ISSN 2330-717X

Calls For Stronger Relationship Between Corporate Business And Career Development In Higher Education System In Russia – OpEd

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Far ahead of the special session that thoroughly reviewed and discussed Russia’s education and the employment market at the 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russian legislators have, on May 25, launched a Telegram survey on the future of higher education and the Bologna system in Russia.

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Russia’s State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin wrote on his Telegram channel calling for a new higher education system in the country based on the best contemporary and Soviet practices. “We would be right to create an effective national higher education system based on today’s and Soviet practices,” Vyacheslav Volodin wrote on his Telegram channel. “The existing higher education system needs change, as per 90% of the respondents,” Volodin reported, saying that more than 413,000 people had been surveyed.

The Duma speaker said this and other issues would be discussed at a parliamentary session on June 27, with Science and Higher Education Minister Valery Falkov, as well as representatives from the country’s universities and education experts expected to attend.

At the St. Petersburg forum, its traditional face-to-face format for the first time in two years after coronavirus pandemic, during a special discussion entitled ‘How to Provide the Russian Economy with the Qualified Personnel?’ and looked at the question of the ‘qualification pit’ – the mismatch of skills and competencies of employees with the needs of employers is becoming more acute by the year. At the same time, according to the Ministry of Education, today more than 60% of schoolchildren choose secondary vocational education. Is it not enough? And what measures should be taken by the state and business to solve the current problem? 

There were more questions on aspects of education. How to attract employers to active, meaningful cooperation with educational organizations? How can business contribute to a better quality of personnel training? How can we increase employers’ satisfaction with the level of secondary vocational graduate training? How can the right conditions for mastering fundamentally new professional skills and competencies be created? How can we reduce the time necessary for the adaptation of new personnel in production and increase the efficiency of the process?

Some experts have argued that the integration of creative industries into the educational process is becoming an important trend and necessity of the 21st century. Thus getting involve in educating and training of furture professionals should be viewed as an integral part of any sector of the economy from the nuclear industry to agriculture and construction. 

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Deputy CEO of the Roscongress Foundation and Director of the social platform of the Roscongress Foundation – the Innosocium Foundation Yelena Marinina explained at the session at St. Petersburg forum that the future and the trajectory of its development depend on the values, knowledge, and aspirations of today’s young people. 

There are new opportunities and the new horizons that are opening up in all areas are in high demand. It makes it imperative effectively utilizing the potential of graduates to accelerate economic growth. This explains the need to understand the relationship between employers and employees, and to stimulate cooperation, especially in a rapidly changing world, between business and educational institutions, Marinina asserted in her presentation.

Speaking at the SPIEF plenary session, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin strongly urges big business representatives to link their families’ future with Russia. “Recent events have only confirmed what I kept saying earlier: it’s safer at home. Those who didn’t want to hear this obvious message lost hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars in the West. This is how the supposedly safe haven for capital turned out,” the Russian leader stressed.

“Today I would also like to address our leaders, large companies owners, our major entrepreneurs and managers. Dear colleagues, friends, real, lasting success, a sense of dignity and self-respect come only when you connect your future, your children’s future with your Motherland,”  Putin reiterated.

Putin carefully noted that he has been in contact with many CEOs and company owners for a long time and knows their sentiments. It is, indeed, important to understand that business is much more than making a profit. It involves changing the life around, contributing to the development of your hometown, region, country as a whole is an extremely important thing for self-realization. Nothing can replace service to people and society. This is the meaning of life, the genuine meaning of work.

During several ocassions of award ceremonies of young talented entrepreneurs in the Kremlin, Putin has, long ago, supported the implementation of the strategic socio-economic initiative entitled Professionalism. The initiative is aimed at complex reset of the whole system of secondary vocational education. 

The key task is to ensure the training of specialists in professions that are truly in demand in a shorter period of time. This will provide a possibility to build a new sectoral model of personnel training, synchronized with the demands of the labor market. It will help stipulate employment for graduates and, as a consequence, give a new impetus to the development of regional economies.

As of 1 September 2022, 150,000 students will be involved in training at educational production centers. The primary focus is on key working professions and specializations in areas such as metallurgy, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, and transportation. The new approach that lies at the heart of the project will help solve the issue of targeted training for the priority sectors of the economy under the conditions of import substitution.

New documents were signed by Alexander Stuglev, Chairman and CEO of the Roscongress Foundation, Elena Chernova, First Vice Rector of St. Petersburg State University, Ivan Lobanov, Rector of Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, and Marina Buntova, CEO of TALENTI. These documents stipulate joining forces in implementing state policy aimed at improving the socio-economic sector, creating conditions meant to assist students and young professionals in professional orientation and successful employment. 

Under the agreement, the Roscongress Foundation will be involved in forming a database of the main beneficiaries of the projects, organizing classes and events held as part of these joint projects. In addition, the agreements provide for cooperation between the parties in conducting joint internships, theoretical classes and training seminars for young people, including using ‘Country’s Potential’ digital platform.

According to the organizers’ website information, about 2,700 business representatives from 90 countries were expected to attend – far below the 13,500 participants from 140 countries previous years. Some business leaders had concerns about attending the forum due to the sanctions against Russia. Under the chosen theme ‘New Opportunities in a New World’ that reflects the changing global situations, the conference runs from June 15 to June 18 and it is the 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) since its establishment. 

Kester Kenn Klomegah

Kester Kenn Klomegah is an independent researcher and a policy consultant on African affairs in the Russian Federation and Eurasian Union. He has won media awards for highlighting economic diplomacy in the region with Africa. Currently, Klomegah is a Special Representative for Africa on the Board of the Russian Trade and Economic Development Council. He enjoys travelling and visiting historical places in Eastern and Central Europe. Klomegah is a frequent and passionate contributor to Eurasia Review.

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