TVER, January 10. /TASS/. Russia’s system of high school graduation exams known as the Unified State Exams, which all high school grads must take, is rather effective but could be improved, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Tver factory workers on Wednesday.
"As for the Unified State Exams, we’d rather not go into detail right now, nor delve into a discussion since there are pros and cons," Putin said. "I am not going to speak about the minuses, they do exist, but the pluses are as follows: the number of prospective university students from provincial cities and towns has surged after the Unified State Exams were introduced."
The head of state is convinced that "in principle, we have on average the same number of talented people in all populated localities."
"The question is how to get there, how to get admitted [to a university or college]. The Unified State Exams make all university applicants equal," the president assured. "In spite of the minuses, the system works, but it needs to be polished up.".
Putin has promised that free higher education will be preserved.
"No fundamental changes here [in the system of higher education] are due. Commercial education does exist and it will remain, but free education will certainly be preserved," he said.