Northern and Southern Federal Universities: leaders of Russian education

The efficiency of this strategy (creation of regional scientific foundations) was proved by the pilot high schools, Northern and Southern Federal Universities. The corresponding decree on creation of these universities was signed by the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2006 as part of the national project "Education". Originally 12 billion rubles from the budget were allocated for their development.

Siberian Federal University
Siberian Federal University (SFU) was created in Krasnoyarsk through amalgamation of four major high schools of the Krasnoyarsk region: Krasnoyarsk State University (KrasSU), Krasnoyarsk State Academy of Architecture and Building (KrasSAAB), Krasnoyarsk State Technical University (KSTU) and State University of Non-Ferrous Metals and Gold (SUNFMG). Now we have 41 thousand students and more than 3 thousand teachers in 19 SFU institutes. SFU is rated 17th in Russian University ranking. The head of the University's board of regents is Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Basing on research and technology foundations of the oldest high schools of the region and taking into account the contemporary social and economic requirements, SFU defined the following 6 priority directions for educational and scientific activity: Engineering Physics, Chemistry of New Materials and Science of Materials, Biophysical Ecology and Biotechnology, Cosmic and Informative-communicative Technologies, Geotechnologies, Regional Economics and Human Capital Management.
More than 2,5 billion rubles have been invested into SFU material and technical resources since its creation. These funds were spent on building shared services centers (SSC) with unique equipment for research in chemistry, physics, biology, science of materials, space technology, digital library management and development of internship programs.
One of the Federal Universities' main tasks is to establish links between scientific and business communities of the region. SFU managed to achieve that: the university successfully collaborates with major corporations of the Krasnoyarsk territory. SFU has already signed about 70 agreements with strategic partners and employers. Such companies as "Norilsk Nickel", "Vankoneft" and RUSAL are creating joint laboratories based on SFU. The university won a contest in ecological monitoring in the process of trunk oil pipeline construction organized by "Vankoneft". Also several major scientific projects have been launched, such as GLONASS support, on-board electronic equipment projecting and others. By orders of "RUSAL-Achinsk" and "Vasilievski rudnik" the university is investigating the prospects of gold-mining in regional deposits.

Southern Federal University
Southern Federal University (SFedU) was created in Rostov-on-Don on the basis of Rostov State University, Rostov State Academy of Architecture & Arts, Rostov State Pedagogical University and Taganrog State University of Radioengineering.
In only a year SFedU was placed fourth among the best high schools of Russia according to the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia ranking, right after Moscow State University, St.Petersburg State University and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. At the same time the university positions itself as a regional high school that prepares high-qualified personnel for the South of Russia. The high school's mission is to attract the best school-leavers from the regions and republics to specialties in high demand, so that later they can return to their republics and work there successfully. SFedU consists of four independent applied-research institutions with more than 800 scientific officers and 56 thousand students.
SFedU centers on the state's strategic scientific fields such as nano- and biotechnologies, information and telecommunication technologies, marine, aircraft and space rocket engineering. SFedU is particularly proud of the Nanotechnologies Research and Educational Center "NanoFab" created with the help of federal special-purpose programs that is worth of 400 million rubles. This is the biggest nano-center in Russia. SFedU also posesses the major regional HPC center that is mostly engaged in aerodynamics and aeroacoustics.
The SFedU workers elaborate innovation development projects for major Russian companies such as GK "Rosatom, GK "Rostechnologii", ОАО "RusGidro", ОАО "Gasprom", ОАО "Russian railways" and others. Every year SFedU organizes so-called entrepreneurial seasons of South Russia. This helps to discover new names in small businesses and give young people an opportunity to start their own successful companies.