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Almost half of Russians support strengthening of institutions of high learning, poll says

December 11, 2013, 18:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 11. /ITAR-TASS/. A recent public opinion poll carried out by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion or VTSIOM has revealed that 45 percent of respondents approved the current unification of Russian institutions of high learning; 36 percent disapproved of the changes while another 19 percent found it hard to formulate their position on the matter. VTSIOM published its findings on Wednesday.

Most Russians admit that the Russian system of education needs reorganization: 41 percent of respondents suggested partial reforms compared to 47 percent who insisted on fundamental changes. Eight percent of the polled described the changes as unnecessary.

In the meanwhile, more than half of respondents supported a vector of development chosen by the Ministry of Education and Science. Fifty-six percent of Russians assumed that the proclaimed ideas and goals were favorable for the education system in general, while 37 percent said they were skeptical about the chosen development course.

The survey also showed that Russians saw plenty of advantages in the recognition of Russian diplomas abroad. Thirty-five percent of the polled believed that it would open up prospects for successful employment in western companies; 30 percent of respondents mentioned a possibility for young specialists to go on training abroad. According to other respondents, the holders of international diplomas will be able to study foreign languages professionally (15 percent) and establish business contacts in Russia and abroad (13 percent).

VTSIOM carried out a representative survey on November 20-21, 2013. Eight hundred people, including the parents of schoolchildren, were polled in 17 cities. The statistical error does not exceed 5 percent.

The Russian Ministry of Science and Education has decided to amalgamate institutions of high learning after a campaign to monitor their efficiency that has been under way since 2012. Russian Minister of Science and Education Dmitry Livanov believes that the measure will help consolidating financial, property, teaching and other resources that exist in Russian education.

“The unification projects that are under way, including affiliation or reorganization, have only one goal: to improve training conditions for students; improve the quality of education and upgrade the level of scientific research,” Livanov emphasized.

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