The second season of the School Leader competition started at St. Petersburg Mining University. Any 11th grade student can sign an agreement of intent to participate in it. If he or she achieves the necessary threshold score in the USE, he or she will become a candidate for the right of guaranteed enrollment in the oldest higher technical school in Russia, regardless of the results of the admission campaign. Forpost decided to understand the mechanism of this project, to understand why it is needed by the university management, and to find out from its last year's winners how well their expectations were justified.
As you know, the introduction of the Unified State Exam in the early XXI century was aimed not only at eradicating corruption, but also at creating equal conditions for applicants from large cities and remote regions. In the past, many children from the provinces simply did not dare to go to Moscow or St. Petersburg in order to "try their luck" and try to enter the most prestigious universities. Now, having the results of the USE in hand, they can assess their chances much better, which is often very important when choosing a future alma mater.
However, along with its undoubted advantages, the current system of final school tests has no less significant disadvantages. Perhaps the main one is the "robotization" of adolescents, who see their main goal in high school as successful test-taking rather than acquiring knowledge. In order to achieve it, it is not necessary to be a "seven-footer" or to be able to think on a large scale, it is enough just to understand the algorithm of template tasks and "train" themselves to solve them.
As a result, young people whose potential varies greatly enter the first year, and some of them literally cannot answer questions unless they are accompanied by answer options. Of course, this situation creates additional difficulties for teachers and often demotivates students themselves, who find it difficult to adapt to an unfamiliar academic environment and new requirements.
In this regard, one of the most important tasks of the management of any university is to find mechanisms to improve the quality level of applicants, to attract not only talented, but also mentally ready to compete in their field of training young men and women. One of the programs that should contribute to achieving this goal is the School Leader competition.
Its essence lies in the fact that schoolchildren who have declared their intention to enter Mining University and then achieved the required threshold score on the USE (it is different for each specialty), can become participants in the selection for the right of guaranteed admission to the university. And get the status of its students even a month before the official end of the admission campaign. In case, if according to its results, young people will be included in the lists of those admitted to budgetary places, they will be trained at the expense of state funds. If this does not happen, they will be awarded a free grant for the entire period of study.
The most interesting thing is that the chances of winning the project are very high. For example, last year there were one thousand places for the winners of the contest, and this year their number has been increased to 1600. It can be said that this is a win-win situation, because even if some of the children fail to pass the selection, they will have a month to decide on their future enrollment strategy.
"In order to educate a new generation of engineers and scientists, it is necessary not only to introduce modern technologies and methods into the educational process, develop infrastructure, and improve the quality of teaching staff. It is equally important to create a competitive environment that motivates students to show their best qualities - diligence, hard work and determination. Our task is to demonstrate to young people, including applicants, that their focus on academic success, participation in social and research work, sports competitions, and most importantly, the choice of a specific career trajectory, will be recognized, including financially. For the winners of the School Leader contest, for example, we provide additional scholarships, the possibility of priority choice of a place in a dormitory, free meals and a number of other incentives," emphasized Vladimir Litvinenko, Rector of Empress Catherine II Saint Petersburg Mining University.
And what do those young men and women who took part in the project a year ago and are now taking their first ever session think about it? Ekaterina Kostina, who graduated from St. Petersburg school No. 230 with advanced studies in chemistry and biology, says that the decision to obtain the status of an applicant for an educational grant was "absolutely right, because it saved a lot of nerves during the enrollment process.
"I knew on July 5, a month before the results of the admission campaign were announced, that I had entered Mining University. And, most importantly, it was on a budget and in the exact direction I dreamed of - mineral processing. While all my classmates were worrying and fidgeting, I was resting and preparing for the new academic year. To be honest, I didn't even think that everything would turn out to be so easy. I recommend everyone who is in 11th grade today and plans to get higher education in a technical university to take advantage of this great opportunity and take part in the second School Leader contest," says Ekaterina Kostina.
Danila Shimko came to the city on the Neva from Moscow, where he graduated from school No. 57. Now he is majoring in "Automation of technological processes and production of oil and gas refining". The young man explains his choice of university by his desire to become a full-fledged engineer. As you know St. Petersburg Mining University takes part in the pilot project to improve the system of training for the national economy. One of its prerequisites is the departure from bachelor's degree in favor of basic higher education for a period of 5.5 years.
"Of course, the possibility of guaranteed admission to such a status university by concluding an agreement of intent and then providing the original certificate was the main motivating factor. But far from being the only one. While the vast majority of applicants were waiting for the end of the admission campaign, I, as the winner of the School Leader contest, could choose a place in any of the Gorny dormitories to my liking. Of course, I chose the best option in terms of value for money. It is a cozy double room, costing five and a half thousand rubles a month. So I advise current high school students to take part in the project, especially since it's absolutely free," said Danila Shimko.
Konstantin Ryabukha is from Stavropol, where he studied at school No. 26. The young man believes that the School Leader grant not only facilitates the process of entering university, but also guarantees "pleasant bonuses".
"After the first six months of study, the university administration pays for the flight home for all nonresident laureates, which is a great advantage for me personally. In addition, starting from the second semester, there is an additional scholarship, the amount of which depends on the results of the session. I recommend all my fellow countrymen to follow my footsteps and participate in the project. There are no minuses here, only pluses", - says Konstantin Ryabukha.
Adelia Lapova graduated from Lyceum No. 533 in St. Petersburg and says that her favorite bonus is the "Miner's Snack", i.e. free breakfast, which is provided to all winners of the project.
"I go for pies, broth and tea after every second class. It seems like a small thing, but it really helps to cheer up, adds positivity and motivates me for further studies. I advise everyone to enroll in Mining University under the "School Leader" educational grant. I, at least, liked this enrollment format very much," summarized Adelia Lapova.
It should be reminded that the Rector of St. Petersburg Mining University Vladimir Litvinenko has already signed the order on holding the School Leader 2024 competition. As it was said above, the number of laureates who will be given the opportunity of guaranteed enrollment this summer has been increased to 1600. That is, the competition for 1,944 budgetary places promises to become even more fierce.