On Friday, the last bell rang in Russian schools, and the admission of graduates to universities started on Tuesday. Future students will have to learn by the new standards, the development of which the country rushed to the background of sanctions and conflict with the West. In fact, we are finally giving up the Soviet system of higher education. But why?
Admission campaign in Russian universities will last until 26 July, exceptions will be universities with additional introductory tests. The first wave of enrollment will fill 80% of budget seats until 3 August, and the second will end five days later. Today's applicants have to learn from the fresh, newly developed federal state educational standard 3 ++, but already at the beginning of 2018, a new GEF-4, to which the system was going for several years, should come into effect. According to the developers, it should become the crowning of evolution, a breakthrough that integrated all the "floors" and forms of higher education into a single instrument of social elevators.
Designer of the future
To date, about 52% of Russia's adult population have higher education, and every year more than 350 thousand entrants submit documents to the admissions offices of various universities. Now these "pogodki" are trained according to different standards, the higher school is constantly evolving: GEF-2, GEF-3, GEF-3 +, GEF 3 ++. Almost every generation of applicants falls under the new standards.
Why - it is clear: the labor market and economic realities require updated approaches to the HE system, and the results will have to be tested immediately in practice - real graduates in real life, and taking into account the global digitalization of society, the personnel question becomes more acute than ever. The task, on the one hand, is to introduce order in all this methodology, on the other, to make the system as mobile as possible and capable of adapting to the ever-changing demands of employers.
Therefore, the government decided to revise the register of professional standards and give higher education institutions autonomy in the choice of methods for preparing graduates. The promising GEF-4, to which the higher school was from the year 2014, is structured fundamentally differently and is built on modules-blocks of disciplines that the student can choose independently, since the basic (mandatory) part will be significantly reduced in favor of the variative, and the theoretical - in favor of practical. This is in many ways reminiscent of the approach taken by the colleges of the United States.
"The new standard will be built on the algorithm of interchangeable blocks, it will be more mobile, designed for independent solutions of students. There will be much more project work and practice. Previously, this scheme was present only in specialized blocks, but in fact the set of the same disciplines was changing. In the new system, there is definitely a desire for freedom, however, it is not known how this will be realized, "said Vadim Vysotsky, an associate professor of the Department of Journalism and Media Technologies of SPbGUPST, to the correspondent of the VZGLYAD newspaper.
The main and only direction of pedagogical work will now be the so-called universal and professional competences. The student must choose for himself the objectives of training in the future specialty and independently determine the "matrix of competences" - the designer of disciplines that will help him achieve these goals.
So the higher school finally abandons the concept of "teach to learn and know" and immediately sets before the student the task of solving, thinking, orienting and acting. This is what is included in the concept of the competences laid down in the foundation of GEF: the ability of an employee to realize his competence in practice. It is assumed that such an employee is socially adapted, professionally thinks, knows how to find his place in the profession and in life. In general, the person of the future is a creative, stress-resistant specialist of a rather narrow profile, who knows the skills of the design work, which will now be given special attention.
It is possible that even the student start-ups will be counted as graduation papers. This was recently announced by the deputy head of the Ministry of Education and Science Grigory Trubnikov.
Conflict of wits and wallets
Everybody recognizes that for the successful implementation of the current strategy for the development of the HE in Russia, it is necessary to create a strong and transparent scheme of interactions between the state, the university, the teacher, the student and the business. Especially business. Public financing of the education system is 4% of GDP, which is clearly not enough for the given pace of reform. This led to the so-called optimization of universities, in which part of the universities are declared ineffective and merged with more successful ones, and some even lose their licenses and disappear.
However, attracting private money into educational processes is not easy.
On the one hand, it's good and right when future employers do not wait on the sidelines while they are "stuffed" by trained personnel, but take a direct part in their training (including financial).
On the other hand, the requests of practitioners often significantly restrict the freedom of the pedagogical process, imposing an excess of applied disciplines. In addition, representatives of strong and developed industries (for example, state corporations, oil companies, military industrial complex) can form a clear personnel request for the future, while industries with a predominance of small and medium-sized businesses remain at risk.
