Sustainable Education as a Factor in Regional Socio-economic
N. V. Dubiv
, T. R. Zmyzgova
and E. N. Polyakova
Kurgan State University, Kurgan, Russian Federation
Keywords: Engineering Education, Entrepreneurial University, Digital Transformation, "Engineer 4.0", "Education 4.0".
Abstract: Sustainable development of the Russian Federation and its regions is among the most important tasks of the
present time. Modern theoretical-methodological and scientific searches are aimed at establishing the factors
of sustainable development of territorial socio-economic systems. The article is devoted to the study and
structuring of practice-oriented and methodological approaches to regional development in the context of
adapting the education system to the tasks of the digital economy. The main aspects of education system
development, goals and objectives of national projects and programs in the field of economy, education and
digitalization are considered. It is shown that the most important strategic direction of technological
modernization of Russia is the improvement of the education system, the development of human resources
capable of responding to innovative challenges and having the necessary professional competencies to
implement large-scale projects in high-tech and knowledge-intensive industries. It is separately noted that the
organization of scientific and educational clusters is designed to guarantee the staff potential for the
development of innovative sectors of the economy, to provide points of growth of the investment climate in
Russia. It is shown that at present time there is a transition of innovations development to the regional level,
the issues related to generation and commercialization of scientific knowledge acquire great importance. The
concept of entrepreneurial university, new opportunities and risks of digital transformation are considered.
The idea of education for sustainable regional
development is based on achieving a balance between
economic wellbeing and the socio-cultural
environment. Education, as a tool of socialization,
starting from pre-school age, should prepare the
younger generation for scientific and technological
innovations, social change, and contribute to the
formation of an active position in solving social
problems. Economic and socio-cultural development
of the Russian regions can only be achieved by
creating a socially responsible society that is ready to
adapt to new dynamically changing conditions
provided that the education system is effectively
integrated into the socio-economic environment of
the region.
The digitalization of socio-economic processes
and the need to revise approaches to learning during
the spread of coronavirus infection in spring 2020
have posed a number of challenges for universities
related to the implementation of educational
programmes using e-learning and distance learning
technologies in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic
spread worldwide, most countries announced the
temporary closure of schools and universities, which
affected over 91% of the world's learners. Under these
unprecedented conditions, the coordinated efforts of
all participants in the educational process, the support
of federal and regional governments, strategic
partners enabled educational institutions of various
levels to organize a rapid response system based on
blended learning technologies, including distance
learning technologies, e-learning, various video
communication services, introduction of pedagogical
design elements in online courses, asynchronous
learning modes and ready-made packaged courses.
Dubiv, N., Zmyzgova, T. and Polyakova, E.
Sustainable Education as a Factor in Regional Socio-economic Development.
DOI: 10.5220/0010595406500655
In Proceedings of the International Scientific and Practical Conference on Sustainable Development of Regional Infrastructure (ISSDRI 2021), pages 650-655
ISBN: 978-989-758-519-7
2021 by SCITEPRESS Science and Technology Publications, Lda. All rights reserved
Higher education institutions have begun to
develop strategies for distance mobility, to train
teachers to work with students in a digital
environment, to assess their actions through
reflection, which helps participants in the educational
process to formulate the results obtained, to receive
feedback from students, to redefine the goals for
further work, ultimately contributing to an individual
educational trajectory.
With the rapid development of globalisation and
informatisation processes, the level and pace of
development of the national economy are inextricably
linked to the state of the constituent entities of the
Russian Federation. The current economic condition
of the Russian regions is characterized by a number
of problems of innovative and technological nature.
The most relevant question becomes: what should be
the driving force behind the socio-economic
development of the regions? One of the most
important indicators of socio-economic development
of the region is science and innovation, namely:
Internal expenditure on R&D;
Volume of R&D performed;
Volume of innovative products;
Expenditures on technological innovation;
Innovation activity;
Number of patents for invention / Patent
Obviously, the scientific and technological
potential of each subject of the Russian Federation is
primarily characterized by the state of (research and
education) space, the most important subjects of
which are universities. The region is becoming a
subject of competitive relations, the task of providing
the regional economy with highly qualified
personnel, who are able to adapt quickly to the
requirements of the economic system and the labor
market, is relevant (Alikaeva et al., 2018). The
solution to this problem is increasingly shifting
towards improving the management of the regional
education system and its interaction with the
productive sector. At the same time, the status of
universities as subjects of socio-economic
development of regions is increasing (Zmyzgova et
al., 2017).
