The Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Russia is planning to develop its own system of education due to the rejection of the Bologna process. Valery Falkov, Head of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, believes that the Bologna system is “receding into the past” but nevertheless, the bachelor's and master's degrees “should be left for now.”
According to him, universities will now be able to refuse from Bachelor's and Master's degrees “in favor of our customary specialist degree,” and besides, it should be taken into account that “a sufficient number” of Russian citizens received a bachelor's degree and they “will not be able to move up the career ladder” without a master's degree.
Russia is in the top 7 countries by the number of foreign students receiving education in our country, and continuing it “in their native countries.” Besides, at present, there are a large number of school leavers in Russia who still prefer Bachelor's and Master's degrees.
In this regard, according to Falkov, the future belongs to the “unique combination” of specialization, bachelor's and master's degrees. So, first of all, it is necessary to “bring order” in the system of master's degree to ensure that bachelors were able to choose only “profile-related” directions.
The Russian expert community believes that the restructuring of the higher education system will be smooth and “will take many years,” and the reason for this is, in particular, that the current domestic higher education system has been formed under the influence of the Bologna System declarations for the past 15-20 years. In fact, this set of ideas and principles has been implemented in our legislation, and sometimes under undisguised external pressure.
However, the rejection of the Bologna process does not imply a return to the Soviet model. The State Duma Committee on Science and Higher Education together with the Russian government has already started working on practical steps to get Russia out of the Bologna system. Our country should be guided by its own needs, because now it is not associated with any ideas from the outside.
It turned out that the wave of unprecedented restrictions and economic challenges that we are suddenly encountering at the present time has forced the Russian society to set new tasks in the development of domestic higher education. Of course, student and faculty mobility is a great advantage in the Bologna process, and Russia has always paid and will continue to pay considerable attention to it. At the same time, today Europe has unilaterally decided to refuse to cooperate with Russian universities, so the same mobility in this direction has simply become irrelevant.
The modernization of the Russian education system does not mean that it will be isolated. Many countries, such as India, China, and even the United States, are not part of the Bologna system, but this does not prevent them from developing their education at the appropriate level and at the same time recognizing other educational systems.
Given the many years of experience with the implementation of the Bologna process, it has become clear that the quality of education has not been high enough. At the same time, even taking into account some “failures” of the system, one should not make hasty decisions, because education is the most important stage in the training of specialists.
In addition, Falkov believes that we must “leave the best behind,” determine together with the professional community and university rectors what should be in “our unique system of education,” and set a certain vector of its development. However, such restructuring, he said, should not disrupt the plans of those already in school or about to enroll.
“All programs will be kept for those who are already students, and they have nothing to worry about, and those who will enter next year will also be able to study. Students from friendly countries, whose education is based on the principles of the Bologna system, will have no problems either, since most foreigners (93.5%) enter medical school and study in the major,” Falkov said.
According to him, it is necessary to make “more flexible” programs now, because the quality of education depends on “many factors,” on its system, teaching methods, educational standards, and on the students entering Russian universities.