At the V Professors’ Forum “Science and Education in the Context of Global Challenges” recently held in Moscow, an incredible number of exceptionally sensible, important and useful statements were made. For example, I propose to consider how the work of the section “Vector of development of higher education: strategy and tactics” in the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation took place.
In order to set up from the very beginning the colleagues who gathered in the hall and participated in the forum remotely, and. about. Rector of the Far Eastern Federal University Boris Korobets spoke about the network programs operating at his university and about establishing relationships with partners. But if earlier these meant foreign universities and companies that willingly participated in exchange and training programs for our students, now, for obvious reasons, it is necessary to pay all attention to the creation of an internal Russian network structure.
“All these years we have been building the Bologna system in our country in the image and likeness of what is in Europe,” reminded Boris Nikolayevich. But what did it give us? Nothing good! There was no mass exchange of students and specialists, no one was going to teach us there without money, and with money, no Bologna system is needed. It is also time for us to understand that this system was aimed primarily at the socialization of citizens, so that, moving from country to country, they would join European values, and only then would they receive solid knowledge. But for us, especially today, something else is much more important – to train a specialist of a high level of qualification, capable, and most importantly – ready to work with us, in Russia! We need someone who will work in Tomsk, Sevastopol, Khabarovsk, Ufa, etc., and not travel to other countries.
Boris Korobets also recalled, however, that our students and young professionals should be given the opportunity to study not only at the university where they entered the 1st year, but also at others, if they see that they provide a better education or there are opportunity to acquire the required qualifications. At the same time, universities, in turn, must understand this request and rely on the development of those strengths that they have (and almost everyone has them!). For example, everyone knows that only a few educational organizations are engaged in shipbuilding in our country, and the Far Eastern Federal University, where there is a corresponding department, can be considered the undisputed leader. This is exactly where we need to attract those who are now studying at the universities of Novorossiysk, Sevastopol, Perm, Kaliningrad, etc. The same can be said about other specialized colleges, institutes and universities.
“We are already closely cooperating with Kazan, Ufa, Samara, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod,” Boris Korobets listed the partners. – And together with them we are building a network system of support for universities. Thanks to her, a student from one city can come to another for 1-2 semesters to study there. This not only improves his skills, but also forces the universities themselves to monitor the quality of teaching, the content of curricula, and the level of professorial staff. And of course, to introduce innovative approaches.
However, Elena Kudryashova, rector of the Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov, did not agree with her colleague from Vladivostok. According to her, one should not demonize the Bologna system, especially since even in Europe itself they understand both its pluses and minuses.
– In different countries, universities are very different from each other, – Elena Vladimirovna reminded. And these differences persist, no matter what. We just need to take from the Bologna system all the best that it has, which, in fact, we are doing. After all, tiered education did not come to us after we entered the Bologna process, it existed before – both in the USSR and in Tsarist Russia. So should we give it up now? Not! You just need to optimize these approaches given the current moment. And shift the focus from Western countries to Eastern, South American and others.
Elena Kudryashova also noted that, as before, educational programs should be drawn up jointly with employers, and emphasis should continue to be placed on the development of individual educational trajectories in training. At her university, for example, out of 20,000 students, about 6,000 study precisely along such trajectories. And the “2+2+2” system, which President Putin spoke about in 2020, has long been introduced there and has proven itself well. Students receive general education for two years, professional education for two years, and specialized, master’s education for two more.
The rector of the Northern University also spoke about the fact that the covid epic, oddly enough, helped the education system to raise the level of distance learning, create a huge number of programs, platforms and services, and prepare teachers and students for the transition to learning in a virtual environment. And now, when the restrictions on attending universities have been largely lifted, we should not forget all this, we should strive to competently combine one with the other, taking advantage of both offline and online learning.
It was quite unexpected at an event of such a high level to hear a remark from the audience in which an unknown speaker was indignant at the dominance of foreign words such as “bachelor”, “master” and others like them in our speech. “Why can’t you use Russian words?” – he was perplexed and offered to cleanse our language of ungodly filth, especially since Harry Potter was a magician, and the words “magic” and “master” are very similar. He was reminded that this is actually a Professors’ Forum, and both of these words are also not native Russian, so what do you want to do?
Against this background, the report of the rector of the Donetsk National Technical University Alexander Anoprienko helped to find a reasonable compromise. From it, the section participants learned about how the development of Donbass began, how they managed to create a powerful scientific and technical base in this territory, and what they staked on.
“Our region is traditionally an engineering region,” said Alexander Yakovlevich. – But immediately after the end of the Civil War, when the country was in complete ruin, the authorities of the republic considered that it was pointless to restore anything here, let Kyiv train all the specialists. No one believed in us, but we managed the impossible – in a short time to raise both the mining and metallurgical industries, to create a powerful system of primary, secondary and higher professional education. We threw out a cry – sent 5,000 letters (written by hand, not like today!) to all corners of the USSR with an invitation to professors and teachers to come to our universities. And people went.
Unfortunately, Anoprienko stated, in the 40s, and then in the 90s, it was necessary to restore what had been destroyed more than once, raise it from the ruins and rebuild it again. In recent years, Donbass has been experiencing very serious upheavals, people are dying, the infrastructure that millions of people have created is being destroyed. But, the rector is sure, all this will surely end, peace will come to its long-suffering land, and the universities of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics will again be one of the strongest in terms of training mining engineers.
And at the end of his report, Alexander Yakovlevich recalled the so-called Kondratiev cycles – waves of economic growth and recession lasting 40-60 years. The Soviet economist Nikolai Kondratyev developed this theory a hundred years ago, but it is still fully confirmed today, helping to predict the ups and downs of entire countries and corporations, crises, stock market crashes, etc. According to the rector of Donetsk University, we have such studies and researchers of the level of Kondratiev and Chizhevsky is a very important trump card in the big game with our rivals and competitors. And it is on this that we must build the entire strategy for the development of our economy and the education system, so that every specialist can see the prospect not only for a year, but for 10, 100, 1000 years ahead!
What hinders the development of the higher education system today? Vladimir Zernov, rector of the Russian New University, tried to answer this question. He began by talking about how they used to take exams in technical universities of the USSR. And he compared the level of training of Soviet and modern students. But (contrary to expectations) he made an unexpected conclusion.
– In terms of the quality of knowledge, current applicants are not much different from their peers of the 60-70s, that is, knowledgeable people leave the school, as before. Yes, and from universities, too, – said Zernov. – But the failure begins later, when these people are taken to invent something, they try to introduce something somewhere, they fail, but no one can help them. But not only individual students, but also all our universities find themselves in such a situation, and all because of laws that simply do not allow development! Judge for yourself: in America, for example, universities receive 70-75% of their income from intellectual property, in Korea – 80%, and in Russia – only 10%, but not because we are worse intellectually, it’s just that the law does not allow us to receive more. Why has nothing been done so far in terms of changing the legislation?
Vladimir Alekseevich recalled that our country gave the world a huge number of people who, unfortunately, left and enriched the economy of other states with their intellectual work. Where, oddly enough, they consider them their own and do not even know about the Russian origin of these people. And it is also very sad to read the forecasts of Dmitry Mendeleev, who predicted Russia to become the first country in the world in terms of the development of culture, science and economy by the end of the 20th century. Because then there were 1917, 1941, 1991, not to mention what is happening now.
“We must learn from others, not be afraid to travel to other countries where there are good universities and highly qualified specialists are trained,” Zernov concluded. – But we must do everything so that our people then return home and work for the good of the Motherland.
It seems that this idea was supported by all the participants of the Professors’ Forum.
Message Through thorns first appeared on Teacher’s newspaper.