Before the meeting, Vladimir Putin toured an exhibition about the Novgorod Technical School laboratories.
Advanced Engineering Schools is a federal project of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, which includes leading Russian universities and Russian companies.
Its goal is to educate skilled personnel for the high-performance export-oriented sectors of the national economy and thereby ensure its technological independence, as well as to create new kinds of high-tech products jointly with businesses.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Advanced engineering schools sounds impressive and promising. In fact, Mr Andrei Nikitin suggested doing this in Novgorod, I think it was back in 2018, and then he continued working on that concept. This led to the first instructions for the Government and work on that idea here in Novgorod.
A year later, in 2019, the idea acquired a practical dimension. Mr Nikitin proposed developing it further. In 2021, United Russia took up the idea confidently, and it grew to a nationwide scale.
I am pleased that the idea has taken off because we need it very much now. Our colleagues have updated me on the certain areas. It is especially important now, although frankly, it was always important. Our large companies are used to buying everything they need, but when you cannot buy something, you have to create it yourself. The main thing is that we have the basis where we can do this, and it is first and foremost an intellectual base.
That is why it was so important to merge into this programme the intellectual capabilities, our early practical work, theory and applied research, our leading companies’ needs and financial capabilities as well as, most importantly, the end product market. The idea behind creating advanced engineering schools was to bring everything together in one place and achieve the success the country needs.
As I understand it, people in the audience have passed certain competitive procedures and won the competitions to create these schools. This is not just about Novgorod, it is being done all over the country, as far as I understand.
I am very glad that Mr Nikitin initiated this. We have gathered in Novgorod because Novgorod is known as the cradle of initiatives like this. Yaroslav the Wise instituted the first school for 300 children here in the 11th century. He (he received the noble nickname Wise much later, and for a good reason) was known not only for creating the first school, but also for focusing on the intellectual advancement of the nation and training specialists in various fields. Later, when he became a prince in Kiev, he continued this work there. But, as Andrei Nikitin just said, in Kiev he did everything mostly for the elite, whereas here he started with projects for the general public which was the right thing to do since the base is broader. Later, this practice was scaled up throughout the country by successive generations.
Let’s consider the above as opening remarks. I want to congratulate you on winning these competitions and wish you success. I am keen to hear you share your work plans and what kind of additional support you may need from the regional authorities, and who you work with at the federal centre, the Government, the Presidential Executive Office.
Please, Mr Nikitin, over to you.