| Russia has officially joined the process of creating a
single European higher education space. In other words by 2010 the diplomas
of Russian universities will be recognized in Europe, education will be
assessed in accordance with the European scale and Russia will have more
opportunities to make money on teaching foreign students.
The Berlin conference of European education ministers which closed on
Friday adopted a decision to admit Russia to the Bologna process. The
goal is to create by 2010 a single European space for higher education,
envisaging mutual recognition of university diplomas and other general
standards in higher education. At the meeting Russia was represented by
Education Minister Vladimir Filippov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee
for Education and Science Alexander
Shishlov and the rectors of leading Russian universities.
Shishlov informed Gazeta.ru, that after the closing of the conference
its participants approved a decision to admit Russia and another six European
states that previously had observer status to the Bologna process.
The final communique of the conference indicates that now 40 countries
participate in the creation of a single education space in Europe. They
include almost all the Western-European states, Turkey, Cyprus and Malta.
Among the former Soviet republics Russia and all the Baltic states joined
the process. "By signing the declaration to join the Bologna process,
Russia has made another step forward in its integration into Europe. The participation
of the country in the Bologna process meets the interests of Russian students,
teachers and universities," stressed Shishlov.
According to the terms of the Bologna club, the participating states
undertake to reform their higher education systems by 2010 in compliance
with a single standard.
They have to introduce two stages of education in universities- Baccalaureate
and Magistrate,- control the quality and certification of higher education
in accordance with a single scheme, develop educational programmes compatible
with the programmes of other European universities - members of the club,
as well as a single assessment of the academic merits of students. Due
to the reforms the citizens of the member-states of the Bologna process
will have a chance to study and work in other European countries where
their diplomas are recognized.
An expansion of opportunities is envisaged not only for active students
but also for those who would like to take a postgraduate or distance-learning
As a fully-fledged participant of the process, Russia have to bring
its legal basis in education into line with the demands of [European]
reform. Shishlov also noted that in some spheres Russian legislation is even ahead of the laws of other countries, for example,
it already envisages a two-stage education system, whereas a third of
participants inthe Bologna process have yet to impose this system. Modernisation
of the Russian higher education system, including the introduction of
a single state examination, are in line with the Bologna process, stressed
With the help of a single space for higher education, Russia wants to
raise the quality and accessibility of education and become a competitor
to the US that has ranked number one on the higher education market. According
to experts, the value of this market amounts to dozens of millions of
US dollars, therefore it stands to reason that Russia should try to win
It is also envisaged that if Russian universities issue European standard
diplomas, a new revenue item will emerge in the Russian budget - revenues
from granting paid educational services to foreigners. At the same time
it is clear that an increase in the level of higher education will necessitate
considerable funding, to say nothing of organisational expenses.
The next conference of the participants of the Bologna club scheduled
to be held in Bergen, Norway, in May 2005, will draw up the results of
the performance of the working groups in such directions as recognition
of diplomas and additional education.
Russia joined the Bologna
process. Press Release, September 19, 2003
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