6 heads of state and many other distinguished leaders in their respective fields.
I graduated from SPbU in 1997, but it was years later when I studied at the London Business School that I fully realised the enormous importance of an Alumni Association. Read more
See here for a short video with some highlights from when I spoke on the Trade and Investment panel at the London Business School.
“Недавно я познакомилась с одним школьным учителем. Он учит детей страшным вещам. Он учит их, что работать гораздо интереснее, чем развлекаться. И они верят ему….”
А. и Б. Стругацкие «Стажеры» (1960)
“I recently met a school teacher. He teaches children terrible things. He teaches them that work is much more interesting than having fun. And they believe him…”
A. and B. Strugatsky, “Space Apprentice” (1960)
In two Vedomosti articles, economists Vladimir Mau and Alexey Ulyukaev discuss the origins of the 2008 global financial crisis and describe the associated ‘lessons from history, which they feel we should learn. Referring to previous financial crises, the authors state that “the task of economists and politicians is to find additional tools to regulate economic development which will allow us to avoid long periods of stagnation on a background of low inflation.” The measures they suggest for achieving this include: ensuring the competitiveness of producers, both domestically and internationally, working towards a more streamlined manufacturing base, and developing an institutional framework for new branches of industry to evolve. Whilst important, I believe that these measures miss a crucial element. Underpinning any long-term response to the new global economic landscape should be the development of intellectual and human capital.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”
This year, Times Higher Education ranked St. Petersburg State University 64th in the BRICS and Emerging Economies university ranking (up from 67th last year). While this is still disgracefully low for a school that has 8 Nobel Prize winners amongst its graduates, this is far better than 10-15 years ago when the whole Russian education system faced neglect and under-financing.
Despite its world-class teaching standards, the institution has suffered from a lack of ‘structural’ and ‘organisational’ components, such as a communication programme with the alumni community, which is crucial to receiving good international rankings.