New Russian University: A Focus On Arctic Oil
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has signed the decree officially establishing the Northern Federal (Arctic) University in Arkhangelsk. The decree was signed on April 2, but officially revealed only on Tuesday evening. Putin has been expected to announce the establishment of new Russian federal universities during a visit to Krasnoyarsk on Monday, March 29, but cut his trip short due to the terrorist attack in the Moscow subway.
The government's decree follows the Presidential Edict of October last year and means the two biggest state universities in Arkhangelsk – The Technical university and the Pomor University will be merged into one structure with a high level of autonomy and lavish federal financing. It is not yet clear if the Medical University will also be a part of the new structure but the Regional Government insists that it should also be included.
The program of development of the Northern Federal University is focused on training specialists and intensive research activity for future Arctic development.
According to Arkhangelsk Region Deputy Governor Elena Kudryashova, the new university will launch seven educational programs and enroll 700 students in the specialty “Developing mineral resources, oil and gas”.
Eight educational programs will be launched and 1,500 students enrolled in the specialty “Shipbuilding and the construction of marine oil and gas facilities”. Fifteen programs are to be started and 1,500 students enrolled in the specialty “The Full Use of Bio-resources”. Eighteen educational programs will be set up to train specialists in building and using coastal infrastructure. This faculty is expected to enroll 2,100 students. The federal university will also intensify training for specialists in information technologies and communication, environmental security and so on.
The Russian Government expects the new federal universities will become the foundation for intensive research in the regions where they are established. This should mean growth in investments for research.
In just 2010, the Northern (Arctic) Federal University in Arkhangelsk will receive 1 billion rubles research in addition to its existing budgets. In the future, federal financing for research is promised to be even more substantial.