For the next three years, the students, each holding at least a bachelor’s degree, will research and collaborate with leading international scholars, focusing their activities around entrepreneurship and technology commercialization.
“The main challenge in building this university is finding the right people,” said Skolkovo Tech President Edward Crawley, also the Ford Professor of Engineering in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. “As I look at this first group of self-motivated and passionate students, I feel that Skolkovo Tech is really starting to feel like a university. With the development of our research centers and the continued progress in establishing the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, I know these students will have the opportunities necessary to excel.”
Skolkovo Tech strives to develop the world’s next generation of brilliant scientists and engineers to serve as role models for future Russian scholars. With the education and experience students gain at Skolkovo Tech, they will contribute to improving the quality of life, health and economic stability of the nation.
The first class underwent a rigorous admissions process, designed to assess their academic abilities, leadership qualities and potential. Students from all over Russia, with academic interests in information technologies and energy science and technology, submitted applications, recommendations and descriptions of their successes in academia and research. From this first pool, 41 finalists were chosen to participate in a selection weekend on May 11-13.
During this second stage, expert advisers, MIT alumni and Skolkovo Tech senior staff evaluated the students through engineering and design exercises, TOEFL exams and individual interviews. Finally, an admissions committee, consisting of Crawley and other Skolkovo Tech senior staff, convened and selected the final group of students.
Skolkovo Tech Director of Students Bram Caplan said, “The students are a fabulous group who exceeded our expectations in their technical knowledge and innovative potential. It is apparent that each student desires to apply the knowledge they would gain at Skolkovo Tech to solve the pressing problems of our day.”
The inaugural student class will attend a four-week Innovation Workshop at MIT in August to develop camaraderie within the group and introduce them to selected topics in entrepreneurship and innovation. Afterward, the students will begin their three-year master’s program in September, including a year abroad at one of four leading research universities — MIT, Imperial College London, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich or Hong Kong University of Science and Technology — and undergo a pilot program in entrepreneurship and innovation.
All students participating in the program will receive a fellowship that provides funding for the costs of the program.
Describing why she was excited to become a member of Skolkovo Tech’s founding class, Anastasia Uryasheva said, “Judging from my experience at Selection Weekend, Skolkovo Tech will be a place where innovation, entrepreneurship, engineering, technology and fun mix into one great thing in the company of hardworking, motivated, and result-driven people.”