In October 2021, The Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) published the annual ranking of digital internationalization of Russian universities.
The report “Digital Internationalization: English-language Internet Resources of Russian Universities (2021)” presented the results of another stage of the study dedicated to analyzing the English versions of Russian universities’ websites and social media, which has been carried out since 2015. The ranking included 67 universities defining the quality of the universities’ digital internationalization using a special assessment methodology A+ Standard developed by RIAC. The methodology is based on identifying the key target groups of the universities’ websites and evaluating the content of the relevant website sections.
The researchers specifically pointed out a group of universities that have significantly improved their results over the past year. Moscow City University took 11th place, moving up on the ranking list by 9 points compared to 2020, and entering the group of major Russian universities such as Saint Petersburg University, Russian State University for the Humanities, The Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Moscow State University and others. Besides, MCU is the only teachers’ training university of Russia included in the ranking. The top 10 positions have been awarded to Russia’s leading higher educational institutions such as HSE University, ITMO University, RUDN University, Skoltech and several others.
In 2021, the English version of the MCU’s website has been largely updated and extended, including creating departments’ pages for all institutes, updating the layout and design of the training programs pages, creating a site map, developing a special section dedicated to MCU’s international research, posting over 200 news posts and announcements. Within the MCU’s English-language social media accounts, new formats of engaging the audience have been tested, such as live broadcasts by exchange students, interviews of teachers and alumni, various contests and marathons. MCU aims to further develop the versions of its website in foreign languages, namely Chinese and Japanese, as well as promote its English-language accounts on Telegram and Tiktok.
In 2021, RIAC also conducted an opinion survey of the university staff in order to identify the challenges and supports for the development of the digital internationalization of Russian universities. Based on the results of the survey, the problems and best practices of digital internationalization within the Russian Higher Ed sector have been identified, including effective models of digital internationalization management, and guidelines to improve the English websites and social media accounts of Russian universities.
The full text of the report in Russian is available here.