The need for continuous improvement of
education system management determines the
relevance and practical significance of the
development of new mechanisms of regional
education policy (Shidov et al., 2018). In these
conditions it is important to realize the innovative
potential of tripartite mechanism of interaction
between the state, business and universities.
It can be argued that there is now a steady trend
towards the transformation of universities towards
generating not only the knowledge that the university
community has traditionally provided, but also that
knowledge and in the specified timeframe that
stakeholders need. The main stakeholders of the
university in the external environment are the state
represented by ministries and agencies, region,
business community, non-profit organisations,
educational networks, reference communities; in the
internal environment - teaching staff, University staff,
students and university communities.
The activities of the education system should be
aimed at meeting the needs of the population and the
economy of a particular territory. Comprehensive
development of regional education systems means
their transition to a qualitatively new state, growth of
their potential, which will lead to increased
opportunities for the implementation of educational
needs of an individual, society and the state. Taken
together, all these factors should contribute to the
formation of modern regional educational space,
which has a high scientific and technical potential and
guarantees progressive regional development. Today,
the success of a particular university depends on the
coordinated actions of all participants of the
educational process and representatives of society,
business and government. It is important for the
university to take into account the interests and needs
of all these parties, to conduct an ongoing dialogue
with them and provide an opportunity to influence the
key factors of the university's activity.
The year 2021, as the year of science and
technology, imposes a certain responsibility in
solving the problem of development of intellectual
potential of the country. The need to achieve new
benchmarks should motivate the interest of
businesses to participate in the whole chain of the
technological process, from fundamental education
and science to the scaling up of new high-tech
Russian inventions and developments.
What are the mechanisms through which this can
be implemented?
Inclusion of the main regional partners in the
collegial structures of HEI management, their
responsible role in managerial decision-
Sustainable Education as a Factor in Regional Socio-economic Development
making. (Establishment of employers' council
for training areas; active participation of
enterprises in regular updating of curricula);
Internships for students in these enterprises,
internships for teachers;
Project-based learning;
Dual education;
Scientific research to meet the real needs of
Creation of joint laboratories, branded
Participation of teaching staff in expert and
scientific-technical councils of enterprises.
On 20 January 2021, President of the Russian
Academy of Sciences Alexander Sergeyev at the first
meeting of the organizing committee for the Year of
Science and Technology in Russia noted the priority
of measures aimed at encouraging private companies
to engage in practical cooperation with scientific
institutes: "For example, for this purpose the RAS
together with the ASI will work to attract both
representatives of the business community and
developers of scientific and technological solutions
who already have their 'success stories' to the forum
'Areas of National Scientific and Technological
Breakthrough 2030' to find opportunities for
industrial implementation of Russian scientific
2.1 Entrepreneurial University: An
Incentive for Innovative Regional
Russia is currently witnessing a trend towards a new
approach in classifying Russian universities:
educational, research and entrepreneurial.
Educational universities focus exclusively on
academic programmes, which are largely
implemented with full public funding, including in
the form of subsidies and grants. This category
includes small regional universities, which have few
or no serious resources to engage in research.
Research universities are capable of building up
their own research activities by setting up their own
R&D laboratories and making money on R&D.
A third type of university is the entrepreneurial
type. These universities have considerable potential
for funding R&D and its commercialisation.
Entrepreneurial universities are characterised by
diversified funding, relying primarily on their own
resources; increasing self-financing as compared to
public funding.
This type of universities can become the main key
to the economic stability of regional and national
economies, contribute to the growth of industrial
production, innovation, creation of new high-tech and
knowledge-intensive industries and jobs.
The foundations of the concept of
"entrepreneurial university" are laid by B. Clarke
(Burton and Clark, 2011). The main criteria of the
entrepreneurial university are orientation to new
sources of funding, initiation of new activities,
creation of new business organisations,
demonstration of entrepreneurial behaviour. Classic
examples of entrepreneurial universities are the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford
University and a number of European universities.
Universities of the third type consider the
entrepreneurial aspect in their educational, scientific,
innovative, educational and other types of activities,
provide knowledge and develop skills that contribute
to the development of entrepreneurial thinking, while
forming their own ecosystem of entrepreneurship
around the university.
Entrepreneurial universities play a key role in the
innovative development of regions, ensure the
transfer of new knowledge and technologies, create
scientific and technological clusters (business
incubators, small innovative enterprises, educational
and scientific innovation complexes, educational and
scientific production complexes, science parks, etc.)
for new enterprises and organisations, and launch
innovative regional initiatives.
