American Councils for International Education, Vice-President
- Mr Davidson, during the discussion you’ve mentioned the professional mobility as one of the most important factors of civil education. But the level of such mobility is different in different countries – in Russia, Germany or US – and we know many factors influencing it – the psychology of the young generation, for example. How would NGOs consider these different mental approaches? How can the civil society help the development of the professional mobility?
- Dan Davidson:
The mental distinctions shouldn’t prevent the development of civil society and the exchange of experience in this sphere. And the experience of many countries in creating new educational standards is rather rich, especially the experience of 1990s. The mobility can also accelerate the process of forming civil conscience.
I’m quite sure that such qualities as patriotism are being developed stronger, if this or that student is being trained abroad. I think the globalization made a significant contribution to the elimination of psychological barriers. The XX century events have changed the Americans’ point of view about the world and the international realities.
- One of the round table participants mentioned the Germany’s experience, where the government implements a mobility support policy. And now many Russian youngsters willing to be trained abroad prefer to go to Germany. How can you explain this tendency? And how can the civil society take into account national traditions within their mobility support activities?
- Dan Davidson:
I suppose there is an influence of a geographical factor, but to tell you the truth I’m not sure that the number of Russians getting education in America is less than those studying in Germany. Of course, the civil society must help its government to develop civil education. But don’t forget that every government reflect a certain mentality of its society. From this point of view America during the long period of time was dealing with its own problems whereas Germany had a good “helper” – the History. Long ago, at the époque of Kaiser Germany a student had to change universities while getting education. It was a good example of the mobility. Peter the Great also understood the real value of such education. As we know he got education abroad and many Russians followed his example after. So, the experience of such education existed in Russia before and now it’s necessary to develop this practice.