Conceptual provisions development strategy of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute for 2012-2020

The development of Igor Sikorsky Institute in the nearest future should be based on a background built by the university over the past two decades. Our most important achievements during this time are the following:

  • Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute has been transformed from a large polytechnic institute of the period of centralized economy to the European technical university, been recognized as a leader of Ukrainian higher education by Ukrainian employers for five successive years. Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute is considered as one of the best universities in the world according to the international independent university rankings by QS and Webometrics, being included in the lists of 4% and 5% respectively. In order to achieve this and in accordance with the needs of the new country, we have founded 10 new faculties and institutes, more than 30 new departments, have created over 100 new specialities and specialisations as well as implemented many other changes;
  • Having carried out the administrative decentralisation and democratisation of university life and providing transparency of the work at all sections of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, we have created the atmosphere of mutual confidence and respect for teachers and scientists, precluded conflicts and disagreements between the members of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute community, provided motivation for active work of all students and staff of the university;
  • Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute has created the system of self-government for both students and staff, which is considered to be one of the best in the country. Through the mechanism of collective agreements and the democratic system aiming at electing heads of departments and student leaders, the university has established its own distinctive approach to developing and making important decisions, monitoring their implementation, which has provided steady and constant progress of the university according to the strategy adopted.

Finally, Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute has significantly changed its appearance. The university is not merely buildings, equipment and labs. The museum, monuments, art galleries, memorial plaques, the Hall of Meeting of the Academic Council, the Foucault pendulum, even the chimes of the main building and other marks of honour of the century – old Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute history – all that surrounds students and staff creating a special university spirit of academia, a sense of belonging to the glorious history and great deeds of our predecessors.

At the next stage of its development Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute needs to bring the content and form of the university work into accordance with the new challenges and demands of the society, making special emphasis on its qualitative characteristics and to continue the integration of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute into the European and world educational and scientific space by further approximation to the standards and criteria of the world-class universities. To fulfil this purpose, the following steps are necessary:

1. To continue developing and improving of the university's model of activities. On the basis of trends in the development of the European and world higher technical education systems and the development of the national labour market, Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute should continue improving the main concept of the university, gradually narrowing the gap between the educational, scientific and innovative components of its work. The departments, faculties, and institutes should form such common educational and scientific environments in which science would transfer the last achievements to the education, defining its innovative content, and the educational component would fill the scientific sphere and high-tech labour market with talented youth, which will grow into future scientists, manufacture and business leaders. The border between scientific research and term paper or thesis, between the teacher and the scientist must practically disappear in such environments.

Universities of such type are called research universities throughout the world. Certainly, belonging to this very kind of universities Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute has in priority to keep the entire academic, fundamental component as crucial for it, but we must work in three interrelated areas simultaneously: teaching, research and innovative implementation of high technologies as well as their introduction into markets.

Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute must progressively improve the quantitative balance between the basic (Bachelor) and the higher education levels (Master, Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Science) in favour of higher levels, gradually approaching the model of the best technical universities in the world (MIT, Caltech, Paris École Polytechnique, Aachen,Vienna and Magdeburg technical universities and others).

To provide such education, we shall introduce advanced technologies of scientific and innovative training, deepen integration with the labour market, improve financial, material-and-technical and methodological support of our work, and constantly carry out self-analysis of the specialists education quality.

2. Fundamental education. Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute should strengthen the role of fundamental education. The understanding of the very nature of surrounding processes and phenomena is impossible without fundamental knowledge. A person with a profound fundamental education can define complicated tasks, manage processes as well as comprehensively and systematically evaluate all the consequences of one or another managerial decisions and only such person is able to create conditions for sustainable development of society. The fundamental education should be provided by the university according to the physical-technical model, which involves the intertwining of profound general scientific natural knowledge and engineering art.

3. Ensuring of interdisciplinarity, systemacy, complex education and harmonisation of the work of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute with the labour market has to become a basis of our strategy at the following stage. The introduction of engineering studies into medicine, biology, environmental protection, economics as well as into the public sphere will require Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute to strengthen inter-faculty and inter-department connections, reconfigurate the programs, make the educational trajectories more flexible. A good example of the successful implementation of this strategy is the activity of the Intercollegiate Faculty of Medical Engineering, which united more than 30 engineering departments of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute around the comprehensive Human Health program. The efforts of specialists from Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University and National Aerospace University "Kharkiv Aviation Institute" in such fields as mechanics, materials science, mathematics, physics, ecology, IT, microelectronics, telecommunication systems and system analysis – altogether representatives of 20 branches of knowledge – are now united around the complex Youth Microsatellite program implemented by Faculty of Aviation and Space Systems. Such problem-oriented approaches will be highly demanded by the economy and society in the nearest future.

