Professor Vladimir Filippov, Rector of the Russian University of Peoples’ Friendship (RUDN) and Minister for Higher Education (1998-2004) have given an exclusive long-ranging interview in which he speaks about his university as it marks its 60th year of establishment and the plans for the future. During his meeting with this correspondent, Kester Kenn Klomegah, he further discusses the importance of reforms, challenges, and achievements in his university in the Russian Federation.
The Russian University of Peoples’ Friendship (RUDN) is an educational and research institution located in Moscow. It was established in 1960 primarily to provide higher education to Third World students. It became an integral part of the Soviet cultural offensive in nonaligned countries. Many students, especially from developing countries, still attend this university. It is Russia’s most multidisciplinary university, which boasts the largest number of foreign students. The university offers various academic programs, has research infrastructure that comprises laboratories and interdisciplinary centers.
Q: First of all, the Russian University of Peoples’ Friendship (RUDN) has a long history since its establishment in 1960. What is unique about this educational institution compared to others in the Russian Federation?
VF: The full name of RUDN is the Russian University of Peoples’ Friendship. The university is based on the ideas of diverse institutes and faculties, and international students and staff. From the very first days of its foundation, students and researchers were free to study and do research outside politics in conditions of equality. RUDN has given knowledge to professionals from Asia, Africa, Latin America, the near and Middle East. During the first historic graduation in 1965, diplomas were received by representatives from 47 countries. Now, we are teaching nationals from 157 countries.
Q: Of course, 60 years of existence, in itself, can be considered as the greatest achievement. But, could you tell us about its latest marked achievements during the past ten years, after the golden jubilee?
VF: Of course, the biggest success of recent years is a breakthrough in international rankings. Now RUDN is among the top 400 best universities in the QS World University Rankings – we have risen by 258 positions in 4 years. Only a few universities around the world have achieved this result.