Two of the main obstacles to integrating the Russian university system into the European higher education system could be the lack of mobility and insufficient independence of Russian students. According to Rosbalt's correspondent, this opinion was voiced on Tuesday in St. Petersburg by Viktor Vasiliev, the rector of Petrozavodsk State University. Vasiliev was speaking at the 'Joining Russia to the Bologna Declaration: Advantages and Problems' round-table discussion. The meeting was organised as part of the international seminar 'Integrating the Russian University System into the European Higher Education System: Problems and Prospects'.
'The question of mobility is a question of the flow of university applicants,' explained Viktor Vasiliev. Which direction will this flow take: will Russian school leavers go to Europe, or will Europeans come to Russia?' According to Vasiliev, European school leavers are more likely to come to Russia. 'The demographic situation in Russia means that our universities are not full, and in Europe education is valued very highly,' noted Vasiliev. 'In addition, if the Russian and European education systems are integrated, the cost of a degree will even out, after which education will cease to be affordable for many Russians.'
Another problem is the teaching workload of Russian lecturers. According to Vasiliev, it is currently five times greater than that of lecturers in European universities. 'We need to emphasize independent learning by students and introduce a modular system. This will allow us to solve the problem of lecturers' workloads and will bring the Russian system closer to European standards,' said the rector of Petrozavodsk State University.
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