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21 0515 2 1 171

On 15 May, the Russian Youth and Science Forum started at Lobachevsky University. The Forum opened with a plenary session chaired by Valery Falkov, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation.

The three-day Forum has brought together leading figures from the world of science, higher education and youth policy, leading scientists, university experts and the new generation of Russia's intellectual elite. They will discuss a wide range of topics, including the implementation of national projects, regional youth policy, modernisation of the education system, and the prospects of Russian science. The Forum is held in conjunction with the 29th All-Russian Festival "Russian Student Spring" and as part of the events to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Nizhny Novgorod.

"Young people go to places where it is interesting, where there is the necessary infrastructure. Unfortunately, this scheme does not work at every institution of higher education; in terms of their way of thinking and actions, not all universities are attractive to students. It is necessary to begin working to change the model of our universities and their goal-setting, to make structural changes in the university and academic sector," said Valery Falkov, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation. He emphasised that the development of technological potential is the task of each higher education institution in the country: “The entire regions must change, and the universities must help the governors set the agenda and implement social innovations. There is no shortage of new staff today in the universities that are successful with these tasks".

The minister also stressed that the education and science sector needs serious programmes that will enable universities and research institutes to forge ahead and demonstrate their capabilities. One of these will be the PRIORITY 2030 programme to be launched this year: "We will also launch a competition aimed at supporting student research societies. The Russian Ministry of Education and Science will support strong teams with development grants. The total amount of funds will be 100 million roubles".

"It is a great honour for us to hold such a grand forum. All the more so this year is special for the region as we celebrate the 800th anniversary of Nizhny Novgorod. The Nizhny Novgorod region is one of the leading regions in terms of educational, scientific and innovative potential. In recent years, there have been a number of important events that only confirm this status. It was here that one of the country's first world-class Research and Education Centres was created. This has made it possible to strengthen the ties between science, education, industry and business. This year, it was decided to set up a specialized training and research centre at Lobachevsky University. It will be one of the important links in building a system for training new research personnel. Our special economic zone "Kulibin" provides exceptional opportunities for science-related business. There are plans to create an IT campus at Lobachevsky University, an Innovation science and technology centre "Quantum Valley", and to implement a number of other projects. All this is being done to make it as interesting as possible for young scientists to work in the Nizhny Novgorod region and for their research to be as productive as possible," said Gleb Nikitin, Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region.

Alexander Sergeev, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, outlined the most important tasks for the development of Russian science: "The task facing us - both the Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education - is to make the research trajectory attractive not by itself, in a vacuum, but in competition with other trajectories. This trajectory should be interesting from the very beginning, starting from school, from the first years of university. Our task is to minimise losses and deliver motivated, selected, strong young people to science.This is also one of the tasks of this forum. It is very good that from this year the Student Spring festival has a track related to youth science".

Elena Zagaynova, Rector of Lobachevsky University, for her part, also appreciated the symbolism of holding the Forum in parallel with the 29th All-Russian Festival "Russian Student Spring": "It is great that our forum precedes the creative competition "Russian Student Spring". The main participants of these two events are young people: some came to show their creative abilities and talents, while others came to our Youth and Science Forum to demonstrate their scientific achievements and promising ideas. Today, the forum brought together young scientists, students, post-graduates from all over the country, even from the Far East. Over the course of three days, young people have a unique opportunity to talk, listen to leading scientists, and ask questions of interest to the leaders of the country and the region."

On the first day of the forum, its participants discussed important issues of how young people establish themselves in academia. The day ended with a plenary lecture on "The Dialectics of Global Trends and Global Challenges in the Technological World."

The organizers of the forum are the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Federal Agency on Youth Affairs, the Russian Union of Youth, the Government of the Nizhny Novgorod region, Lobachevsky University, Expert Analytical Center "Scientific and Educational Policy". More details about the programme of the Forum can be found here.