A network of leading Russian universities
(Zmyzgova et al., 2020) has now been formed in
Russia as part of large-scale governmental measures
and they are trying out various forms and schemes of
educational and scientific-production integration. In
2011, the Skolkovo Foundation and a number of
Russian universities created the Association of
Entrepreneurial Universities of Russia. The
declaration was signed on September 28, 2011 at the
St. Petersburg International Innovation Forum. The
initiators of creation of the association were the
Skolkovo Foundation and the St. Petersburg National
Research University of Information Technologies,
Mechanics and Optics. Besides them, the declaration
was signed by the Moscow Institute of Physics and
Technology, National Research Nuclear University,
Tomsk State University of Control Systems and
Radioelectronics and National Research
Technological University.
Every year, starting in 2016, the contribution of
Russian universities to the development of the
national economy is assessed. A subject ranking of
universities' scientific performance, an index of
ISSDRI 2021 - International Scientific and Practical Conference on Sustainable Development of Regional Infrastructure
inventive activity, as well as a ranking of
entrepreneurial universities are compiled.
The study assesses the contribution of Russian
universities to the global development of
technological entrepreneurship, including startups
created by university graduates.
In 2020, the final ranking included 46 Russian
universities, and only those universities with at least
ten startups were considered. A separate ranking of
business schools and economic universities
(Financial University, Russian Academy of National
Economy and Public Administration, Plekhanov
Russian University of Economics, etc.) was prepared.
On February 15, 2021, the first meeting of the
organizing committee for the Year of Science and
Technology in Russia was held, chaired by
Presidential Aide Andrey Fursenko and Deputy
Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko. Alexander
Sergeev, President of the Russian Academy of
Sciences, noted the priority of measures aimed at
encouraging private companies to engage in practical
cooperation with scientific institutions: "For example,
for this purpose, the RAS together with the ASI will
work to attract both representatives of the business
community and developers of scientific and
technological solutions who already have their
'success stories' to the forum "Areas of National
Scientific and Technological Breakthrough 2030" in
order to find opportunities for industrial
implementation of Russian scientific developments".
According to Dmitry Chernyshenko, "defining
new benchmarks that we intend to achieve, including
through digital mechanisms, will increase business
interest in participating in the entire chain of the
technological process - from fundamental science to
the scaling of Russian inventions and developments".
2.2 Engineering Education as the Basis
for Regional Economic
Development. "Engineer 4.0"
In the context of regional socio-economic
development, it is primarily necessary to note the
need for radical changes in engineering and business
education. It is they that should focus on the long-
term systemic processes of regional economy
transition to the new digital technology platform
(Prokofiev et al., 2018).
The urgent question for universities is how
employers' interest in new, well connected business
with education and science (Pecherskaya et al., 2020),
contributing to the development of innovative type of
entrepreneurship, ensuring the transfer of knowledge,
research and development results to the external
environment; trained development engineers convert
into concrete interaction (Vásquez Bernal, 2012).
Many enterprises are now in a situation of
constant technological renewal and they need to scale
their innovation environment, which in turn requires
a transition to new organisational solutions and the
development of new professional competencies
among employees. It can be argued that the
competence profiles of managers and engineers are
currently being integrated. Obviously, this trend
should be reflected in the educational programmes of
primary general, secondary vocational and higher
education institutions. It is necessary to develop
training programmes for system engineers for new
business areas to create complex technical systems
and products together with technological
entrepreneurs who will be able to design new
technological production processes.
Universities need to implement a rapid transition
to a "university-partner" model in aligning
educational programmes with enterprises, and it is
important to move from a highly specialised engineer
to a multidisciplinary staffing approach of the
"engineer - researcher - technological entrepreneur"
type. Obviously, under these conditions, it is
necessary to expand the functional block of basic
knowledge on new technological platform solutions
in business education, while engineering education
should emphasise the inclusion of technical systems
in investment cycles.
Technological developments are leading to the
fourth industrial revolution, resulting in Industry 4.0,
which is based on artificial intelligence, robotics and
the internet of things. "Industry 4.0 will force
universities to change their approach to educating
engineers (Baygin et al., 2016). We can talk about the
specialisation "Engineer 4.0" as an important link in
the fourth industrial revolution of "Industry 4.0".
Who are "Engineers 4.0"? They are professionals
who understand modern processes and the changing
world of the fourth revolution, and are able to adapt
very quickly. They are systems engineers who
understand the lifecycle of production systems of
various nature, build their activities using digital
twins and artificial intelligence systems, and possess
a unique set of engineering competencies soft skills
(Zmyzgova et al., 2020).
