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Chronicle of Higher Education от 10 апреля 2009 года публикует интересную статью Анны Немцовой о Южном Федеральном Университете в Ростове-на-Дону.

From the issue dated April 10, 2009
In Russia, University Reforms Meet With Faculty Resistance

A new research institution, created to raise the country's academic reputation, also struggles with crumbling labs and outdated equipment


Rostov-on-Don, Russia

Vladislav Zakharevich became the head of the newly established Southern Federal University here in 2006, charged with turning it into one of the world's leading research universities in less than a decade.

This was no small task. Russia's university system has steadily deteriorated since the 1990s due in large part to shrinking budgets and rising corruption.

Vladimir Putin, who was Russia's president at the time, hoped to revitalize the system through a series of mergers, including the creation of two premier federal research universities from a series of smaller institutions.

The government's goal was to restructure university teaching and research to bring it in line with Russia's economic needs. Institutions would market their discoveries while graduating students with the skills needed for a 21st-century economy.

Mr. Zakharevich was tapped for the post because he had gained a reputation as an innovator while leading one of the four smaller institutions that were merged into Southern Federal.

Still, as he toured the other three campuses after taking on the job, he was shocked by what he saw: laboratory equipment so worn down as to be nearly useless; dormitories with broken toilets and infested by cockroaches; and academic buildings with virtually no Internet connections.

Equally troubling was the mind-set he encountered among professors, he says. They seemed disconnected from the world around them, averse to new ideas, and wanting only to focus on basic research.

"They don't believe introducing new science majors can improve the quality of higher education and life of university professors and students," he says.

Mr. Zakharevich's experiences during the past three years, and the progress and resistance he has encountered, say much about the state of Russian higher education and how far it has to go to regain its international reputation. In what many here see as an ominous sign, the country's leading institution, Moscow State University, slid in one international ranking from 97th place to 180th in just one year.

The decline in academic quality at Russia's universities has "gone beyond all reasonable scales," Dmitri Medvedev, Russia's president, said last year, arguing that there are far too many mediocre institutions in existence.

"At least half of Moscow universities I would not just close, but destroy," he said, "down to the very last stone in their foundation."

Я согласен с Медведевым в данном вопросе. Многие российские университеты невозможно реформировать в принципе - из образовательных институтов они превратились в рассадники замшелой мифологии коммунизма, которые ломают судьбы молодёжи, делая их неспособными к инициативе и инновации. Можно заставить профессора, многие годы преподававшего "научный коммунизм", бойко говорить об экономике капитализма или истории православия. Но сделать из него реального экономиста или историка невозможно. Более того оставлять такого "эксперта" в университете вредно, так как он воспитает себе подобную смену. Нужно создавать новые институты высшего образования, иначе Россия потеряет возможность восстановить свою образованную элиту в области точных наук, технологии и медицины.
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