Rector of the Higher School of Economics (Moscow) Yaroslav Kuzminov was an invited speaker.
The meeting immediately followed a discussion about Tatarstan’s Strategy 2030 at the President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov’s office.
Rector Ilshat Gafurov welcomed everyone and noted that Strategy 2030 is one of the issues for elaboration, and Rector Kuzminov’s keynote was the second item on the agenda.
“Tatarstan is constantly in the top four regions in education, and this is indeed a very big achievement, one that will be more and more important in the upcoming decade. However, it’s worth noting that our main growth potential is in mass production. It is on the decline now – in the world, not only here. Main activities are in the other sectors of economy,” said Dr. Kuzminov.
He added that creative consumption is a new trend, and there about 3 million such consumers in Russia now. Although they are the harbingers of the future economy, their problem is that they cannot market themselves for jobs.
Another issue is the absence of applied baccalaureate, opined Dr. Kuzminov. The country needs more people who are capable of handicraft. Digitization is another very important trend, and every specialization has to be fully equipped with digital simulation instruments, akin to the Medical Simulation Center of KFU.
In conclusion, the invitee voiced an opinion that the existing state accreditation system for universities must be changed. There is a widespread sentiment that the current list is overloaded with formalities. Instead, a more concise and functional system is proposed, where publications, faculty salaries, and curriculum contents will dominate.
Members of the Council of Rectors are wary of high-level programs concentrating in top universities, should the new accreditation be put in place. Furthermore, regional institutions can be deprived of PhD programs and thus of scientific progress per se. Salary and grant funding are also cases for worry – if regions only get applied curricula, they can lack resources for any meaningful research development.
Yaroslav Kuzminov assured that all proposals will be included in further drafts.
After the talks, Dr. Gafurov and Dr. Kuzminov toured the Institute of Chemistry.
Source text: Kamill Gareev, Darya Bondarenko
Translation: Yury Nurmeev