‘Four years is still not really a specialist’: Russian Academy of Sciences' president advocates the preservation of Bologna model

The head of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Gennady Krasnikov, appointed in September, believes that the Bologna system of higher education should be preserved, and double degree programmes with foreign partner universities will continue, despite international sanctions against the Russian Federation.

“I am not a supporter of abrupt transitions from one system to another, as these transitions often 'break' the process of obtaining higher education, not create," he said at the end of the meeting of the board of directors of JSC Tatneftekhiminvest-holding in Kazan.

In his opinion, the Bologna education system was created just so that the Russian diploma of higher education would be quoted abroad, and graduates of Russian universities could find jobs around the world.

“We have just created a system in difficult conditions — bachelor's degree (4 years of study) and master's degree (2 years of study), so it will be difficult to immediately abandon this case," he noted.

Krasnikov believes that the existing specialist training programmes (5-year training programme) need to be developed, complementing the overall architecture of higher school programmes.

“As writer Saltykov-Shchedrin said, it should be quiet, calm, without minimal bloodshed. We need to move, but without drastic revolutionary actions. Not so that everything is closed there, everything is closed here," he said.

The head of the Russian Academy of Sciences assured that the system of double diplomas will remain: “Now there are no such sudden movements that we shy away from one to another.” The option of dual degree in Russian universities, when the training is conducted in English, will remain (for the successful completion of the programme, students of need to study abroad for one year, after which students receive two documents on higher education at once — one is issued by a Russian university, the second by a foreign partner university). This practice in Tatarstan is led by the Kazan National Research Technical University (KNRTU).

Meanwhile, the Russian Academy of Sciences is preparing its personnel at separate basic departments of the university, Gennady Krasnikov told Realnoe Vremya.

“As the director of the Russian Academy of Sciences, I will say that we prepare ourselves, we have basic departments. It is difficult for us to work with bachelors. Four years is still not really a specialist. We mainly cooperate with undergraduates and postgraduates," he said. However, such specialists are not needed in large numbers.

Let us remind that in early October, the head of the Ministry of Education, Sergey Kravtsov, proposed to study the possibility of transferring the pedagogical education system to specialist's degree. He acknowledged that this decision may have its pros and cons and asked the teaching community to get involved in the work. Prior to that, Valery Falkov, the head of the Ministry of Education and Science, spoke about a possible departure from it, claiming that “Russia will develop its own 'unique' model of higher education”.

Luiza Ignatyeva

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