BRICS Business Magazine English Edition No.4
Everyone wants to know when BRICS GDP will equal that of the United States and the European Union combined. But it is no less important to know what these countries will be like in the future, including social, cultural and technological characteristics; which development models they will adopt and how the mentality and work ethic of their citizens will transform. The development of education in the BRICS countries is one of the key factors that let us make predictions about the items in the above-mentioned list.
The idea that creating and supporting schools and universities that can compete globally must be a key national strategic priority and in one way or another is a part of the programme of every head of state and has been discussed ad nauseam. Nevertheless, little is actually done in this sphere. Education changes at a snail’s pace and leaders often lack the consistency and patience required to bring their programmes to fruition as the achievement of fast results takes priority.
Investing in educational institutions is a good example of sensible, pragmatic long-term planning, even if it results in losses. In a sense, education is an issue of national security and is the guarantee that countries (especially developing ones) will have enough ideas and educated citizens to ensure that they continue to progress. There is no such thing as superfluous effort when it comes to education. Besides this, I can say from personal experience that projects related to education are warmly welcomed by people who have changed the world for the better.
Banker Alexander Bazarov knows more about the crisis than many. He looks beyond the world of finance and economics in order to show the technological, social and psychological root causes behind many of the developments of the modern world. But as he is Member of the Executive Board and Senior Vice President of Sberbank of Russia and Deputy Head of Sberbank CIB, business obviously comes first.Economy
“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still”. This Chinese saying gives us an insight about the developed and emerging world over this last half century. It is important not to underestimate the prospects of China and other developing markets as well as to overestimate prospects of Western Europe, and vice-versa.
The falling prices for raw materials, the flight of capital from the emerging markets, the drop in exchange rates… It seems that fortune that used to smile upon the developing countries in recent years no longer favours them. And they have nowhere to run from these economic hardships.Opinion
Enthusiasm for emerging markets has been evaporating this year, and not just because of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s planned cuts in its large-scale asset purchases. Emerging-market stocks and bonds are down for the year and their economic growth is slowing. To see why, it is useful to understand how we got here.Opinion
Sixty percent of Africa’s population live in the dark – they simply do not have access to electricity. The remaining 40% experience power blackouts almost weekly. Yet the kilowatt-per-hour cost is twice as high in Africa as in other developing economies. In an interview with BRICS Business Magazine, Zola Tsotsi, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Eskom Holdings – a company that supplies electricity to nearly half of the African continent – talks about how his team is trying to overcome this serious problem.Economy
The educational landscape is shifting in front of our very eyes, and the changes are irreversible. Not all traditional academic institutions are likely to survive: they will have to either radically adapt, or die. They will be replaced by new, progressive, high-tech education projects, known in the expert community as ‘greenfield.’Education
Jim O’Neill, former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, coined the BRIC acronym in 2001, predicting that the BRICs would overtake the six largest western economies by 2041. But any economic growth has to be supplemented with the ability of a population to gain knowledge and qualifications. The annual QS World University Rankings assess universities worldwide; Jane Playdon looks at where the BRICS fit in.Education
The business index, the environmental efficiency index, the corruption perception index – the world has long grown accustomed to using various ranking systems to assess countries. The international ranking systems for universities that have emerged over the last decade have given us the chance to look at countries from an educational perspective. Alexei Chaplygin looks at the standing of the BRICS countries in these ‘league tables’ and explains why Russia needs its own global university ranking system.Education
Russians are well accustomed to having ‘two capitals’ – Moscow and Saint Petersburg. By the same token, Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) and Saint Petersburg State University (SPbU) enjoy a special status in the country. These friends and rivals embody Russia’s higher education system, with all of its pluses and minuses. BRICS Business Magazine asked the rectors of both universities the same questions – about international rankings, their institution’s place in the world, and where they are heading.Education
From Day One the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO billed itself as something out of the ordinary in business education. In this interview, the school’s new dean Andrei Sharonov explains what it is all about, and who studies what at this academic institution. He also speaks about Moscow’s strategic goals, having recently left a position in the city administration.Education
India has the third-largest Muslim population in the world, just behind Indonesia and Pakistan. Today nearly 165 million Indians practice Islam – representing more than 10% of the world’s entire Muslim population. Two educational centers that emerged within this gigantic community could easily be included in a list of the most influential academic institutions because of the footprints they have made in world history.Education
From London to São Paulo, from Chicago to Johannesburg, from Zurich to Mumbai – the whole world is entangled in a complex network of inter-industry ties connecting global cities. To be truly transnational, a business has to be present in a multitude of different cities both large and small that are often far from perfect. This serves as yet more practical evidence of the fact that the world is growing increasingly multipolar.Urbanism
Dozens of urban development projects, from Malaysia to Siberia, claim to be technologically advanced, comfortable and ‘sophisticated,’ with a cognitive-cultural economy to boot. They all need to sort out what they really are – and whether or not their plans are obsolete.Urbanism
Brazil’s Curitiba is a model of the ‘smart city’ not just for developing, but also for developed, countries. Most of the key challenges that a modern metropolis faces – including environmental, transportation, social and economic problems – were successfully tackled in this city as early as fifty years ago.Urbanism
Oscar Niemeyer was one of the founders of the Brazilian modernist school of architecture. He also helped to design a new capital city, Brasília. Built on a desert plateau, the city became a perfect example of the modernist dream brought to life. It is both an architectural triumph of the 20th century and its greatest urban development failure.Urbanism
Positive social shifts can occur, and the quality of city life improve, thanks to changes in systems of governance, improved and more efficient infrastructure, and properly developed public spaces. Moscow Urban Forum has prepared a brochure entitled 33 Projects that Changed Cities. BRICS Business Magazine has selected seven of those stories which convey the beauty of efficient solutions and teach us that tangible results can be achieved even in the face of scarce resources.Urbanism
Investments made by high-net-worth Brazilian individuals into hedge funds are double the average in the rest of the world. Almost one quarter of every large Brazilian investor’s portfolio is accounted for by alternative investments. The reason behind this is the transparency of this industry and strong government regulation.Finance
Brazil’s sustainable macroeconomic indicators and continued consumer boom are an excellent incentive for foreign investments. To expedite this process however, the government will have to tackle a number of significant challenges, including defeating bureaucracy and implementing tax reform.Power
A reporter from The Guardian got into a car with his friend, a photographer, and drove counter clockwise around the non-tourist suburbs of Brazil’s largest city. The trip culminated in a book, fragments of which are published in BRICS Business Magazine. Having visited São Paolo’s suburbs, Justin McGuirk had a chance to act both as an anthropologist and urban developer. His story will help to fill various lacunae that one is inevitably confronted with when trying to understand one of the largest metropolises of the world from inside its business quarters.
3.7 square meters of living space: homes in Hong Kong can be that small. Early this year the local Society for Community Organization (SoCO) published a series of photos featuring the poor, the lonely and the unemployed of one of Asia’s richest cities. The project’s primary objective was to raise awareness in the international community of Hong Kong’s housing problem and the fate of the hundreds of thousands of people not living in decent conditions.