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Russia has already lost an education battle as we are lagging behind the South Africa

ЮАР университет
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An amazing saying one might read if gets to the entrance of the Stellenbosch University, which is the largest university in the Republic of South Africa. As the saying goes,

No atomic bombs or long-range missiles are required to destruct a nation, but a reduction of the education quality and a given permission on cheating at exams for students”.

Patients die by the hands of such doctors. Buildings, constructed by the hands of these engineers, get destroyed. Money ends up being wasted due to the actions of these economists and accountants. Justice gets lost as a result of work of the lawyers and judges.

Collapse of the education system is the collapse of the nation as a whole. Could it be that South Africa is the leader of economy of the whole continent exactly because of its approach to higher education? Despite the fact that white people are leaving the country on the massive scale.

Vladimir Litvinenko, the Principal of Saint-Petersburg Mining University:

Currently, underfunding of Russian mining universities equals $ 300 million. This is the funding gap that we need to overcome if we want to ensure that our universities meet up-to-date requirements and that we have modern laboratory facilities. Otherwise, if infrastructure is aging, we can no longer guarantee a high level of scientific research as well as high qualification of university’s graduates.

In order for students to become good specialists, a strong scientific component is required. From the very first year, students should learn how to use modern software products, how to manage technologies, operate the equipment and administer manufacturing.

Here, only three or at the best four universities are financed sufficiently. One of the universities is the Mining University, the other two are MISiS and Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, probably also Tomsk Polytechnic University, and that’s it! The truth is that even our university (i.e. Mining University) needs 1.5-2 billion rubles more in order to develop normally.

Why does it happen so? Well, one of the reasons is that domestic core businesses are not interested in cooperation with universities. On the contrary, everywhere else with a few exceptions profile companies sponsor universities. In our country, however, company executives believe that training of young specialists and engineers is a task of the state, and do not want to be involved in it.

From my point of view, until a legislative solution aiming at collecting earmarked taxes from the businesses is made, it is unlikely that Russian higher technical educational institutions will be able to make a qualitative step forward. In order to cover the funding deficit, big sums are not required. It will be sufficient if our mineral resources sector annually allocates 0.02-0.2% of its yield to the universities.

According to the annual study of the World Bank, 4.1% of our country’s GDP is spent on education. This figure includes both state funding and the costs for companies. In the global ranking of countries on this indicator we are currently placed at number 98. As for South Africa, 6% of its GDP is spent on education, and the country is ranked 32th globally. It is worth noting, though, that at the same time only 57.5 million people (less than half of Russian’s population) live in this African country, and commodities-based industry is the primary source of budget income, same as in Russia.