This autumn, the Ministry of Education released the results of monitoring the effectiveness of Russian universities. The rating included the total of 541 public universities and 994 university branches. In particular, 40 institutions of higher education located in the Central Federal District of Russia were marked as the ones showing signs of inefficiency.
The council of rectors of the universities of the Kaluga region gathered for a meeting in the town of Obninsk in December. The council gathered to discuss the state of affairs in higher education in the region and identify its strong and weak sides. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Rector of the National Research Nuclear University MIFI Mikhail Strikhanov. Kaluga region Governor Anatoly Artamonov, representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, as well as all state universities and branches located in the region, discussed the situation in the field of education.
Mikhail Strikhanov presented a report "On the results of the monitoring of activities of universities in the Kaluga region and Russia, conducted by the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation." In addition, the participants of the meeting discussed measures to improve the efficiency of higher education institutions and the concept of mathematical education in Russia.
Under the decree of the President, the Ministry of Education conducted a set of measures from August 15 to September 15 to monitor the activities of federal educational institutions of higher education and their branches. The planned reorganization stipulated a reduction of 20 percent in the number of all universities in the country and of 30 percent - in the number of their branches, but with the preservation of the interests of students. The joint state system included the figures on 50 parameters of efficiency. As a result, 136 universities of the country and 451 branches were found ineffective for the educational system of Russia (40 universities and 81 branches in the Central Federal District).
In the Kaluga region, questions appeared on four state-run institutions of education and two branches. The Ministry of Education recommended the most important universities to develop support measures during the year.
According to Governor Anatoly Artamonov, the Kaluga region annually holds support activities for universities and research organizations located in the region. Various academic competitions are held within the scope of the departmental target program "Support for research activities in the Kaluga region" implemented by the regional Ministry of Education and Science. In 2012, about 16 million rubles were assigned for the purpose. The funds were spent on fundamental and practice-oriented research, to stimulate and promote the activities of scientists, teachers, to attract talented young people into science.
Under long-term agreements between the government of the Kaluga region and federal research funds - the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the Russian Foundation for Humanities - there were 12.5 million rubles allocated from the regional budget in 2012 (in 2011 - 12,1 million) for the implementation of 74 winning projects. A similar amount was allocated from the federal budget.
One of the priority directions of development of science and education in the region is to support scientists, groups of scientists, professors, teachers, gifted young people - from students to graduates - through holding annual competitions for regional prizes and scholarships. The size of nominal prizes and scholarships increases constantly. The amount of awards and scholarships has doubled since 2012.
There were various competitions conducted to encourage academic success and achievements in scientific research. Scientists received 10 prizes of 100,000 rubles.
The Government of the Kaluga region awarded teachers and researchers for their efforts to train highly qualified scientific personnel: 120,000, 100,000 and two awards of 70,000 rubles each.
As many as 142 people took part in the competition. Seventy of them became winners, including 25 scientists and professors, 20 graduate students, 12 students, and five schoolchildren.
In 2012, the regional budget financed the target training of 15 graduate students. Two students studied abroad at the expense of the regional budget.
The Kaluga region government actively supports the educational system in the region and practices close cooperation with universities, the rector of one of the major educational institutions in the region, Mikhail Strikhanov said.
"The federal state autonomous educational institution of higher professional education, the National Research Nuclear University, Moscow Engineering Physics Institute works closely with regional ministries. The cycle begins with the formation of orders for specialists for the economy of the Kaluga region. The order is formed by the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Human Resources of the Kaluga region on the basis of the analysis of the labor market for the future three or five years. Today, MIFI has information about the needs of the regional economy in various specialists before 2016," Strikhanov said.
Every year, the Ministry of Education and Economy on the basis of the order helps to conduct the rational distribution of budget places in universities. "Together with regional ministries, MIFI takes part in career guidance activities. The Kaluga region government encourages successful students with nominal grants," Mikhail Strikhanov told Pravda.Ru.
The government of the Kaluga region pays special attention to the development and maintenance of the medical faculty. The rector of the main university of the region noted that "given the special importance of the training of medical personnel in the Kaluga region, the government annually allocates financial resources to support the teaching staff of the medical faculty, compensating the costs of rental housing.
Almost 20 years of experience of holding various academic competitions in the Kaluga region shows that the region successfully operates the mechanism to stimulate scientific activities on fundamental research in natural sciences and humanities, as well as a mechanism to stimulate and encourage scientists, teachers and talented youth. These mechanisms are implemented through the program "Support for research activities in the Kaluga region." The annual implementation of these measures preserves the scientific potential of the region and also raises the profile of higher education, the level of ongoing research and the quality of education, including higher education.