Vladimir M. Filippov

Vladimir M. Filippov

Vladimir M. Filippov is Rector of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. Was twice elected deputy of the Moscow Council (Parliament) (1987-1993), was the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Moscow Council (Parliament) on Ethnic Relations - a member of the Presidium of the Moscow Council (Parliament). From 1998 to 2004 was Minister of Education of the Russian Federation, as a part of four governments. He is author of nearly 230 scientific and methodical works, including - 30 books, two of which are translated and reprinted in the USA by the American Mathematical Society. In 2001 he was elected a corresponding member, in 2003 - a full member - academician, and in 2004 - a member of the Presidium of Russian Academy of Education. In 2003 he was elected a foreign member of Ukrainian Academy of Education.

In this interview Vladimir M. Filippov, Rector of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, a GUNI Member institution, presents the university’s new projects to foster its social responsibility.

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (PFUR) was founded by the decision of the government of the USSR on February 5, 1960. From 1961 until 1992 it was the Peoples’ Friendship University named after Patris Lumumba. On February 5, 1992 the University got its modern name. In February 1975, the University was awarded the Order of Peoples’ Friendship for its contribution to preparation of specialists for countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Today Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia is one of the leading state higher educational institutions of Russia. PFUR is a renowned research center well known both in Russia and abroad. More than 70 thousand graduates of the University work in 170 countries, among them more than 5000 holders of Ph.D. and Doctorate degrees.

The University is Russia’s only higher educational institution which has such multi-profile structure of faculties and specialties, typical for classical universities all over the world. Specialists are prepared in 62 lines of study and specialties at the following faculties: Engineering, Medical, Physical-mathematical and natural sciences, Law, Economic, Philological, Humanitarian and social sciences, Agricultural, Ecological.

As far back as in 1989, the University was the first to introduce the multilevel system of higher education (Bachelors- Masters). Currently there are about 28 thousand graduates and postgraduate students, attending physicians and probationers from 139 countries of the world at the University and its branches. They represent about 500 peoples and nationalities of countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe.

The University has strong and extensive international links both with foreign universities and international organizations: PFUR is a member of the International Association of Universities (IAU), European Association of Universities (EAU) and member of Eurasian Association of Universities. PFUR has signed about 250 cooperation agreements with foreign universities of more than 70 countries all over the world.

The University has long-standing co-operation with the Council of Europe, particularly in the field of higher education, Bologna Process and youth. It takes part in different programs and campaigns of the Council of Europe like “Say “NO” to Discrimination”, “Intercultural Dialog and Tolerance”. Within the last eight years the University jointly with the Directorate of youth and sport of the Council of Europe holds an annual summer school for young leaders of Europe.

In the next 5 years, which topics related to social responsibility would your institution prioritize?

Access, equity and quality and curricular innovation in higher education institutions

Name some example of initiatives in your institution related to foster social responsibility

PFUR Double Degree Programs

Double Degree (DD) Programs became one of the primary mechanisms of the People’s Friendship University of Russia integration into Bologna process. Due to these programs PFUR is undergoing considerable transformation to meeting the higher European educational standards; it develops numerous channels of cooperation with various European countries, USA and China. DD programs provide extremely tough forms of cooperation in the scientific-educational process; they give sustainable and long lasting partnerships.

The basic areas of cooperation on DD programs are international relations, political sciences, history, philosophy, economics, and linguistics. There are the programs on management in health care system and industrial enterprise development, on tourism and hospitality. All together these programs contribute into curricular innovation in higher education institutions and help in addressing major global challenges.

The advantages which our students get within one year of study in the international DD Programs are the following:

  • They get cross cultural experience of communication;
  • They adopt perfectly in the foreign language environment;
  • They acquire labor ethics of the international companies;
  • They get excellent command of speaking several foreign languages
  • They use the most advanced computer technologies

As the result DD Programs graduates have additional benefits in their employment careers: they enter European Union structures, international enterprises, state and municipal governmental bodies, Embassies and the Ministry of International Affairs. They become leaders of public and non-governmental organizations. Their skills and competences meet the highest demand in analytical, marketing and consultative structures, mass media, trade chambers and chambers of commerce, institutions of culture and higher education and in the research centers.

And what is the most crucial; by the work which they fulfill in different sectors of culture and economy they raise the quality of relationships between our countries.

