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"Increasing the attractiveness of the region is a feasible task"

Director of the School of Humanities FEFU Felix Azhimov on why young people come to study in Vladivostok

The youngest in Russia, Doctor of Philosophy Felix Azhimov told how to ensure a steady influx of people into Vladivostok. Details - in the material from the series "Unsuccessful" on EastRussia.

"Increasing the attractiveness of the region is a feasible task"
Photo: Photo courtesy of Felix Azhimov
- In spirit, Vladivostok has never been a province since its creation in the second half of the nineteenth century. This is a port city with picturesque streets and open people, ”says Felix Aszhimov. “If you draw an imaginary circle with Vladivostok in the center, capturing the Korean Peninsula, Japan, and the northern provinces of China, it turns out that about 300 million people live in this area within a thousand kilometers radius. And this is two times more than the entire population of our country. Such a region is doomed to success and continuous development. I am a patriot of Vladivostok, including because as a philosopher, I am very interested in this place: a unique clash of languages, cultures, economic and religious traditions.

Felix Azhimov was born in Vladivostok, studied at the school with in-depth study of the Chinese language. After enrolling in the Far Eastern State University in the philosophical department, and then in graduate school, after which he went to defend his Ph.D. thesis at the Moscow Pedagogical University. In the capital, he simultaneously increased his qualification at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Moscow State University. M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University. After the successful defense of the candidate, Felix returned to Vladivostok, worked as an assistant professor in his native department. A few years later he entered the doctoral studies of Moscow Pedagogical University and early, at 30 years, defended his doctoral dissertation, becoming the youngest doctor of philosophical sciences in Russia and the Far East.

“The theme of my work was related to the history of modern European philosophy, so I subsequently received several offers to work from central universities and participate in European grants,” notes Felix. - But then they created FEFU in their native Vladivostok, and they offered me to take the post of director of the School of Humanities. At that time, I already had administrative experience at the university - two years as deputy director of the Institute of History, Philosophy and Culture of the Far Eastern State University. It was very interesting to become not only a participant in everyday academic processes, but also their organizer, to see the results of their work. Since the creation of FEFU, the School of Humanities has reached a considerable amount: the first of the university's schools moved to a new campus on Russky Island, entered international and national ratings (for example, in the field of media education - a place in the country 11, and a place in sociology - 5).

Azhimov and his team managed to organize the School of Humanities, retaining the best university traditions. FEFU enrolls students from almost all subjects of Russia, including because it is possible to get unique specialties.

- Where else, if not here, to study China, Japan, Korea? Oriental studies is a very popular direction at the university. We have excellent engineering and science education programs that the Sea of ​​Japan provides unique material to study, ”says Felix. - FEFU has the most mature and successful scientific history school in the Far East, next year it will turn 100 years old. The university is proud of rich research in the field of archeology of various periods, and the university museum stores more than six hundred thousand archaeological artifacts. In addition, FEFU is one of the few universities that prepares theologians at the bachelor's and master's levels. Our secular society is very ambiguous about the revival of theological education, but, nevertheless, we try to maintain the classical university traditions. After all, the university is a phenomenon that appeared in culture in the Middle Ages. The core around which the universities were founded were theological schools, debates, works and compositions. Throwing this out of the bounds of modern university education, in my opinion, is very imprudent.

An important factor contributing to the fact that young people from other cities go to Vladivostok to study is the university campus, which is known all over the country for excellent conditions and convenient infrastructure. However, it is not enough to attract students to the region: it is necessary to create conditions for them to remain here. In this regard, FEFU closely cooperates with employers - many students are employed in the profile of their training already from the 3-4 course.

- The university spends a lot of moral, human and financial resources to provide a comfortable environment for students and highly qualified specialists. But this is not enough. Universities have ceased to be ivory towers, they are actively joining the market economy, therefore close interaction with the real sector of the economy is necessary for their development, - explains Felix. - Pay attention, now every large corporation necessarily has an R&D center in its structure, which is engaged in research work, and in the personnel department there is a department that provides training for the company's employees. Business takes over part of educational functions from universities. This situation should be perceived by universities not as a threat to their autonomy, but as a call for openness and cooperation. At the same time, organizations should understand that only a university can make a quality educational product.

The Russian mentality is such that it is uncharacteristic for us to change the city or region for the sake of work. A sedentary lifestyle, in addition to established traditions, is also explained by the large distances of Russia. Nevertheless, to develop horizontal mobility, adopted throughout the world, is very useful. The task of society and the state is to gradually squeeze these geographical distances.

"We need to develop transport accessibility," says Felix. - We have several flights in Moscow one day, but unfortunately in other cities - for example, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Yekaterinburg, unfortunately, we often have to get through the capital, because there are few or no direct flights. It's longer and more expensive. The region should have the maximum transport accessibility, bypassing the capital, because the problem is not to stop the outflow of residents from the Far East, but to make this territory attractive and accessible for those wishing to move.

In Vladivostok now live only about 700 thousand people. The demographic paradox is that, for the population to enter the region, it must already be sufficiently populated and developed: people are drawn to people. If you do not philosophize, do not go into the theory, and argue in practice, then the region needs stability and continuity in the administrative and command terms. Each time, with the advent of the new government, the priorities and accents change, the vectors of development change, and this frightens people. It is also important to provide, in excess, special conditions for mortgages to highly qualified specialists and candidates of science. With this approach, people will not just come to us to earn extra money, but start taking roots here. Vladivostok is a very beautiful city, with a unique landscape, beautiful sea, open, positive people. I am sure that to increase the attractiveness of the region is quite feasible task and slowly, but still the city copes with it, - concludes Azhimov.
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