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The tasks of modernization and development of education and science are of a key im-portance for the Russian Federation. Despite a number of significant changes in the Russian system of education and science over the last 10-15 years, the best Russian universities still cannot compete with the world leading universities. In 2013, to change this situation the state started one of its most ambitious projects to increase the international competitiveness of Russian universities, which is the project “5-100”. Though the need for such projects for the development of science and education is widely acknowledged, the “5-100” has received contradictory estimates of different stakeholders and experts. By 2017, the project approached its half-time line and spent a significant part of its resources, thus, it is time to consider its interim results. Moreover, the today’s close attention to the project determined numerous speculations not only in the media but also in scientific articles aiming to assess the project’s impact on the Russian system of education and science based on ideological and political judgments. The authors understand and accept all informed judgments but emphasize the importance of evaluating both reasons for such large-scale projects and factors affecting their implementations. A superficial estimate of the project “5-100” leads to the em-phasis on its minor disadvantages, which usually hides its less obvious positive sides. Thus, the article focuses on the role of the project “5-100” in the modernization of the Russian system of education and science, considers its different aspects, and identifies possible approaches to assess its efficiency at the final stages of its implementation (or to develop new projects to increase the international competitiveness of Russian universities).

G A Kliucharev

Principal contact for editorial correspondence.
Federal Research Sociological Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences Krzhizhanovskogo St., 24/35-5, Moscow, Russia, 117218

A V Neverov
Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) Miklukho-Maklaya St., 6, Moscow, Russia, 117198

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