Science and Technology in Russian Federation

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"Bringing Up Is the Major Problem In Education”

Designation of Olga Vasilyeva to the position of the Head of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation caused a lot of emotion in the professional community. A female minister, humanist, one of her priorities is the “concern for teaching”... When the first emotions after the news of the resignation of Dmitry Livanov subsided, it turned out that many in the scientific and educational community positively evaluated the choice of a new candidate for the post of minister. The first deputy chairman of the Duma Committee on Education, Oleg Smolin, has high hopes for Olga Vasilyeva. The deputy president of Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Ivanov, thinks that nowadays such leaders are needed in the management of education and science. RF presidential aide, Andrei Fursenko, who had been the head of Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation for eight years, assured that “the succession of the work of the ministry is kept”. The rector of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (PFUR), Vladimir Filippov, who has been the head of the Ministry of Education for six years, agrees with the colleagues. At the request of the editorial board of the portal “Ekspir”, he answered the burning questions of concern of the community in connection with the changes in the leadership of the Ministry.

Vladimir_Filippov Vladimir Filippov

Was the designation of Olga Vasilyeva to the post of the Minister a surprise for you?

- I can say that any option in this case would be a surprise, since the choice of candidates for the post was quite wide. But, on the other hand, when you get acquainted with the biography of Olga Vasilyeva, you realize that this is one of the very reasonable designations. She is a famous personality, a serious professional for many people. She is well acquainted with the problems of basic and higher education system from the inside because she worked at school, and at one of the best universities in the country, that is, the RF Presidential Academy of Public Administration. She has work experience at the academic institute.

Many people are worried because the new minister is a specialist in humanities.

- It had to happen one day: finally, a woman had to become the Minister of Education and Science. Moreover, probably, it’s really reasonable to alternate technicians and humanitarians in office. I want to emphasize that Olga is a great professional in the field of education. She has done a lot to build the competent relationships with various community organizations, including religious ones.

The problem of bringing up in the education system has always been a key task. It remains the major issue in modern education as well. Especially in today’s rapidly changing realities in the presence of the pervasive Internet.

The new minister is in close relations with education. And what about the science?

- Here Olga has an advantage as well. Hardly anyone will say that she isn’t aware of the problems of RAS. For a long time she has been working in an academic institution. She has written her thesis there. Those who earlier said that the members of the Ministry were not familiar with the situation in the Russian Academy of Sciences, don’t have aces up their sleeves now.

Is it possible that in the near future the question of the division of “education” and “science” will occur? Or, perhaps, the creation of analog of RF Committee for Science and Technology?

- At this stage, this question is not relevant. At least in the next two years: until the designation of the new Government of the Russian Federation after the election of the Russian President. I think it is not worth wasting time on discussion of such assumptions. We already have a lot of problems in education and science, which require prompt solutions.

What risks may appear in the way of the new minister in the near future? What should we pay attention to?

- The risks are obvious. First of all, they are connected with the problems of education financing system. There is much work with federal entities that are responsible for the financing of school education and many colleges. It is necessary to build relationships so that the subjects of the Russian Federation could allocate money not only for teachers’ salaries, but also to other areas of educational activities in the regions. Concerning higher education and science, there are some solutions in terms of underfunding. In Russia, they have already been tested in the 1990s.

The less the funding was, the more freedom was given to organizations, in particular to universities, to attract extra-budgetary funds. Of course, the responsibility was great, but there was more room for maneuver.

What would you wish the new colleague at her new post, as a former minister?

- To work calmly. Olga has all grounds for that. She has a good potential, which is based on a multi-faceted experience. She can make decisions reasonably and competently. And confidence in the decisions is an important feature of a minister. I would also wish to continue developing the direction that Olga was in charge in the Presidential Administration. To communicate and consult with various kinds of organizations in the field of education and science as much as possible. When you work not for someone, but with someone, then it is more efficient, it is for the benefit of the Russian Education and Science.

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