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MOSCOW, November 2 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian institutions of higher learning must be areas of a healthy life-style, but the testing of students for drugs is to remain selective, the rector of the Voronezh state university, chairman of the Voronezh Region council of rectors, Dmitry Yendovitsky, told Itar-Tass, when asked if drug testing in the long-term must become mandatory. Under the current legislation it can be only voluntary.
"There are various ways of evaluating the effectiveness of government measures to prevent and combat drug addiction, but the basic postulate - that the disaster must be addressed - is already accepted by all. Preventing drug abuse among youth and especially - in the student community – is a special theme. There public should, I think, work out the fundamental rules and regulations mandatory for all," Yendovitsky said. He said "universities as key institutions of society should steadily generate not only knowledge but also a healthy creative class - intellectual resources capable of creating in Russia a unique competitive advantage."
"Systematic work against the spread of drugs and medical and social assistance to drug addicts identified must be accompanied by effective educational, sporting, cultural and leisure activities," he added.
"At present society is actively debating the feasibility of mandatory testing of students for drug use. In my opinion, testing is necessary, but for addressing this problem there should be a selective approach," said the rector. "Clearly, in the fields of knowledge and instruction related to access to state secrets, operation of expensive high-tech equipment, the handling of explosive or toxic substances, as well as medicine, military training and police instruction testing should be mandatory. For other educational curricula testing can be voluntarily," he explained. But, in his opinion, "in the latter case there should be actively promoted moral incentives for students who voluntarily undergo such testing."
"In our work we have already encountered the need for voluntary testing, and such requirements in relation to students are posed first of all by the employers," continued Yendovitsky continued. "First of all we have in mind the representatives of the business community who have become strategic partners of the Voronezh university and who have created different centers of corporate education and instruction within the structure of the university, for example, the NLMK, Siemens, Rosenergoatom, Efko, Sberbank, and space exploration and chemistry-related industries. Mandatory drug testing is conducted by students are selected by the major Western companies that have opened their corporate universities and centers at the VSU," he concluded.