How to Develop Partnerships Between U.S. and Russian Universities: From Motivation to Results (2015)

This guidebook is designed for U.S. universities and colleges interested in building partnerships with Russian institutions of higher education. By providing examples and best practices from successful U.S.-Russian university partnerships, this book will help academic professionals anticipate challenges and solve problems together with their Russian counterparts. Topics covered by the book include an overview of the Russian system of higher education, an analysis of motivations for creating a partnership, step-by-step guidelines for finding a partner, examples of partnership models, and an outline of how to finance a partnership.

This guidebook is Prepared by Mark Johnson and Erin Weeks-Earp for the Eurasia Foundation’s Social Expertise Exchange Higher Education Working Group (HEWG). If you would like to learn more about this and other projects implemented by the group, email

The expertise the HEWG and its successful U.S.-Russia partnership under EF’s Social Expertise and Exchange Program (SEE) laid the groundwork for establishing the US-Russia University Partnership Program (UPP), which will facilitate the incubation of new partnerships between U.S. and Russian higher education institutions. For more information about the UPP program, visit

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Part 1: Overview of the Russian System of Higher Education

Part 2: Analysis of Motivations for Creating a Partnership

Part 3: Step-by-Step Guidelines for How to Find a Partner

Part 4: Lessons Learned in U.S.-Russian University Partnerships

Part 5: Four Major Partnership Models

Part 6: Overview of Ways to Finance a Partnership

Conclusions and Reflections

Selected References and Additional Resources