World Class Universities: Experience of Identification

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-1-104-113

E. Balatsky (,
Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, 4, 4-th Veshyjakovskii Pr., Moscow, 109456, Russian Federation;
Central Economics and Mathematics Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences (CEMI RAS), 47, Nachimovkii Prosp., Moscow, 117418, Russian Federation;
N. Ekimova (,
Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, 4, 4-th Veshnyakovskii Pr., Moscow, 109456, Russian Federation 

Abstract. The article discusses the concept of the world-class universities and introduces the author’s understanding of this term that allows not only identify these objects but also quantify their international potential. The international position of the leading universities from different countries of the world, including states in Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East, Latin America and “The Small British Union”, were analyzed based on the data from rating agencies (QS, THE, ARWU, CWUR, NTU). The Rating of the World-Class Universities, including 107 leading universities of the world, and the Rating of National University Systems, covering 42 countries, were built. Also, it is shown that nowadays the American university system is an inaccessible leader. Taking this into account, the interest is concluded in the comparative analysis of the university systems of Asia and Europe. It is introduced that nowadays Asia is almost equal to continental Europe in potential of the university system and ready to make the next step towards its advance. Russia is close to the countries of Latin America in the parameters of the university system. It is shown that for today in Russia only Lomonosov Moscow State University is relevant to the criteria of a world-class university. Moreover, different models of building university systems are introduced on the example of some European countries. It is obvious that some countries make accent on the wide net of the superior universities while others practice point strategy of creating a small number of very strong world-class universities. There is introduced a hypothesis about the statement that education is the “secondary” function of the society and follows the successes and needs of the real economy. That is obvious on the example of the Asian counties. This hypothesis is refined with another thesis, according to which there is a close connection between the amount of the world-class universities and global high-technological corporations of a country. This thesis is illustrated by several particular examples (Finland, South Korea, Singapore, Brazil). Paying attention to the fact that even such big and economically strong countries of Asia as India, Malaysia and Indonesia do not yet have a full-fledged world-class university, we can confirm lethargy of the educational system of such countries as compared to the real sector of economy. In addition, possible generalization of the identifying algorithm of the world-class universities is introduced. 

Keywords: world-class universities, international educational potential, rankings 


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For citation:
Balatsky E., Ekimova N. World Class Universities: Experience of Identification. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2018, vol. 62, No 1, pp. 104-113.

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