On 27 September 2021, during the 2021 Professors’ Forum, Alexander Shokhin, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and President of the Higher School of Economics, was presented with a medal for his "Contribution to Implementing State Policy in the field of Education" from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation.
Accepting the award, he noted that he represented not only the academic community at the forum.
"As RSPP President, I would like to say that one of the tasks of business is precisely to promote cooperation between the sciences, technology and business. There is a working group on cooperation between business and science as part of the Year of Science organising committee, and I am chairing it. Digital transformation, energy transition and green technologies, personnel training, including addressing the gap between the professional education system and the needs of the labour market: all of this is in our area of interest," said Alexander Shokhin.
Addressing Minister of Science and Higher Education Valery Falkov, he stressed the importance of cooperation between the ministry and the Higher School of Economics.
"One of the areas of our cooperation is the introduction of practical degrees - so outstanding practitioners can work as professors without having to defend academic degrees, but by presenting and defending significant projects that they've worked on. Once we agree on a way to award these titles, I think we’ll be able to bring in a large number of outstanding and deserving practitioners," concluded Alexander Shokhin.
The Professors' Forum is one of the events of the Year of Science and Technology. This year's theme is relevant scientific advances and science and education development priorities.
Forum participants discussed the role of professors in the development of schools of science, science strategies of universities, support for university research, development of youth sport and promotion of Russian science, as well as professional and public accreditation of universities as a tool to improve the quality of education.
The forum was organised by the all-Russian public organisation "Russian Professors' Assembly".