What Unites World-Class Universities?

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What Unites World-Class Universities?
Uniting people of different cultures by knowledge, RUDN University creates leaders to make the world better. (c) RUDN University

By RUDN University

What are some of the factors that unite world-class universities despite their geographical differences? Can they be the values implemented in the basis of the mission and/or the values that define the institution’s identity that become a contact point for university stakeholders from around the world?

At the RUDN University, students majoring in PR and Advertising explored the living values of 20 world-class universities from the table list of QS World University Rankings. The research selection criteria include the usability of the website, explanation of missions and values in open sources, friendliness of the communication channels’ interface and quality of values reflected in corporate style and positioning. The selected universities include those from the following 17 countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Hong Kong, Israel, Jordan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Hunger for knowledge unites students all over the globe. (c) RUDN University

The research results revealed several common trends. For instance, the word “creative” is commonly found in the set of values i.e. creative thinking, creative specialists, creative solutions. In addition, there are phrases about education, science and success in the missions of most universities. Logos often contain heraldic signs even though there is an increasing trend of using simplified logo as trademark. Red is also often used either as a primary or secondary colour in visual communications; in contrast, many leading Russian universities have blue as their corporate colour.

Non-standard cases were also identified. For example, at the University of Loughborough, each of its academic department has its own mission while the Pantheon-Sorbonne University focuses on gender equality in education and the Zurich Technical School placed emphasis on the institution’s important traditions, especially towards rowing competition.

As a part of the research, universities are grouped based on a linguistic approach and text analysis of slogans, missions, values and traditions are being carried out. The selected universities are being divided based on the following criterion: values formulated in one word, values formed as a thesis and description of processes of living values.

Students referred to the values of RUDN University as the values expressed in small thesis and they are:

  • Multinational and international cooperation;
  • Multidisciplinary approach in academic and research activities;
  • Equal opportunities;
  • Commitment to studies, research and public activities;
  • Contribution of stakeholders to the development of an international community.

These living values provide meaning to the activities carried out at RUDN University; and its mission fully reflect these values of Uniting people of different cultures through knowledge, RUDN University creates leaders to make the world a better place.

A sociological survey also demonstrated the tendency of a freshman to not think about his or her contribution of professional solutions to global problems. All in all, the research results confirmed the thesis that despite the identified differences. The values of world-class universities have proved to be the connecting thread for the higher education landscape. Universities believe their contributions can help improve the productivity of individuals, cities, countries and even the world.

Join us in the upcoming QS WORLDWIDE 2018 from 22-23 May 2018 in Moscow, Russia, as we discuss the topic on “In Search of University Excellence: Perspectives from Russia and Emerging Countries”