Russian President Dmitry Medvedev urged on Wednesday to develop professional standards and to harmonize them with educational standards.
Russian higher education has been general in character for decades, often lacking in specific professional orientation, with graduates finding it difficult to get their first job.
“We need to specifically approach professional standards and then harmonize them with education,” the president told a commission for modernization and technological development in Magnitogorsk, a mining and industrial city in the Urals, and also home to the country’s largest steelworks.
Medvedev criticized the coordination between education and business and instructed the Education Ministry, the association of Russia’s leading businessmen, and sectoral unions of employers and commercial enterprises with state participation to improve the situation and keep long-term goals in mind.
“I understand that it is a huge and painstaking effort but we must do it to bring balance to the engineer training system,” Medvedev said.
The president also suggested regional authorities work on a state order for universities to train experts they need.
Medvedev said applied sciences universities should be clearly profession-orientated and cancel any unrelated subjects in the curriculum. He instructed those universities to get involved with the defense sector, where the government is pumping increasing amounts of funds.
“[The defense sector] has a great deal of interesting and serious high-tech tasks that need to be addressed,” the president said in relation to the Armed Forces rearmament project.
The president said it was important to integrate Russian universities into the international engineer training system and added that inflow of foreign students into Russian universities could be a good indicator of Russian education quality.
“We must invite professors from abroad,” he added, calling for student exchanges and for sharing foreign engineering expertise.
MAGNITOGORSK, March 30 (RIA Novosti)