From 7 to 13 December 2014, the International Academy of Management and Technology INTAMT e. V. organised a study trip for senior staff and professors of the Belgorod State Research University on the topic of “Strategy development and increasing competitiveness at universities”. The seminars within the framework of the study trip took place in Germany and the Netherlands. Rapid economic development and the associated expansion of offers in the field of higher education pose a challenge to higher education institutions: they have to find new, competitive and efficient solutions on the education market. The experts from Russia learned a lot of new things about competition on the education market, including technologies and forms of organisation that are necessary in the strategic development of higher education institutions. In the course of the discussions with German and Dutch colleagues, various aspects of the development strategy at universities were discussed, namely procedures of certification and assessment of universities and individual study programmes, benchmarks of evaluation and rankings, the importance of marketing in the brand management of universities. In addition, the possibilities of cooperation between German and Russian universities in this area were discussed. The intensive programme of the study trip was combined with sightseeing in Cologne and Amsterdam. “The study tour was very well organised,” said Oxana Shevchenko, Deputy Head of the Department of Educational Policy at Belgorod State Research University. “We are all involved in different areas of higher education. Nevertheless, the programme of seminars and lectures was arranged by the INTAMT Academy in such a way that every participant found something interesting and useful for them.” Shevchenko’s colleague, the Head of the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Belgorod Olesya Bessedina, agreed: “We got a comprehensive idea about European experience in the field of developing the competitive strategies for higher education institutions and learned a lot about the role of fundraising, consulting and ranking agencies in the field of higher education.” Bessedina continued: “We found the new visions, models of collaboration and ideas in this field particularly exciting.”

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