A meeting with heads of dissertation councils was held on December 12th.
In August, Kazan University became one of the universities allowed to confer academic degrees without approval from the Higher Attestation Commission. The experiment currently includes a limited number of leading universities. As the latest developments show, they choose different paths.
Rector Ilshat Gafurov proposed to authorize heads of dissertation councils to outline their councils' procedures and the University's dissertation system as a whole. “Each council will have its own regulations reflecting its specifics. Of course, there will also be general stipulations for everyone,” he emphasized.
KFU has already come up with a number of suggestions for such a system. They will be presented at a meeting with Minister Olga Vasilyeva in Moscow during VuzPromExpo on 14th December.
First of all, only candidates working at the University, either part-time or full-time, will be allowed to present dissertations. Obviously, this won't affect full-time PhD students – their academic schedule implies their presence at the University as it is.
The Rector added, “We need certain safety mechanisms. First of all, it's comprehensive openness. At the latest, the full dissertation text must be available at the website a month before the presentation. The more barriers impenetrable even for the University employees we have, the more effective the system will be. There won't be any bias. The only thing that I deem unnecessary is approvals of all dissertations by the Academic Council. I think it dilutes responsibility.”
In other news – understandably met with enthusiasm – memberships in academic councils will be now be paid work. This, together with a planned salary raise of 4% in January, spells good fortune for councilpersons.
All the guidelines will soon be submitted for general discussion and published on the website.