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Russia joined the Bologna process

Press realease

Russia joined the Bologna Convention on higher education. This information was received on Friday, September 19, 2003, from the Chairman of the State Duma committee for Education and Science Alexander Shishlov (the YABLOKO faction) who is now participating in a conference of education ministers of European states in Berlin. According to Shishlov, this will enable our country to join the process of international integration in higher education.

The decision to admit Russia to the association of European states for the creation of a single education space was reflected in the joint communique of the participants of the Berlin conference on Friday, September 19, 2003. In addition to Russia the conference adopted a decision to admit the following states to the convention: Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Serbia and Chernogoria, Macedonia and Vatican. Today the Bologna Declaration "European Higher Education Area" will be signed by the education ministers of 40 European countries.

According to Shishlov, the document signed in Berlin approximates to the adoption of a decision of mutual recognition of Russian and European diplomas and it will become possible to export Russian education. This step will give a powerful boost to the Russian higher school and will facilitate an increase in the quality of education in Russia and its competitiveness in the world, stressed YABLOKO's deputy.

The decision of the Berlin conference was attributable to the initiative of the State Duma Committee for Education and Science and the YABLOKO faction which resulted in the sending (in June 2003) by the lower chamber of the Russian parliament of an address to the Chairman of the Russian Government on the need to sign the Bologna declaration. The idea of joining the European convention originates in the rector's association of St. Petersburg which actively cooperates with Western universities.

According to Shishlov, Russia's participation in the Bologna process will increase the mobility of students and teachers, providing them with an opportunity to change countries during their studies and university for academic purposes. "The Russian higher school has the advantages of the fundamental nature of its educational programmes. To use this advantage and attract students from other countries we have to participate in the building of a common European system," noted Shishlov.

He also said that contrary to predictions there were no serious obstacles to Russia's adherence to the common European educational space. All disputable issues will be resolved by an operational commission created with the Education Ministry of the RF. In the next conference of education ministers of the European states - in May 2005 - Russia will participate as a fully-fledged partner, stressed Shishlov.

See also:

Reform in Education

The State Duma supported YABLOKO's initiative to create a single education space in Europe. Press Release, June 21, 2003

Alexander Shishlov: Russia's admission to the Bologna process will become an important political step. Press release, March 7, 2003.

Deputies of the State Duma call on Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov to sign the Bologna convention. MK-Novosti, June 21, 2003
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