WENR, December 2009: Russia & CIS
Increased Scholarships for Students Overseas
Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Education has announced plans to increase funds by 30 percent for students who study abroad. Officials also noted that the number of foreign students studying in Azerbaijan has increased thanks to programs such as oil studies.
According to Education Minister Misir Mardanov there are more than 10,000 Azerbaijani students currently studying abroad, with just 500 of them on presidential scholarships. Azerbaijanis study mainly in the United Kingdom, Germany, Turkey, France, Russia, South Korea, the Netherlands, the US, Canada and Sweden. There are plans to develop ties with Japan, Malaysia and other countries.
– Armenia: Higher Education Services
November 30, 2009
More Doctoral Programs Added After First Ones Introduced Last Year
The Kyiv-Mohyla Academy opened Ukraine’s first doctoral school last year, offering the country’s first three western-style Ph.D. programs – in mass communications, finance and public health administration. And recently, two more programs were launched in philosophy of literature and biology and biodiversity.
The Kyiv-Mohyla Academy doctoral school initiative represents significant change in the way research is conducted in Ukraine where the higher education system is still heavily influenced by its Soviet past. Unlike the traditional aspirantura, which is highly regulated by the Higher Attestation Council, Kyiv-Mohyla’s Ph.D. programs follow the more autonomous model familiar to Western education systems.
In time, it is hoped the Kyiv-Mohyla school will become a model for doctoral reform across the Central European country, as the current system, culminating in the “candidate of sciences” degree, is generally considered to be in dire need of reform. According to official Ministry of Education statistics, only 7 percent of Ukrainian research candidates complete their research degrees within the required three-year period, and only 25 percent ever submit their dissertations for defense.
The current system is reportedly open to widespread corruption with the buying of research degrees commonplace. For this reason, many young students who plan to embark on academic careers (especially those returning to Ukraine after studying abroad) do not even consider enrolling in the existing system.
Under the Bologna process, to which Ukraine became a signatory in 2005, this flawed Soviet-legacy system is to be replaced next year with a western-style third cycle of education (that is, the PhD) that conforms to the principles of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). However, little work has yet to be done on introducing the new structure, which has led some commentators to state that any reform is likely to be purely superficial, with not much more than a name change from “candidate of sciences” degree to doctorate without reforming the substance of the system of research training.
– University World News
December 6, 2009
Tenth Student Dies in Compulsory Cotton Harvest
A 10th student has died in Uzbekistan while involved in state-mandated work on the cotton harvest, RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service reports. A witness told RFE/RL that a bus filled with students overturned as it was driving into a cotton field near the western city of Urgench, and one boy died as a result.
Earlier this year, two young women died in an accident while attempting to leave a cotton field in the Ferghana Valley, and last year a student was killed by wolves while working in a cotton field. Students in Uzbekistan are required to take part in the cotton harvest season. Uzbekistan is the second-largest cotton exporter in the world.
October 29, 2009