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Medvedev says students studying for free should sign contracts with govt

February 27, 2012, 22:18 UTC+3
The meeting focused on support to talented children
1 pages in this article

CHEBOKSARY, February 27 (Itar-Tass) —— President Dmitry Medvedev believes that university students who study for fee should sign contracts with the government after graduation and work a certain amount of time in the country.

“The task is to ensure that the money directed towards education is spent wisely and that people value it,” Medvedev said at a meeting of the Presidium of the State Council on Monday, February 26.

The meeting focused on support to talented children.

He suggested “signing contracts that will state the obligations of the parties – the government and the student”.

The president stressed that a young man “is not a bondsman and he is not tied [to a certain place], but he must understand that he should give a part of his knowledge to this country”.

The remark followed Kurgan Region Governor Oleg Bogomolov’s complaint that several renowned athletes and winners of Olympic Games have left the region.

“If people leave, you should create conditions to keep them,” the president advised him. “Moscow will always be the richest region, but people leave Moscow too for other places such as Silicon Valley. There is no need to fear that, but the region must create conditions,” the head of state said.

At the same time, he noted that talented young people “should not engage in blackmailing” by threatening to leave.

Medvedev believes that full-time students should make contracts and assume certain obligations.

“One can make a contract when enrolling in a higher or secondary educational institution. But there will be no distribution by directive like in Soviet times,” he said earlier.

The president noted that a person either has to pay for his education as in the rest of the world or work it off if he gets it for free.

“Otherwise it will be a completely amoral situation,” he added.

Medvedev believes that no one plans “new serfdom” for graduates, but working under a contract for three or five years would be quite normal. A person will also be able to resign at any time, but in this case he will have to compensate the state for cost of his education.

He said a balance between the number of young university graduates and labour needs in the market should be regulated by the government together with the Ministry of Education and Science, but there will be no return to the old system when university graduates were assigned to concrete organisations for further employment.

According to Medvedev, there is a shortage of engineers and specialists who can organise production, but there are “quite many” specialists in other fields.

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