Russia’s Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system is facing the challenge of delivering a qualified labour force – one that meets the needs of the country’s rapidly developing economy.
Some major issues the country is coming up against include:
- An inconsistency between applied modern technologies and those taught on TVET courses
- A lack of teachers’ and trainers’ skills when it comes to innovations and developments in subjects taught
- Poor communication between TVET providers and labour-market players; and
- Insufficient involvement of the private sector and poor availability and organisation of skills upgrading courses.
University & non-university education
There are two kinds of higher education in Russia: non-university level education (programmes not leading to academic degrees), and university level education (programmes leading to academic degrees).
A total of 3,911 educational institutions, some of which are private, with an enrolment of 6,694,000 students, offer course programmes in vocational education in the country.
Initial vocational technical education is provided by vocational lyceums and vocational schools. Secondary TVET is provided by colleges and technicums. For students without a complete secondary general education, both ITVET and STVET programmes are run parallel to the high school component – so all graduates have both a vocational qualification and a certificate of secondary education.
Internationalisation of the system a pressing issue
Russia has been developing their higher education system for some time. Key reforms have taken place during a period of rapid and sustained economic growth, averaging 7% per annum – between 2000 and 2008.
Take, for example, the National Priority Project on education. 300 innovative resource centres were established all over the Russian Federation to enable efficient implementation of initial and secondary TVET programmes. Its goal was to develop an effective network of TVET institutions that can work as centres for socio-economic growth of the regions.
However, the global financial crisis has slowed GDP growth in Russia and now, the internationalisation of higher education has become a pressing issue.
Russia’s leading university ranks 196th in the world
Moscow State, Russia’s most prestigious university sits at 196th in world rankings.
In an attempt to maximise the position of their universities, Putin launched Project 5-100 – which aims to place five Russian universities in the world’s top 100 by 2020.
One of its key objectives is to ensure that at least 10% of Russia’s academics and researchers and 15% of its 7 million students will come from abroad. The resources associated with this scheme are currently concentrated on 15 universities.
“The pace is quite high, but the target is achievable,” claimed Alexander Povalko, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, who added that Russia is making faster progress on improving its rankings indicators than other countries.
With Russia’s fast growing economy, a joint focus of university and non-university education is required – to ensure skills match employer’s needs.
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