17 Апреля 2020

Graduates of the Financial University will not take state examinations

"As proposed by FinU Rector Mikhail Eskindarov, the FinU Academic Board has decided to cancel the State Examinations due to the current circumstances (except the Faculty of Law). Diplomas will be issued after the defense of graduation theses", says the university website.

Many people were surprised by this decision. But it turns out to be within a "framework". According to the press service of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, forms of the state final certification are determined by each higher education institution independently, but in accordance with the requirements of the standards. If educational standards permit to certify graduates only on the basis of the results the thesis defense, a university itself abandons state examinations. The permission of the Ministry is not required. "Such rules have always existed", - it was specified in Ministry.

Rector of the Financial University, Mikhail Eskindarov, shared with Rossiyskaya Gazeta how graduates are going to be certified. 

Right now it’s particularly hard for graduating students to work on their diplomas, get an online internship, and prepare for state examinations. We decided that more attention should be paid for preparing  graduation theses. But I’d like to stress, no one should relax. During the defense, though an online one, questions asked by the commission will not only be devoted to the topic of the thesis, but will be based on the programme of studies. Students must navigate through everything. Why did we choose defense over state examinations? Our teaching staff are still not ready to fully trust the remote form of state exams, however, there are many nuances here.

According to Mr Eskindarov, classical education cannot be completely substituted by distance education, even though in the present circumstances it shows good results, at least in the system of higher education.

"I am convinced that one of the main social institutions - the classical university - will be preserved and will combine various forms of education", - says Rector of the Financial University. «Six months ago we opened the Institute of Online Education, and currently there are already more than 1,500 students enrolled. We are going to expand it in the future, maybe replace the Department of Correspondence Studies, where 6,000 students are currently studying. It’s not an option to move all education online. It’s just a tool to be used where it’s needed. 

Switching to distance education should not affect the disciplines that are fundamental to each programme. For example, neither "Legal Theory" for law students nor "Economic Theory" for economics students can be moved online.

"During the 4 year of studies, a bachelor-degree student studies at least 50 subjects. If 10-15 of them, not the main ones, are moved online, the overall quality of the training will not be affected", shares Mr Eskindarov.

Mikhail Eskindarov said Law Students might be exempted from the state exam as well.

"The fact is that we teach lawyers according to state educational standards, and there are very strict certification requirements from the Association of Lawyers of Russia. In all other areas, we have our own standards. As other institutions of higher education, we gained the right to develop these standards in 2013. But, given the present situation, next Tuesday at the Academic Council we will discuss cancelling state examinations for law school graduates. I can admit we might make this decision.

Financial University was the first to have their state exams cancelled because of the coronavirus epidemic. But perhaps other universities will take this decision as well. According to Mikhail Eskinarov, there is still some time to change the "agenda" . But not so much - examinations start already at the end of May.