“YOU. UNIVERSITY. FUTURE” IN NIZHNY NOVGOROD

On October 16-17, the School of Advanced Studies and the Russian Society Znanie organized the “You. University. Future” educational intensive at the Minin University.

In today’s world, none of the universities can guarantee student employment in one specific field or profession. Job market is really dynamic. Some professions disappear and others that require more complex skills start to emerge. Employers pay less attention to the awarded diploma being more focused on a set of competencies, i.e., on what a graduate is able to do. In this situation, being enrolled in a specific program does not unambiguously determine a future job. In order to become professionally successful, prospective students must consciously choose their educational program and independently design their educational trajectory.

The “You. University. Future” educational intensive is aimed to help high school students to design their future. With the support of the Russian Society Znanie, SAS, implementing the most international undergraduate program in Russia, was able to reach a wide audience of high school students from Nizhny Novgorod and the Nizhny Novgorod region.

The intensive tries to give answers to the needs of the majority of high school students who face the problem of choosing a university. Their main problem is lack of understanding on how higher education is organized “from the inside”, how various programs differ from each other. Most high school students choose where to study being guided only by the university's brand and the major’s name. During the 2-3-day intensive, we immerse them into the university life and help them understand that an undergraduate program has a number of significant features, which are important to consider when choosing the program that best meets their individual goals and preferences.

Andrey Shcherbenok, SAS Director

Within two days, 75 participants intensively worked with SAS professors from 8 countries (Andrey Shcherbenok, Louis Vervoort, Marko Turk, Tomasz Blusiewicz, Julie Reshe, Duane Rousselle, Eva Burbo, Jay Silverstein) and SAS students (Ahmed Elghandour, Vlada Zemlianukhina, Najma Layali, Vitalii Miziakov, Polina Eliseeva, Nikita Mogilnikov, Alsu Battalova). 

The program included 19 lectures and seminars, 2 panel discussions, 5 hours of group work, and 1 plenary session, where participants presented their ideal BA curriculum. The entire event was conducted in English.

Everything that we do during our intensive differs from what is taught in a regular school setting — logic, environment, and communication. We actively immerse high school students in university materials and intellectual discourses, but we do not give them the conclusions as the hard work of conceptualizing and contextualizing what they hear/read/attend must be done by themselves. As part of the process, they go through different types of educational deliveries: lectures, seminars, and group work. This develops their critical and analytical skills which are not easily developed or informed by their general education.

Ahmed Elghandour,
Coordinator, SAS Academic Writing Center

“You. University. Future” is becoming a SAS trademark. For the first time, such an educational intensive was held in March 2021 in Tyumen. The event gathered 79 11th-grade students from more than 20 Russian cities — from Maikop to Irkutsk, 20 of whom received individual SAS scholarships. It is expected that the collaboration between the Russian Society Znanie and SAS will continue in other regions of Russia.

Check highlights on the SAS Instagram account @sas_utmn to see how the educational intensive turned out to be.