The subject of M.A. programs became the main topic of discussion at the Academic Council session.
According to surveys, more than 50% of Bachelor graduates of 10 Moscow universities do not regard the next M.A. level as professionally necessary. Dr. Shkarenkov, Vice-Rector for Continuing Education, said, “the society has gotten used to the two-level education and if the B.A. diploma used to be considered as mark of insufficient education, now over 50% of graduates, aligning with the opinion of potential employers, think it will be quite possible for them to find a job with a B.A. diploma”.
According to Vice-Rector, the M.A. programs traditionally expand the skills and knowledge acquired at the B.A. level yet many people nowadays, wishing to enlarge their array of professional tools, enroll in M.A. programs seeing them as an alternative to second higher education, with a shorter duration of studies.
As Dr. Shkarenkov said, in order to stay competitive, RSUH “needs a new carefully thought-out marketing strategy, created on the basis of surveys filled out by B.A. students and revealing the motivation needed to enroll at the next level. If the proposition for the practice-oriented programs bears out, we will have to take an effort to create the programs of this nature”.
Vice-Rector also said that RSUH needed a reorganization of the M.A. entrance tests. Currently they are too academic, excessively rigid and sometimes unnecessarily complex. The University will have to work out criteria of effectiveness of M.A. programs and consider a discount system for academic fees.
Another issue were the small scale (10 students of fewer) programs as well as international programs, which might require organizing professional enhancement courses of English for those faculty members who need it.
Another discussed aspect was long-distance learning element (specific of the digital era) in M.A. programs. As Dr. Shkarenkov pointed out: “The demand for the M.A.-level programs is huge and the task at hand is to compile such an educational package as to combine all the necessary long-distance education elements creating an educational process that will, among other things, be commercially enticing for the University”.
Another important topic was creation of the new Center for Visual Studies of Medieval and New Times at the School of Cultural Studies of RSUH.
Dr. Dmitry Antonov, tapped to be the Director of the Center, said that Center would have three areas of development. The first will be related to academic research (publishing articles). The second is public education sphere realized by the faculty of the Center who have been lecturing in Moscow, St.-Petersburg and abroad. Dr. Antonov said, “the first series of lectures and presentations will be held as early as October. The activity of the Center will be covered by all large Internet portals thus enhancing the RSUH brand and status, which, in turn, will attract new students”.
The third area is academic and framework agreements have already been concluded with AST publishing house, Andrey Rublyov Center, Slovo Center of Slavic Writing, and others.
Academic Council has upheld the proposal to create the Center.
Dr. Galina Shevtsova, Chair of the Department of Informtion Security, has been awarded the honorary title of “Honored Employee of RSUH” for the dedicated service of many years.Dr. Irina Khanova, Dr. Nikita Filin, Dr. Raissa Geizerskaya and Dr. Vladimir Pryakhin have been promoted to Assistant Professor, and Dr. Natalya Rostislavleva has been promoted to Full Professor.