Vladimir Litvinenko: Governmental regulation of the higher education requires an urgent reorganization
Massive improvements in the quality of education are required so that new graduates would be able to master complex engineering challenges, if we want to develop main sectors of our local economy and want to move from standardized technologies to newer innovative and technology-intensive ones. Unfortunately, an existing talent development framework was artificially divided into two parts: 2-level Bachelor-Master educational qualifications and specialist programmes, which as a result leads to a break in the manufacturing chain.
It is quite clear that the way bachelor and master’s students are trained today does not translate into specialists having enough professional and specialist knowledge or skills. These recently graduated specialists also do not possess high degree of occupational mobility, do not have skills to react efficiently and creatively on constantly changing practical issues and are unable to address manufacturing challenges appropriately.
Key driver of improvement in the quality of the practical training is binding internship, which should take place at industrial facilities. Access to work at hazardous sites should be also provided, if required. The aforementioned drawbacks are determined by loss of specialist educational programmes, and the latter should be restored in order to be able to train highly-skilled engineering specialists.
At the last decade engineering skills have become highly-demanded at Russian, Canadian, Norwegian, Austrian, French, American, English, Finnish and other companies due to the fact that these countries have also established 2-level Bachelor-Master academic education. Some countries, Germany, Austria and Spain included, have decided to re-establish specialist programmes in engineer training for a number of basic industries.
Specialist programmes are required for a whole range of study programmes, which may currently provide only 2-level qualifications, including construction, electronics and nanoelectronics, tool engineering, electric and power engineering, machinery manufacturing, technological machines and equipment, automation of production and technological processes, applied chemistry, metallurgy, transport processes applied technologies and a few other disciplines. It should be also noted that switching from Bachelor-Master Degree level qualifications to Specialists will hardly result in additional financial expenses.