Discussion on Russia´s participation in Bologna process
Sociological Russian State University for the Humanities Moscow, Russia
At present time in Russia is actively realized the reform of high education, initiated by the Government. The goal of the reform ? transit of Russia to Bologna system ? caused a fierce dispute in the society.
Arguments of the yes part of the transit are obvious: we need to integrate into the world educational system, Russian diplomas would be accepted all over the world, we would adopt positive European tendencies and raise competitive capacity of Russian Universities.
But the educational community still has a lot of doubts, especially about the ways the current reform goes. As a result a considerable part of professors and university leaders (especially the leading ones - Moscow State University and St. Petersburg State University) resist Bologna process and all groundless from their point of view innovations.
First of all there are a lot of protests against Universal State Exam ? the school final test, which is equated with entrance University exam. Many experts are sure that in Russian educational system where test system is new enough, this Test shouldn?t be the only criteria of knowledge evaluation so far.
The newly instituted two-level system (Baccalaureat - Magistracy) is also very controversial. Bachelors will get diploma of high education only after 4 years of study: it isn?t clear yet whether there is any demand for them on labor market and to what extent?
Of particular concern is the trend in many Russian universities to a reduction of graduate school, which runs counter to basic global trends.
The majority of experts believe that the entry into the Bologna system should begin with an increase in funding of universities, especially the leading classical universities. It is not possible to compete with Western universities with miserly budgets of universities and poverty teacher?s salaries and students scholarships. Under such conditions the mobility of our teachers and students (this is one of the objectives of the Bologna program) could be ensured only by their departure abroad for permanent employment.
We are interested in examining pluses and minuses of Russian participation in Bologna process especially in comparison with the experience of other East European countries.