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Request for higher education exhausted?

In Yakutia, the authorities abandoned the target set of applicants of universities

The republican authorities of Yakutia refused to finance targeted education in universities. Representatives of higher educational institutions are sure: this will close access to higher education to thousands of young people from the provinces and deprive the region of the specialists it needs. They do not see this power in the power structures - now it is more important to train highly skilled workers. The arguments of the parties versed EastRussia correspondent.

Request for higher education exhausted?
“The guys are not to blame for the fact that there were no teachers in their school”
19 in March, the Committee on Budget, Finance, Tax and Pricing Policy of Il Tumen (Parliament) of the Republic of Yakutia voted against the allocation of funds for targeted training and against the provision of higher education institutions to universities. It was about the amount in 57 million rubles - obviously not prohibitive for the largest region of Russia. If these funds were allocated, in 2019, almost 400 young people — future teachers, engineers, cultural workers, physicians, agronomists — children from rural backwaters who would return to live and work in their homes after graduation could enter the target sites.

But funding for targeted locations has not been agreed. This happens for the second year in a row: in 2018, the republic also did not order a single target place for universities. To understand - now in the largest university in the region - Northeastern Federal University - 1951 "target group" is studying in total, including by request of the Republic of Yakutia - 528 people. But none of them entered the NEFU in 2018.

Meanwhile, Yakutia since 2003, when the state distribution of university graduates was abolished, became one of the first Russian regions where quotas were introduced for young specialists and recruited for targeted training. Later the experience of Yakutia was adopted by many Far Eastern regions.

What is targeted training? It can be said that in some ways it replaces distribution, but in many respects it has advantages over this system. Students will be paid by the federal budget, or by the region, or by the municipality, or by a particular enterprise. There are two conditions: a young man studies according to the specialty that the “sponsor” needs, and after studying he undertakes a certain period (usually 3-5 years) to work where his money came from for his education. At the same time, before the start of their studies, the guys know exactly where they will work, and the employer is also sure that a young specialist, prepared for his requirements, will soon come to him.

To become a “target”, it is enough to pass the lower limit of the points obtained at the Unified State Exam. A small achievement. But such a system was designed primarily for children from the provinces, from remote and difficult-to-reach villages - for those who did not have the opportunity to receive a normal education at school.

- All parents want their child enrolled in the budget. But the guys from the rural small schools often lose in this "competition". In some schools there are simply no subject teachers in some disciplines — they are not taught there. In 2018, not everyone was able to enter even the target sites. The federation gave us a quota for target recruitment in 398 places, and only 349 people were enrolled: the rest did not score the minimum required number of points on the USE. It is a pity for the guys: they are not to blame for the fact that they did not have any teachers in the school, says the Acting Rector of NEFU Evgenia Mikhailova.

- Usually, applicants who have not passed a high competition for budget places learn to pay. But for families from remote villages, which are many in our republic, the price for studying at a university is too high, ”says the head of the NEFU career center Alexander Indeev. - It is here that the agreements on the targeted training of young specialists help - based on the needs of a particular municipality or enterprise. On the target set, the guys get specialties that are very necessary for the region: in the areas of education, health care, in the mining and manufacturing industries, energy, agriculture; they recruit and train specialists for specific investment projects.

"And we do not need!"
Chairman of the Committee of Il Tumen on budget, finance, tax and pricing policies Yuriy Nikolaev in an interview with EastRussia stated: the committee did not agree on the amount for targeted training, because there is simply no reason for this.

- There is really no state order from the republic for training specialists. Therefore, the budget committee can not just take and agree on these costs - 57 million rubles. We do not have a mechanism, a legal justification for why we should suddenly foresee in the budget expenditures for such goals, says Yuri Nikolayev. - You can understand the universities that want to fulfill the plans for the recruitment of students. But today the government of the republic says: we don’t need so many specialists with higher education. We adhere to the view that highly skilled workers are needed now in the region.

Nevertheless, adds Yuri Nikolaev, the point in the discussion of this issue has not yet been raised.

- By the beginning of the new admission campaign, when applicants go to universities, there will be complete clarity on this issue, - says Yuri Nikolayev.

"I do not believe that there is no money"
Acting rector of NEFU Evgenia Mikhailova recalls the time when she worked as deputy chairman of the republican government. In 2002-2003, the financial situation in the region was very difficult, but even then the republic did not cease to make orders to its universities for “targeted”. At that time, each academic year, only NEFU allocated up to 500 targeted places from the republic. Plus, places for targeted admission were provided by the Federation at their own expense.

- Today, republican universities work a lot to attract young specialists to the regions. The third year the project “Graduate: for a new village” is being implemented in NEFU, and it has already yielded results - hundreds of young people are going to uluses, - says Evgenia Mikhailova.

But, she continues, what is happening has another side. Graduates of schools who have scored high marks on the Unified State Examination, go to study outside the republic - to those cities where a university education has a long and established tradition. Mikhailova cites the following figures: every year, other regions go from 30 to 40% of graduates, that is, from a third to almost half. There, guys, as a rule, remain later. And the outflow of applicants without their influx creates, among other things, problems for republican universities. No, not for NEFU - one of the largest universities east of the Urals. Financially, of course, he will do without “target men”, but ...

- ... but such small sectoral higher education institutions, which are extremely in demand among young people, such as the Arctic Institute of Culture and Arts, the Yakutsk Agricultural Academy, the Churapcha Institute of Physical Culture and Sports, must be supported. It is necessary to preserve and develop in the republic its own system of higher education. Not so long ago, Yakutia, along with Moscow and St. Petersburg, was recognized as a driver of higher education precisely because of the activities of universities in its territory. Don't we again appreciate what we have? - Eugene Mikhailov notes.

... Probably, only a few target children from remote Yakut villages will be able to become scientists or top managers. But on the other hand, they will return to their regions - if only to ensure that all subjects provided for in the program are taught in local schools, and their graduates endure the most rigorous competitions for admission to the best universities.

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