CIS Network University

The fifteen leading universities of the CIS member states have signed the Agreement on the Consortium on the establishment of the Network University of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The Consortium includes higher education institutions from 7 CIS state-members: the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tadzhikistan and Ukraine:

  • Belarusian State University
  • Dnipropetrovsk Oles Honchar National University
  • Donetsk National University
  • L.N. Gumilev Eurasian National University
  • Al-Farabi Kazakh National University
  • Kyrgyz National University named after J.Balasagyn
  • Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University
  • Moscow State Law Academy
  • Novosibirsk State University
  • Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia
  • Saint-Petersburg State University
  • Slavic University (the Republic of Moldova)
  • Tajik National University
  • South Kazakhstan State University named after M. Auezov

The main goal of the Consortium is an establishment of the CIS Network University as a system of international cooperation similar to the Erasmus program aimed at achieving the following objectives:

  • Establishment of single (common) education area of the CIS member countries’ universities by way of the implementation of joint educational programs, establishment of “Inclusive Education”, new forms of international cooperation;
  • Establishment of mechanisms for the development of academic mobility of students and faculty within the Commonwealth of Independent States;
  • Promotion of intercultural dialogue among students, of maintenance, development and mutual enrichment of cultures, languages, historical and national traditions of the peoples of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Some of the advantages of studying in the CIS Network University are:

  • Studying terms on Education joint programme of full-time is two-years and consists of two phases that is equal to one academic year of every phase.
  • Passing the entrance examination only in one of the University-partner of the Consortium
  • Conducting single joint State Final Examination at least with two national university partners of the Consortium
  • obtaining at least two diplomas of Higher Education of national member countries of the Commonwealth
  • Increasing competitiveness of CIS Network University graduates in the labour market of the countries of the Commonwealth as well as in the world one.

Consortium members have concluded the Agreement on join training of Masters in different areas related to management, economics, law and Russian language, among others. Joint Education Programme of CIS Network University means Education programme jointly organized and implemented by partner universities. The students receive official recognition each of the partner universities where they completed the Joint programme.

The contents of the Joint Programme is determined by the curriculum agreed upon by the Partner Universities’ representatives, and considered an integral part of the Agreement on the Joint Master’s Training.

The activity of partner universities is coordinated with Steering Committee of the Consortium that also examines the application of higher educational institutes about the joining the Consortium.

Master's programme on human rights

The Human rights masters programme is promoted by the Consortium of universities-partners in partnership with the Office of the High commissioner for human rights. The programme is aimed at profound study of such disciplines as ecological human rights protection, United Nations human rights treaty bodies, European system of human rights protection and its influence on the Russian legal system, regulation of the population migration in the international and national law, international law-enforcement agencies, the council of Europe and Russian Federation, theory and practical trainings of negotiations, human rights institutes, human rights theories and other related disciplines.

Human Rights Masters Programme is a programme established by three Russian universities: Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (PFUR), Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO) and Russian State University of Humanities (RGGU) – in partnership with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation. This project presents a joint masters programme destined for those who intends to deal with human rights issues, to work in civil society organizations, government agencies and business.

The Consortium includes already 5 universities for today:

  • Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (lead) (Russia),
  • Moscow State Institute for International Relations (university) (Russia),
  • Russian State University of Humanities (Russia),
  • Gumilyov Eurasian National University (Kazakhstan),
  • Donetsk National University (Ukraine).

The first academic year of the programme consisted of two semesters that included studying of mandatory disciplines of the Federal component, new specialized courses, round tables and master classes of the EIUC European professors. The second year project of the pilot stage of the Human Rights Masters Programme implementation is aimed at improving human rights education institutionalization in the Russian Federation by completing creation of unique model of human rights educational programme as an example for other Russian universities. This will allow reaching the main strategic project goal which is education of high-qualified experts for human rights promotion referring to the international standards, rules and principles.

The Masters programme is aimed at providing students with updated human rights knowledge and skills, developing more efficient European and international cooperation on this issue that will give universities the opportunity to train high-qualified experts and to contribute to human rights development and potential strengthening in the academic system; to strengthen human rights protection of vulnerable groups by human rights professional trainings; to improve situation in human rights respect while administering justice.

Multi-disciplinary approach allows adapting the educational process to different categories of students with different set of knowledge and prospects. In particular, students’ preparation for postgraduate education is supposed.

In your opinion, what are the two main barriers/difficulties that higher education must overcome to move towards a sustainable society?

There are two important barriers: insufficient state financing and insufficient autonomy of universities.


  • UNESCO. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • The Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP)

Sponsored by

  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry of Business and Employment. Department of Research and Universities
  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry for Foreign Action and Open Government