Погода
27 Января 2022
Foreigners

Mikhail Astapov: “Digitalization Should Help Resolve Problems in Education Rather Than Become Goal in Itself”

Источник фото:  пресс-служба КубГУ
Источник фото: пресс-служба КубГУ

Krasnodar, 27 January. 16+ Our today’s interviewee is Mikhail Astapov, President of Kuban State University. 

Q.: Does the current epidemiological situation affect the inflow of foreign students and the traineeship programs? 

A.: There is no doubt that the pandemic did seriously affect the progress of international relations on the whole. Under these conditions, the enrollment process became more complicated at all universities, and we were not an exception. Nonetheless, our enrollment figures have not changed a lot over the past few years. Another problem is that upon entering the Kuban State University, not all can arrive at Krasnodar on time. For many of them, we are urged to hold remote lessons. As for traineeship programs, most of them were wound up, for it would be simply impossible to implement them as before. What is at issue is both Russian and foreign students. I can remember only few traineeships – for instance, British students were able to come to the Kuban State University this academic year. 

Q.: What changes introduced over the past years would you consider as the most important ones? 

A.: Of course, I cannot help mentioning digitalization. It is important, needed, and – if you want – inevitable. In my opinion, there are some warps in this process: the digitalization that had been thought as a means to resolve in education (in our case) would sometimes turn into a goal in itself which is incorrect and should not be permitted. I would like to reiterate: this process is inevitable, but the fashion for digitalization is quite a harmful phenomenon, because then we forget the deep things by getting attracted by the ‘wrapping,’ outer manifestations and effects. Improvement of the prestige of higher education and demand for it is another positive current trend. The region’s economy does not require that all secondary school graduates should go to university; for many companies it is really a challenge to find a qualified worker. This is why it is so important to find the best equilibrium between higher and secondary vocational education. Now the pendulum swung towards the latter. 

Q.: Is there a demand for an academic degree? 

A.: It is not all roses. In my opinion, now the institution of postgraduate studies is in crisis and needs restarting. Regretfully, the number of those who want to pursue science is lower than we would like it to be. Of course, we are very much interested to have strong graduates keeping on their academic pursuits. But quite often they get lots of other proposals and academic activity is not always what they tend to choose. Our task is to create conditions to stimulate the work of young academics – for if we do not resolve the issue of academic personnel reinforcement today, the future situation will become extremely complicated.



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