Press Room

The results of the Fellowship Program were assessed

A special survey was commissioned by the Vladimir Potanin Foundation to assess and evaluate the results and the impact of the Vladimir Potanin Fellowship Program, which is the longest and biggest project of the Foundation. Through the 14 years of its operation the Program has involved over 170 000 students from Russia’s 83 leading universities and colleges in various regions from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad.

Over 15 600 scholarships have been granted and a wide network of scholarship winners from various regions was established. The Foundation has held 10 Summer and Winter Schools, and the Projects Festival where the most active participating students and professor eager to change themselves and to change life around them presented their best projects in project teams formed voluntarily. Over 150 projects either have been or are being successfully implemented with the Foundation’s support. The Program participants have now become independent in uniting, working through the network, promoting the ideas of the Program and creating their own new projects.

According to the survey, the Program has helped the participating students and professors to reveal and improve the following personal qualities: communication skills (29%), organizational skills (21%), leadership skills (15%), team-working abilities (12%). When asked what the Program gave them, most respondents highlighted such opportunities as a chance to express or test themselves (34%), make new friends (16%), positive emotions and impressions (16%), general positive impact (11%), financial support (9%), experience and knowledge (8%). Most participants evaluated the impact of the Program as a considerable (about 40%) or very strong one (about 18%). When they were asked to draw an image of a Vladimir Potanin’s Fellowship winner they named such qualities as active, goal-oriented (20%), smart, intellectual and well-educated (12%), a bright and outstanding personality (9%), a leader (8%). Noteworthy is the fact that the survey proves most Program participants (65%) stayed in their native city or the city where they studied, committed to changing life and social environment around them.

The Program proved its unique character by such basic principles as face-to-face selection, student contests for the scholarships which combined modeling elements with the ones of personal development trainings, Summer and Winter Schools held by the Program, and socially oriented student-led projects. According to the participants’ voices, “the tasks set in the playing contest were chosen so as to reveal the participants’ potential: ability to handle the situation, to think creatively, to make decisions”, and the contest program proved really “unbiased and objective” so that “universities staff members or even university authorities could not influence as it was autonomous, objective, and self-sufficient”.  Most grant-awarded projects were focused on environmental issues, donor activity, social work with orphans and remedial schools’ pupils, pensioners, students and school kids.