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Colleges should provide incentives for post-graduates - Medvedev

March 26, 2013, 19:51 UTC+3
Post-graduates should land jobs in the professions they were trained
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MOSCOW, March 26 (Itar-Tass) - Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said colleges should provide housing and financial incentives for their post-graduates.

Post-graduates should land jobs in the professions they were trained. It's OK if they work in their specialization. It should be a profession by training, not moonlighting, Medvedev said at a conference over advanced training and certification of research personnel in the country on Tuesday.

He acknowledged that a universal mechanism to be used across the country was unlikely to be developed. These issues must be foremost tackled by colleges themselves. "There are housing programs, but regrettably, they are very different. However, if the college administration gives priority to it, the problem is resolved successfully as a rule," Medvedev said.

The premier called for combating plagiarism and fake dissertations, whose number has increased dramatically since Soviet times.

"We have about 23,000 Ph.D. and doctoral dissertations to be defended, but it's anybody's guess what number is optimal. However, we can look up the figures of the previous period which are certainly different; in any case we should analyze it.

"The number of organizations training post-graduates increased by 13 percent from 2000 through 2011, while the number of postgraduates increased by 33 percent in the designated period.

"There are some 150,000 post-graduates in Russia at present. "In certain professions, half of graduates take a post-graduate course," Medvedev said.

Minister of Education and Science Dmitry Livanov suggested cancelling the term of limitation for checks of dissertations for plagiarism.

To put barriers to fraud, the minister suggested introducing disqualification for those members of dissertation councils, who often accept fake dissertations. This measure might apply to university rectors, too.

The mechanism of the formation of the High Certification Commission /VAK/ under the Ministry has to be more transparent; the candidates should undergo a close scrutiny during discussions of the Internet, and regular rotation of VAK members must be envisioned, he said.

For his part, VAK chairman Vladimir Filippov called for mandatory publishing on the Commission's website the texts of the dissertations to be defended, and the data about the authors, their opponents and experts to evaluate the paper. "I believe it's a quite reasonable idea to post the complete text of the paper," Medvedev said.

Filippov called for discussing these proposals with the research community and the public during a month.

If these proposals are approved, the draft legal acts might be prepared as early as by August 1, 2013, the education minister said.

He suggested cancelling the qualifying examination in philosophy as mandatory. The specialty and foreign language exams must remain mandatory, Livanov noted.

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