4. An important element of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute further development strategy is taking into account not only the present but also the future status of science, technologies and industry. Therefore, according to the results of analytical forecasts of the leading world research centres (Oxford University, International Science Council, RAND Corporation and others) over the next two decades, specialists in the fields of alternative energy and new sustainable modes of transport, nanotechnologies and new materials, the complex of sciences that provide the quality of life and health of a person (biomedical engineering, bio-technologies, pharmaceutics, etc.) as well as specialists in the climate change and specialists in the new information and space technologies will be of the highest demand.

According to the experts, the demand for system analysts and computer specialists who will be able to process and analyse data of various nature for business, scientific research and new types of equipment will experience several times increase in the next decade. Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute should take into account these global trends in the process of evolutionary improvement of content and fields of education.

5. Strengthening of the direct interaction between technical education and the labour market is extremely important for Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. As a result of such a partnership itself and taking into account world trends in the science and technology development, new requirements for the content, structure and volume of engineers education should be created.

Today the university has already made a number of significant steps in this direction. We have concluded agreements with more than 3,500 Ukrainian enterprises, but among large strategic enterprises of basic industrial branches we have only several partners. Thus, the University signed agreements with leaders in the field of space and aviation technologies – the designing department "Pivdenne" and Antonov Aviation Scientific/Technical Complex, with the Group DF - the leader of the chemical and titanium industry and with the group of companies DTEK - the leader of the fuel and energy complex of Ukraine. Our next step is to expand significantly the list of such strategic partners, coordinating with them the curricula of certain specialities and programs of scientific research and innovations according to the needs of the basic industries.

6. Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute should considerably improve academic, laboratory and research base f the university. In this matter, there is a growing lag, both in Ukraine and in Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, from the world advanced universities. For example, in 2005 Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and Lomonosov Moscow State University had approximately the same supercomputers. Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute had a cluster with a productivity of 3 Tflops, and Moscow State University had one of 9 Tflops. Now the performance of the supercomputer in Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute has increased to 6.9 Tflops, and the efficiency of supercomputer in MSU has increased up to 1.3 petaflops, i.e. Moscow State University in terms of deployment with such modern-technique equipment advances Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute by 600 times.

The upgrade of the training and laboratory equipment of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute should be carried out in all engineering fields, and especially in those priority academic and scientific program where the university can still maintain its leading position in the world. So, within the New Substances and Materials program Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute is going to purchase a gas-liquid chromatograph with a mass spectrometric detector and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer. Acquisition of this equipment will enable us to achieve the breakthrough results in the study of the structure of substances and the subtle features of their chemical and thermal transformations, which is important for the development of materials with new properties.

Under the referred program, we will proceed in equipping the Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology centre, having purchased the next line of equipment for the synthesis of materials with new properties.

Within the Human Health program, Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute will purchase equipment for the production and testing of lipid membranes that incorporate drugs and magnetic nanoparticles. This will allow to keep the liposomes in the tumour more efficiently and will result in increase of the treatment effectiveness for patients up to 20%.

Within the New Information and Telecommunication Technologies program the extreme importance should be given to development of the high-performance computing cluster for the university, increasing its productivity by 5-6 times and bringing it to 35-40 Tflops. This will solve super-sophisticated challenges of materials science, physics, chemistry, nanotechnology, which had not been solved before, and also will preserve Ukraine's participation in the international project ALICE, which deals with processing data for the large hadron collider, and provide conditions for equal cooperation of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in the European Grid network.

In total, the list of the scientific-laboratory equipment requirement of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute contains over 100 large positions. The funding sources are supposed to be the Ukrainian state budget, funds of large enterprises and international grants.

7. Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute should experience 1,5-2 times increase of the training of highly qualified scientists in fundamental and natural sciences and engineering fields as well as expand the presence of scientific publications in the international scientometric databases. Nowadays only in order to restore the natural losses of scientific schools Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute annually graduates 15-20 doctors and 70-90 candidates of science. For the substantial development of these schools, these figures must be at least doubled.

8. Due to the combination of science, advanced education and business, it is necessary to create a Ukrainian center of innovative breakthroughs in areas where Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute has its best practice. This is primarily green energy, new substances and materials, nanoelectronics and nanotechnology, biomedical engineering and biotechnology, new information technologies. The development of innovative structures based on and with the participation of the university (Science park, start-ups, technology parks, centres joint with business, etc.) is highly demanded. Having created science and technology parks and mastered the mechanisms of their work, Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute should remain indisputable leader in Ukraine in the field of innovation activity and, on this basis, make innovative breakthroughs in the high-tech areas mentioned above.

