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Five million rubles for southern Russia’s top students

On 18 December 2012, the 250 top students from southern Russia’s leading higher education institutions were awarded scholarships from Center-invest Bank and the Endowment Fund for Education and Science in the Southern Federal District.The total scholarship fund this year was RUB5m.

The 10th annual scholarship award ceremony was held in the Regional Philharmonic Hall, where a red carpet was laid out for southern Russia’s very best undergraduate and postgraduate students. The scholarship winners represent the academic potential of the Southern Federal University, Rostov State Economics University, Rostov State Medical University, Don State Technical University, Rostov State Construction University, the Southern Russian Institute (a branch of the Russian Presidential Academy of the National Economy and Public Administration) and the Southern Russian State Technical University.

As has become traditional, the first to congratulate the winners was the chairman of Center-invest Bank’s Board of Directors, Dr. Vasily Vysokov. Dr. Vysokov is also the chairman of the Commission for Economic Development, Enterprise and Innovation of the Rostov Region’s Public Chamber.

Center-invest Bank is confident that the future of southern Russia’s economy is in safe hands: the students of today are set to become the main drivers of the country’s socioeconomic development.

The competition winners were also congratulated by the rectors of theirinstitutions, the Board of Trustees of the Endowment Fund for Education and Sciencein the Southern Federal District, and Deputy Plenipotentiary Representative of the Russian President for the Southern Federal District, V.N. Gurba.

The formal part of the proceedings was followed by a celebratory ball for the scholarship winners.

The scholarships were awarded following a competitive selection process held by the Endowment Fund in autumn 2012. This year, 1458 students entered the scholarship competition.

Throughout the selection process, via the bank’s social networking groups on VKontakte and Facebook, the applicants were able to ask the organisers questions and obtain advice on completing their applications. Through these groups, previous scholarship winners also shared their experiences of taking part in the competition and their academic successes.

The scholarships were awarded to applicants withimpressive academic achievements, high potential, and a professional focus.This year, the organisers stipulated a further condition: as well as giving an account of their work to date, the applicants had to write an essay about how their future work would relate to the economy of southern Russia.

In addition, the Endowment Fund’s Board of Trustees set upthe “Zhdanova” and “Guskova” scholarships. These scholarships are named after two outstanding Russian scholars, Yuri Zhdanova and Evgeniya Guskova, both of whom left their mark on the history of the Southern Federal University and indeed on higher education in southern Russia as a whole. The Southern Federal University’s tenbest biology students received Guskova scholarships, while the top ten students from the chemistry, physics and philosophy departments received Zhdanova scholarships.

Center-invest Bank is an example of a socially responsible business. The bank’s social and educational projects encompass the various groups involved in education and academia: teaching staff, students, schoolchildren and recent graduates.TheEndowment Fund for Education and Science in the Southern Federal District is one such project.

This fund was set up in southern Russia five years ago, in accordance with Russian legislation and in line with best international practice. The fund has assets of approximately RUB70m. Thanks to intelligent management by Center-invest Bank specialists, the fund not only makes money, but also uses this money very effectively to incentivise southern Russia’s top students. The bank has run a scholarship programme for the last ten years.

In Russia, this way of doing business is called “socially responsible”, while in international practice the term “sustainable” is used. A sustainable business seeks to introduce new knowledge, technology and methods for the benefit of future generations.