The main trends of Industry 4.0, such as the
Internet of Things, additive manufacturing, virtual
and augmented reality, robotics, artificial
intelligence, and big data are reflected in engineering
education (Calderón et al., 2020). New disciplines
and training modules are appearing in the educational
programmes and curricula to take into account the
Sustainable Education as a Factor in Regional Socio-economic Development
peculiarities occurring in modern industrial
production (Jeganathan et al., 2018).
We can talk about the concept of innovative
approach "Education 4.0", which should correspond
to "Industry 4.0" and prepare students for the next
industrial revolution, which will occur in their lives.
2.3 "Education 4.0: Drivers of Digital
Technologies in Learning
The introduction of elements of Industry 4.0 into
industry and production requires an expansion of
digital competences. Increasingly, companies are
thinking about digital twins in production, artificial
intelligence for operational and emergency decision-
making and for predicting the condition of
equipment. Adoption of artificial intelligence will
enable machines and robots to adapt to change
(Ciolacu et al., 2017).
Creative human capital, which is characterised by
knowledge and skills in high-tech areas, continuing
education and a willingness to change, is crucially
important in this environment. These are new
educational opportunities for which the concept of e-
learning exists (Prokofiev et al., 2019).
"Industry 4.0" needs specialists at a
fundamentally different level. Flexible educational
paradigms, which will allow universities to overcome
infrastructural limitations, using their educational
technologies and cross-platform resources, will be the
basis for the new format of learning.
In (Jeganathan et al., 2018) new approaches in
organising content for Education 4.0 are considered.
In particular, a discipline-independent curriculum
structure of Education 4.0, which combines all
engineering disciplines to create a unique discipline
called "Engineering 4.0", is proposed instead of the
current discipline-dependent curricula.
The term '4.0' refers to new technical capabilities
for which the concept of e-learning or digital learning
already exists. Alongside traditional approaches to
learning, new e-learning formats are being
considered. Some of them are intended for mass
learning (Massive Open Online Courses, MOOC) and
others for a small number of learners (Single Point Of
Contact, SPOC). In terms of the use of e-learning
tools in the Russian educational space, a trend can
now be noted towards the refinement of existing and
the creation of their own, new or significantly
improved, e-learning tools (Golitsyna, 2020).
On 19 November 2020, Resolution No. 1836 of
the Government of the Russian Federation "On the
State Information System "Modern Digital
Educational Environment" was adopted. It is planned
to develop the state information system "Modern
Digital Educational Environment", which, based on
the "one-stop-shop" principle, will provide students
with access to online courses based on various
educational platforms thanks to a unified system of
user authentication. The information system is being
created as part of the implementation of the federal
project "Young Professionals (Increasing the
Competitiveness of Professional Education)" of the
national project "Education".
The development of online territories will lead to
an even greater global competition of universities.
Under these conditions, the geographical boundaries
of education and science will be blurred and
universities will have an additional opportunity to
define their own position in the new online space. The
introduction of digital transformation processes
increases the mobility of scientists, opens up new
opportunities for joint research and scientific
activities aimed at ensuring the competitiveness of the
state in the global arena.
The success of Russian regions in terms of digital
leadership is largely ensured by the activity of
regional authorities, which should envisage the
availability of conditions that provide accessible
infrastructure, the creation of digital projects,
scientific and technological clusters, where the efforts
of educational organizations and enterprises are
combined. The incentives for regional development
should be readiness for digital transformation, the
interaction of universities with flagship enterprises,
which make significant steps towards digital
technologies, invest serious resources in the
development and implementation of innovations.
To ensure a digital social and economic
breakthrough, Russian regions must attract many
young, talented professionals, future Engineers 4.0,
who not only have a good understanding of the
essence of current technological changes, but also
demonstrate a willingness to innovate, have the
necessary competencies, practical experience in
working with new tools.
Personnel training, the education system is the
main task in the large-scale digital transformation. It
is necessary to provide comprehensive support to
educational initiatives in constituent entities of the
Russian Federation, to provide comprehensive
support to digitalisation processes in all aspects of
economic activity, which will produce rapid
economic effects: intensification and automation of
business processes; optimisation of management
systems; formation of a reserve for new types of
ISSDRI 2021 - International Scientific and Practical Conference on Sustainable Development of Regional Infrastructure
interactions; acceleration of economic changes; more
efficient use of resources.