So far, the academic community is not too happy to introduce "practitioners" into the educational process, and business, for its part, is not rushing to invest in education. For additional motivation, the Ministry of Economy has prepared amendments to the legislation, thanks to which financial cooperation with educational institutions will allow companies to receive benefits on income tax. It is supposed that this will help to strengthen the endowment funds, the classic example of which is considered to be Nobel: the funds obtained from the sale of Alfred Nobel's property were invested in securities, and the scholars are awarded with per cent of the profits. That is, in the case of education, an institution of higher learning or a school does not receive a donation in its pure form, but proceeds from the funds issued by donors that are managed by a company.
To date, only a few dozen Russian universities have endowments, the aggregate volume of which is estimated at 20 billion rubles. The Institute of Donations and Investments in the country is formed simultaneously with the restructuring of the education system, that is, wary.
As for the teachers, who directly embodied the intentions of the developers of the standard in practice, they, alas, proved to be hostages of reformatory activity and only time will show how this will affect the results.
On the one hand, they require emergency measures, innovations and methodological breakthroughs. On the other hand, optimization occurs in such a way that the pedagogical staff is reduced, and the burden of the remaining - bureaucratic and practical - increases. Salaries remain the same, which, in turn, leads to an increase in social tension.
Educators are easy to understand. They are forced to teach different courses of students according to different standards (GEF-2, GEF-3, etc.), navigate in a new staffing grid, try to dock programs with the requirements of potential employers (often not very familiar with the pedagogical process in principle) - and constantly prepare a lot of documents and plans. According to these parameters, which are not always harmonized, higher education institutions undergo formalized inspections of the Rosobrnadzor, which increases the tension in the pedagogical collectives. As a result, GEF-4 is waiting at the same time with hope and with apprehension.
To understand why this happened and why reform is needed, it is necessary to take into account the fate of the national higher school after the collapse of the USSR. Once upon a time, the famous Soviet higher education was strictly synchronized with all plans for the country's development, broken down into five years on the road map to a brighter future. This was the basis of his fundamental and deeply developed system, which, under the order, issued the necessary number of specialists, managers and researchers to the country.
After the collapse of the USSR, many of them could not meet market requirements, and the state could not provide them with an acceptable income, as a result, people massively switched to other professions - someone successfully, someone not. The absence of a clear state course instantly affected the education system itself: young people went to study for managers, economists and lawyers against the background of a sharp decline in the popularity of academic and industrial "classics." Numerous commercial universities, producing armies of office workers of varying degrees of competence, were produced throughout the country.
Post-Soviet state educational standards (GOS) of the first generation more or less formed only towards the end of the 90-ies. They were built on the requests of academic communities to at least keep a single educational space, but did not expect synchronization with the labor market: universities continued to offer popular but not demanded employers.
In 2000, the Second Generation State Educational Institution of Higher Professional Education entered into force, coordinated with the tariff and qualification grid of the Ministry of Labor. But even this version of the standard did not help to overcome the separation of higher education from the market and make it so that getting a diploma is no longer an excuse for anecdotes.
In parallel, Russian education began integration into the European system within the framework of the Bologna Process, which required immediate measures in case of insufficient resources.
Finally, from the middle of the "zero" era, the painful and varied evolution of the federal state educational standard (GEF) began, in the process of which it was necessary to abandon many of the pedagogy's achievements in order to adapt graduates to a changing world (before these developments seemed priceless).
Acceleration of the process was sharply imparted to 2014 year, when the country's course was turned towards import substitution, and the labor market was shaken by staff shortages on some flanks and from unemployment on others.
Now the country has new development plans - economic, social, territorial. It was with them that the education system was urgently synchronized. Each graduate should think carefully about how best to fit into these global plans, but tectonic shifts in the system are for him. More precisely for the sake of his future, as well as the future of the country as a whole.