Victor Sadovnichy: "I suggest to introduce into practice educational credits at the state level"
(Interview of Izvestia newspaper
with the rector of the Moscow state University (MGU)
Victor Alexandrovich, what positive and negative tendencies you can mark in the Russian education sphere?
We must admit that there are so many problems in educational sphere. The main issue is its accessibility and quality. Today the school graduate coming from a distant village have no possibility to join the quality institute. The reason for this is the increasing cost of education. We suppose that the education is a social function playing a certain role in the society – providing prospects and calming.
Nevertheless, they speak a lot about the accessibility of high education. But what can really be done to make education accessible?
I think the system of credits can contribute to solving the situation. This system must be well-developed and should work automatically.
MGU has an experience of working with a credit system. But it is a private business. We suggest to implement the credit system at the state level. Second, it is necessary to widen the system of state order. Third, it is important to increase the system of competitions, the search of talented youth. When we speak about the accessibility of education, it doesn’t mean that everyone must study in MGU. It’s impossible. We speak that talented people must have possibilities to express their talent. I support the system of competitions to begin with 7th class of a school. Such we create a good basis for the youth and in 11th class we can see that he or she is a good mathematician or philologist. I call it accessibility and this helps to keep and develop talent. The education must be accessible for those who want to study and have a talent. In general, accessibility, quality and the cost for education are main problems. And we speak about it during the sessions of the Educational Council under the President. Of course, it’s also important to keep the education at the high level.
What do you think about the bachelor-master system?
Of course, it can exist. But we support the system of entrance examinations. Both the institute, and the scholars should have a choice how to enter. And all these means must be equal and accessible.
It shouldn’t depend on the level and reputation of an institute?
It must be equal. Besides, we must work through a question of financing, professors’ status, additional payments for academic degrees etc. I speak now about the precise issues in this sphere and all these questions are important.
Is there in the today’s program of reforms that needs specification or correction?
According to the Minister’s report we worked very good. But we admit that there is no consent on some issues – entrance exams, transfer to the “bachelor-master” system etc. Of course, there are common points and mutual understanding, but there is still no legislation base for this. And the question that provoked most acute discussions is the question about the draft of the Law regulating the so-called “autonomous organizations”. We are categorically against some positions of the draft, because we can see there the infringement of institutes’ rights. We also would like to have more information and clarity of the privatization issues. For example, the tutorial council can declare an institute bankrupt and the bankruptcy leads to changing the form of privacy.
And the institute can be then privatized?
Yes. Because in this case the subsidiary responsibility of the state ends. If an institute is an autonomous organization and goes bankrupt, the state has no responsibility for its future. So, the discussion is in progress and we have no common point of view. We’ll pass it to the government and then it will be examined by the State Duma.