Association of federal universities, national research universities, Lomonosov Moscow State University and Saint-Petersburg State university (Association of leading universities), ALU, is a Russian non-governmental non-profit organization established in 2010 to facilitate public expertise of legislative and other governmental and private initiatives in the area of HE and Science, as well as a collective representation of its members, a coordinating body for their joint educational, scientific, public, international and other activities and a think-tank for sharing experience.
As top goal, ALU strives to improve the overall quality of higher education, research and innovation in Russia. According to this goal, ALU profile consists of key activities as below:
- Expertise of national and international projects of HE and R&D modernization
- Integrating and sharing resources
- Creating common informational space for ALU members and partners
- Enhancing interaction and networking of ALU members and partners
- Promoting international cooperation and internationalization of ALU members
- Improving domestic legislative environment of HE and R&D
- Introducing world’s best practices of HEI management to ALU members
Association’s social mission is to contribute to the dynamic growth and development of Russia’s scientific and technological sector and to provide highly qualified staff for its demands.
Association’s general mission is seen as accumulating and sharing global positive experience in education, training, R&D and innovations.
The Association was established as a response to the challenge of raising competition on both domestic and global education markets as well as a new tool to achieve the ambitious goal declared by the Russian President as that at least 5 Russian universities should get into Top-100 of world’s major university rankings by 2020.
Unlike traditional national rectors` unions or associations of specific field-focused universities, ALU incorporates a very special group of Russian universities that top domestic rankings, show outstanding score in education and research and belong to one of four groups:
- Lomonosov Moscow State University and Saint-Petersburg State University - two national majors that gained their unique status, great academic and financial autonomy including the right to award own diplomas by a special governmental order.
- Federal Universities – major regional hubs that appeared by merger of several regional universities and institutes. All 10 Federal Universities are members of ALU.
- National Research Universities – research-oriented universities that obtained this status (and additional funding accordingly) for 10 years in a tough competitive race during a recent national contest. All 29 National Research Universities are members of ALU.
- A group of five innovative universities that formally do not belong to any of the abovementioned groups, but were invited to join the Association by a solid vote of ALU General Assemblies in 2013 and 2015 for showing overall top-score and outstanding quality of education and research: Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University), the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Saint-Petersburg Electrotechnical University (LETI), People’s Friendship University of Russia and Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation.
These universities concentrate the best of the teaching staff and the most authoritative scientific schools. ALU member universities are the most attractive for students among others. There are 772, 033 students studying at these universities, 27 197 among them are Doctorate students.
List of Association memebers can be found here.