Polotsk University students: Ksenia Koltsova and Maxim Yevmeenko
At the session, involving the President and discussing the improvement of university and college admission regulations, Alexander Lukashenko explained why he is paying so much attention to the enrolment campaign.
“This is a crucial stage for our people and for the future of our country. A country relies on good specialists. And these are, first of all, university graduates,” he said. Alexander Lukashenko stressed that the state commission for the enrolment campaign will do its best to solve pending issues. “We should pay close attention to this matter.”
Mr. Lukashenko also reminded the participants about the agreement to analyse the enrolment campaign on an annual basis involving the state commission, drawing conclusions and introducing amendments if necessary. The President said that the needs of the economy, social sector, healthcare, education, agriculture and industry are the priority. “We’ll always take into account these issues concerning the number and the level of training of our school graduates, future students,” he emphasised.
Much has been already done to improve the enrolment system into higher and secondary special educational establishments. No-one is able to reasonably argue that it’s fair, transparent and doesn’t allow for nepotism and corruption. Everyone is equal on the university doorstep and knowledge is the only entrance ticket. The existing model has proven its efficiency in practice. However, the President believes that this doesn’t mean that it should be resistant to change. Flexibility of response towards contemporary trends and economic needs should become a key indicator of quality in the formation of the student population.
Discussions are continuing regarding centralised tests both in society and among scientists and teachers. Various points of view are expressed but there’s no conclusive evidence to prove either view. From this we can draw the conclusion that the system is balanced but this does not mean there could not be improvements.
The session also raised the issue of increasing enrolment to occupations which are currently in high demand in the economy. It did not recommend the simplification of the enrolment procedure, as the President is against such an approach. However, during enrolment to such specialisms, an interview, allowing an assessment of the corresponding level of knowledge to the chosen specialism, will be very useful. A further important message is that we have many young people who are studying, but there is no much need to attract everyone to higher educational establishments. A university diploma is a priceless achievement for the youth, we must not devalue it. Moreover, applicants should be oriented to those professions for which there’s real demand. This is also a measure of preserving the prestige of the diploma. We might wonder what it’s purpose is if it doesn’t open the way to a professional life.
In summary, the President approved the proposals voiced at the session dealing with the correction of enrolment rules into university and secondary specialised colleges. These will come into force by 2017; by then, the public will have been widely informed of the changes.
By Vladimir Khromov