Prospects of implementation of the Law "On Higher Education" were discussed in UzhNU
On February, 24th Educational and Research Institute of European Integration Studies of UzhNU and the Institute of Higher Education of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine held a round table meeting of experts "Implementation of the Law of Ukraine" On Higher Education" as a necessary precondition for integration into the European area of higher education and research." The event took place in the framework of the scientific project "Innovative University as a tool of integration into European education and research area", financed by the International Visegrad Fund.
The participants of the round table were Professor Volodymyr Luhovyy - the first Vice President of NAPS of Ukraine, national expert on the reform of higher education in Ukraine, the developer of the Law of Ukraine "On Higher Education", Oleh Adamchuk - Honorary Consul of the Slovak Republic in Velykyy Bereznyy, Ildika Oros - the President of the Ferenc Rákóczi Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute, Professor Volodymyr Smolanka - Rector of UzhNU, vice-rectors, deans, researchers and graduate students of Uzhhorod National University.
The 69th scientific conference of the teaching staff of UzhNU began with the above mentioned round table.
National experts exchanged their views on the priorities of implementation of the Law of Ukraine "On Higher Education", working out innovative development mechanisms of UzhNU in the process of its integration into European higher education and research area.
The Rector of UzhNU Volodymyr Smolanka noted that the law of Ukraine "On Higher Education" was being actively implemented in UzhNU. A considerable role in the law is assigned to innovations, which are an integral part of any modern university which is designed to prepare a new generation of professionals. Modern university means education, science and innovations. University functions are to integrate knowledge and be a mediator for cooperation of educational and scientific structures, etc. This kind of higher educational institution has such priorities as modern human resources potential, modernization of curricula, etc. In order to promote innovation activities in UzhNU the national contact point has been organized, the science park is being created, the centre for innovations and development has begun to function. Even the round table on the implementation of the Law "On Higher Education" is held owing to the project, which was won the by the ERI of European Integration Studies, - said the Rector.
The First Vice-President of NAPS of Ukraine, member of the working group on drafting the Law of Ukraine "On higher education" Volodymyr Luhovyy touched upon the academic autonomy of universities in his report. According to the new Law a university has to develop its own quality assurance system. For the first time it has been defined that higher education is based on research.
"This is the law of higher education and business. After its implementation the university will become innovative. The implementation process is quite difficult, - said Volodymyr Luhovyy. - But if we adopted the law, we have to implement it in life. There is no higher education without research and innovative activity.”
In his report the first Vice-President of NAPS of Ukraine touched upon the definitions and terms that appeared in the law. "There is no higher education without research and innovative activity, - says Volodymyr Luhovyy. - Our teachers, unfortunately, do not conduct research because they have no time for it. Therefore, their workload was reduced to 600 hours, and the role of independent work of students increased. The higher is the level you want to reach - the more independence there should be. All students, including the ones seeking for their Bachelor’s degree, have to conduct independent research”.
"The list of branches and specialities should correspond to the one adopted in the EU. Junior Bachelor, Bachelor, Master, Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Science are the degrees of higher education in the new law. There will also be a single list of specialities”.
Vice-Rector Ihor Studenyak has told about the Science Park which is now being created in UzhNU. He pointed out that the main function of this structural unit was the support of young scientists and their projects. The priority directions of the Science Park are instrument engineering, nanotechnologies, information technologies, telecommunications, etc.
Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Economics Tetyana Buturlakina focused on smart growth and innovations needed for science. “The main idea of university activity is the “knowledge triangle” - the combination of education, research and innovation with the support of the state and society. Research university is the core of innovation activity. The strategic goal is to create an innovative university of the European level. UzhNU is gradually moving towards this goal,” - said the scientist.
Acting Director of the ERI for information and communication technologies of UzhNU Oleksandr Dubiv has told about modern information technologies and innovative methods of teaching students according to the needs of the labor market in the context of the Law of Ukraine "On Higher Education".
The President of Ferenc Rákóczi Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute Ildika Oros warned that the university might face some risks while introducing the law: "In order to invite a foreign scientist it’s necessary to nostrify his or her diploma. I ask everyone, who has an impact on the implementation of laws, to keep in mind that until this problem is not solved we cannot speak about mobility. "
Vice-rector Myroslava Lendel informed that the university could share its experience on the organization of academic mobility: the Law "On Education" is evaluated differently. We are not looking for bans in it, we find the possibilities there that we should use. We have experience of academic mobility, our students study abroad, and foreigners study in our university.
There were a lot of doubts concerning foreign students, but if there are licensed directions by speciality, these students can enter on the basis of interview. The biggest challenge is the language of studying and teaching. According to the law, if groups are created, there are reasons to teach in a foreign language. Teachers were offered to attend free courses to improve their language level. The courses are conducted by the teachers of our university. The university determines itself whether it will be closed for innovations or use the given opportunities."
The Dean of the Faculty of Geography Stepan Pop is convinced that there is a long way from what is written in the law to its realization: "The law requires significant financial resources which we are lacking today. It depends on us how we’ll fulfill the law. On the one hand, we are going to increase the number of hours for independent study, on the other hand, we should take into consideration the mentality of a Ukrainian student. Therefore, the decrease of the number of classroom hours has to be based on student motivation. Our task is to give young people a guide for life."
Ivan Artyomov - the Director of the ERI of European Integration Studies and the organizer of the round table was the last to speak. He announced a major conference which would be held in April. He also said that worked out ideas would be used to develop the concept of innovative university.
Special edition of the collection of scientific papers "International Scientific Journal" will be published as a result of the event. This edition has an international registration number ISSN allowing users from over 100 countries to get acquainted with its materials.