THE TALK IS NOT ABOUT IMMEDIATE REDUCTION OF STATE-FUNDED PLACES
Interview with Prof. M.A. Eskindarov, Rector of Financial University
Commenting on the statement made by the newly appointed Minister of Education Dmitry Livanov that the number of state-funded places in universities should be halved, Rector of Financial University Prof. M.A. Eskindarov clarified it referred to the reduction of state-funded places in the speciality areas where university degree holders are already in excess supply (law, economics). Such reduction may ultimately result from a gradual process accompanied by increase in government spending on education in general.
M.A. Eskindarov dismissed fears that Russia could be left without state-funded education, referring to the constitutional right to education that Russian citizens enjoy. “It is not expected that state-funded places will be reduced within the following two years”, he said and added that even in the future the government will hardly take it upon itself to curtail the number of such places drastically. It does not mean in any case that the number of state-funded places in universities will be reduced straightway tomorrow.
In reply to a question about the practicability of the scheme whereby employers will pay for the education of their prospective employees, M.A. Eskindarov expressed an opinion that it will take time before employers recognize the fact that specialists are trained for them. It is not a goal in itself to train a number of specialists so that they will simply go and seek employment in an industry. If a reasonable employer wants to have highly qualified specialists, he should participate in the process of education by financing, among other things, programmes he is interested in. The forms of participation may range from scholarships and grants to selected individuals to special-purpose enrollment on a fee paid basis or cooperation with universities already financing the programmes they are running. A variety of methods can emerge. The new minister will certainly have ideas in this respect.