9. Intellectual property protection and management, knowledge commercialisation should become a new, very important task for Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. The university has never introduced intangible assets into its economy, has not put them on balance, has not carried out their commercial realisation, though in the world's leading research universities they bring at least one third of their budget. Despite the fact that in Ukraine there is no experience of such work and the effective legislation is still not developed, Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute should be the first to master this new field, substantially improving the economic efficiency of its work. The system of inventive activity stimulation and technology transfer, in particular through the implementation of licensing agreements, needs further improvement.

10. Regarding international activities, Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute should expand its cooperation with partner universities through the implementation of academic mobility programs. First of all, the university should significantly increase the number of students studying in double degree programs with the universities of developed countries. In 2012, about 200 students participated in such programs. Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute should experience 3-5 times increase of its members effective participation in foreign grants, especially in the European Union projects, the 7th EU Framework Program, the "TEMPUS" and "ERASMUS MUNDUS" programs and others. Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute needs to improve significantly the quality of professionals training, making them capable of organising and executing international projects. The university has to overcome the language barrier in contacts with the outside world, significantly improving the language training of our students, scientists and teachers, expanding the teaching of foreign students in English, and broadening the involvement of each department of the university and especially of students into international activities.

11. Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute needs to automate and digitise all teaching and managing technologies of the university, to provide successful implementation and further development of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute e-campus, the operation of departments, institutes and faculties information websites, including their English-language resources.

12. Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute should significantly improve the physical infrastructure of the university, with a special emphasis on the quality of the infrastructure being created. Dormitories, public places, some classrooms, energy supply systems, and other infrastructure elements require radical enhancement. The important task for Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute is a core reorganisation of energy consumption system, energy efficiency and infrastructure maintenance. In its current state the system consumes more than 40% of the consolidated budget of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute which may have a negative influence on the university life during several following years. We have to, at least, halve the costs, which are spent on 1 m2 of the areas, that we pay for the infrastructure maintenance and energy carriers.

We need to build two new dormitories, several educational buildings. This is primarily the building of Faculty of Aviation and Space Systems, the building of Publishing and Printing Institute, the additional buildings of the Faculty of Informatics and Computer Science and the Faculty of Applied Mathematics, the construction of the building of the Institute of Physics and Technology is still relevant.

13. In the conditions of economic and social instability, social protection of the university staff gains particular importance. Social protection should become more clear, targeted, and effective. It should be aimed at support of the atmosphere of creativity, cooperation and mutual assistance among members of our team; introduction of motivation mechanisms for innovators, which provide acceleration of the university development; intensification the principle of "subjectivity" in personnel management; protection of the dignity and academic freedoms of students, teachers, scientists and employees, freedom of expression. Housing investment programs, social assistance programs for vulnerable members of the collective, disabled people, diseased people, veterans, large families, single parents should be continued.

14. Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute will be the first university in Ukraine to develop and implement a European model of university autonomy and academic freedoms. Why is it so important now and why will gain even more importance in the near future? Because the whole world and Ukraine as well have faced new, unprecedented challenges and crises with the beginning of the new century. The worst of them are the crises of morality, tolerance, harmonious co-existence of people in the world and in Ukraine in particular. These main crisis is followed by the others - financial, economic, social. How to overcome these challenges? How to solve new, complex problems? There are neither standard solutions nor answer. Large capitals, financial, natural or administrative resources are powerless facing new challenges; even governments of countries and entire continents look helpless. Answers may be found in new, previously unknown knowledge that can be developed only in free academic environments, in the centres of independent university thought, one of which has always been the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in Ukraine. And the state should be interested in existence of such centres of independent thought so that they can generate ideas in their true sense. The state must be armed with this truth, new, non-standard ideas aiming at achieving the progress of its country.

And, finally, the university management should be based on the basic principles we adopted in the 1992 and followed during all this time. They are: the heads of the university should always remember that they themselves graduated from Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, they owe their coming into being and formation to it, and therefore, under any circumstances, they have to work on its development and prestige, support and defend the alma-mater colleagues, respect the honour and dignity of every person regardless of their social status or position, not to be arrogant with others, try to understand everyone’s point of view; assert the respect and honour to veterans and older people, who have created everything that we have today, who are the carriers of wisdom and unique experience for a new generation; inherit all the best approaches for Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute from the former heads of the university; see each student as a talented personality, and each colleague – as a like-minded person and a team-mate; be grateful for the fulfilled work and be able to forgive mistakes and weaknesses.

The implementation of this strategy will allow Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute team to adequately withstand all challenges faced by the university and society, and with the more significant achievements pass the next period of time.

The strategy was adopted by Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute staff conference on October 24, 2011.