Alikaeva, M.V., Voloshin Y.N., Ksanaeva M.B. and
Zakhokhova M.R. (2018). Problems and Prospects of
Training for the Digital Economy: the Regional
Dimension. IEEE International Conference Quality
Management, Transport and Information Security,
Information Technologies (IT&QM&IS). St.
Petersburg, Russia, pages 547-550.
Baygin, M., Yetis, H., Karakose, M. and Akin, E. (2016).
An effect analysis of industry 4.0 to higher education.
15th International Conference on Information
Technology Based Higher Education and Training
(ITHET), pages 1-4.
Burton, C. (2011). Creating entrepreneurial Universities:
organizational directions of transformation. Publishing
House of the UOC. University of the Higher School of
Economics. Moscow.
Calderón, R.R. and Izquierdo, R.B. (2020). Machines for
Industry 4.0 in Higher Education. IEEE World
Conference on Engineering Education (EDUNINE),
pages 1-4.
Ciolacu, M., Svasta, P.M., Berg, W. and Popp, H. (2017).
Education 4.0 for tall thin engineer in a data driven
society. IEEE 23rd International Symposium for
Design and Technology in Electronic Packaging
(SIITME), pages 432-437.
Golitsyna, I.N. (2020). Education 4.0 in the training of
modern specialists. Educational Technologies and
Society. 23(1): 12-19.
Jeganathan, L., Khan, A.N., Kannan Raju J. and
Narayanasamy S. (2018). On a Frame Work of
Curriculum for Engineering Education 4.0. World
Engineering Education Forum - Global Engineering
Deans Council (WEEF-GEDC), pages 1-6.
Jeganathan, L., Khan, A.N., KannanRaju, J. and
Narayanasamy, S. (2018). On a frame work of
curriculum for engineering education 4.0. World
Engineering Education Forum Global Engineering
Deans Council.
Pecherskaya, E.A., Artamonov, D.V., Safronov, M. I.,
Polosina, E.V., Renzyaeva, I.A. and Shepeleva, A.E.
(2020). Improving the Effectiveness of the Information
Module for the Interaction between Universities and
Employers. V International Conference on Information
Technologies in Engineering Education (Inforino ),
pages 1-5.
Prokofiev, K.G., Dmitrieva, O.V., Zmyzgova, T.R. and
Polyakova, E.N. (2018). Modern engineering education
as a key element of russian technological modernization
in the context of digital economy. Advances in
Economics, Business and Management Research.
Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference
"Far East Con" (ISCFEC 2018), pages 652-656.
Prokofiev, K.G., Zmyzgova, T.R., Polyakova, E.N. and
Chelovechkova, A.V. (2019). Transformation of the
education system in a digital economics. Advances in
Economics, Business and Management Research.
Proceedings of the 1st International Scientific
Conference, pages 614-619.
Shidov, A.K., Altudov, Y.K., Kazieva, B.V., Yakhutlova,
Z.M. and Mashukova, M. H. (2018). Problems and the
Prospects of Training for Providing the Gain of High-
Performance Jobs in the Conditions of Cluster
Diversification and Digitalization of the Russian
Economy. IEEE International Conference Quality
Management, Transport and Information Security,
Information Technologies (IT&QM&IS), pages 807-
Vásquez Bernal, O.A. (2012). Management model for
development projects in University - Business -
Government relations. IEEE International Conference
on Management of Innovation & Technology (ICMIT),
pages 561-565.
Zmyzgova, T.R., Polyakova, E.N., Chelovechkova, A.V.,
Dmitrieva, O.V. and Nikiforova, T.A. (2017). Problems
of improving the quality of engineering education in the
digital economy. III-rd Vrossiysk Scientific-Practical
Conference Actual Problems of Modern Engineering
Education. Part 1, pages 37–42.
Zmyzgova, T.R., Polyakova, E.N. and Karpov, E.K. (2020).
Digital transformation of education and artificial
intelligence. В сборнике: Advances in Economics,
Business and Management Research. 2nd International
Scientific and Practical Conference Modern
Management Trends and the Digital Economy: from
Regional Development to Global Economic Growth
(MTDE 2020), pages 824-829.
Zmyzgova, T., Polyakova, E., Prokofyev, K.,
Chelovechkova, A. and Dmitrieva, O. (2020).
University Relations: University–Industrial Relations
as the Main Factor in the Development of Polytechnic
Education. Proceeding of the International Science and
Technology Conference "FarEastСon 2019". Smart
Innovation, Systems and Technologies, 172: 569-579.
Sustainable Education as a Factor in Regional Socio-economic Development