Russian Universities are Excluded From Bologna Process

Russian Universities are Excluded From Bologna Process


Russian universities will no longer participate in the Bologna process, said Dmitry Afanasyev, Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education at the meeting of the Federation Council Committee on Science, Education and Culture, as reported by RIA Novosti.

On April 11 this year, the Bologna Follow-up Group said that it was decided that Russia and Belarus would be no longer represented in all institutions related to this process of education, said Afanasyev.

He added that since the rectors of Russian educational institutions and heads of various educational organizations signed an appeal of the Russian Union of Rectors expressing their support to President Vladimir Putin in connection with the start of the special military operation in Ukraine, almost all Russian higher educational institutions were excluded from the Bologna process. In addition, Afanasyev underlined that in this way we did not withdraw from this educational process ourselves, but “the Bologna System withdrew from us.”

Bachelor's and master's degrees that were introduced in our country in 2003, did not improve the level of training of young specialists, said Afanasyev. Many employers were not particularly eager to accept bachelors at their enterprises because the level of knowledge of young people in a four-year training course often did not meet their requirements. Young professionals lacked the competence and skills that are required at modern enterprises. Some employers could not appoint bachelors to positions of responsibility. This is why some universities, responding to the wishes of the heads of concerns and large enterprises, started to introduce a five-year period of study for a bachelor's degree. In conclusion, Afanasyev stressed that this primarily concerned engineering professions in various fields.

On May 24, as reported by the media, the head of the Ministry of Education and Science Valery Falkov said that the Bologna system should be treated as a “by-passed stage.” However, this does not mean that there will be no more bachelor's and master's degrees in Russia, but the old and system of education, awarding the specialist degree, will be resumed.

As the Minister specified, the higher educational establishments of the country will be given the right to choose independently how to educate students.

At the same time, Falkov drew attention to the fact that in Russia it is impossible to prohibit the separation of studies into master's and bachelor's degrees, and there are several objective reasons for this.

In some cases, many students with a bachelor's degree cannot get a particular job unless they have a master's degree. Especially strict qualification requirements, as emphasized by the head of the Ministry of Education and Science, exist in the civil service and law enforcement agencies. In particular, one cannot become a judge if a person does not have a master's degree, but received only a bachelor's degree, and there are many such examples.

That is why training in Bachelor's and Master's programs will be continued, so as not to infringe on the rights of young professionals who received diplomas according to the Bologna system of education. Also on a par with this there will be training of specialists in Russia, where the term of study will be defined in 5-6 years. As previously reported in the media, we will develop our own “unique” model in the system of higher education.

As Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with Radio Sputnik, one of the shortcomings of the Bologna system of education in Russia was that diplomas received in Russia were recognized in other countries selectively and partially. Zakharova underlined that diplomas were only recognized when the other side saw benefits for itself. That is why, according to Zakharova, the Bologna System turned out to be an interesting and mutually beneficial proposal only on paper. This is exactly what we have been protesting against for years, she said.

From 2024, new specialties and areas of training will be introduced. The priority will be given to 5-6 years of higher education, and the bachelor's and master's degree as a system of training will be used by universities less and less in the total volume of the educational process.

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