14 July 2020

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Generation Z
25 Jan  2019 1782

Higher education needs quality reforms

The structure of higher educational institution plays a certain role in the strategy of organizing higher education in general. The history of higher education institutions of  Eastern and Western culture suggests that a certain structure of schools (higher educational institutions) formed by the socio-economic stage of development in various periods of life. In Uzbekistan, reforms, including those in the higher educational system, are so dynamic that further progress requires certain structural changes.

With all the positive changes taking place in the improvement of higher education, some problems require special attention.

First, the disunity of related universities, even within the same region (city), presence of construction, transport, road, or other technical profile in one city. Approximately 30-60% of the departments (teaching subjects) are identical or related. It is known that a small department has its drawbacks. First of all, it is the limited scientific activities and methodical work. The probability of giving birth to good, innovative, results is high in the team, where considerable intellectual forces are concentrated. The dispersion of scientific and pedagogical personnel in many related departments within even one city reduces the efficiency of the use of human resources. And at the same time, the presence of several adjacent areas of education in the school only helps the emergence of new ideas at the intersection of science and specialties. The possibilities of small departments of physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, mathematics, for example, a medical institute are significantly limited if they (medical specialists) served the Faculty of Physics, Mathematics and Biochemistry of a classical university. Medical education here is given as an example, not to offend this category of professionals, but because it is the most contrasting example. This path was chosen, by the way, by the majority of the world's leading universities, and justified itself. For example, there are 8 medical faculties in Israel, all of them in the structure of large universities. Israel is in first place per capita in medical tourism, they give the world a lot of innovation, including in the field of medicine. The same can be said about universities of technical, natural-science profile. It is difficult to develop innovative science in a "diluted" environment. “Thick” scientific and pedagogical environment is more expedient for obtaining high efficiency of the scientific and educational process. In this regard, it is likely that the time has come to revise the structure of universities, first of all, their consolidation. Improving the management system is likely to allow restructuring and the network of universities. At this stage it is important to conceptually adopt this strategy. The results of each stage of restructuring can be periodically analyzed, if necessary, adjustments are made, and then proceed to the next stage. The final task is the concentration of scientific and pedagogical potential in order to improve the quality of training of specialists and the effectiveness of scientific research.

Second, the Classification of educational areas and specialties operating in the Republic is being systematically improved and modern enough. However, the list of areas of education for bachelors and masters specialties of universities themselves requires a principled and independent inventory. Analysis and subsequent restructuring will allow for a “list” of each institution of higher education in accordance with their material and technical base, scientific and pedagogical potential. Given the shortage of specialized teachers (in newly opened areas), weak (to put it mildly) laboratory facilities and teacher overload, the quality of training in some areas has decreased. Streamlining the list of training for each institution of higher education, with a simultaneous increase in the contingent on proven areas - there is a significant help without a costly improvement in quality.

The presence of at least 50-100 students per course in each direction of the course will make it possible positively use the principle of concentration in science and education. This is especially true of those areas of education that require considerable attention and funds for the creation and maintenance of the laboratory and experimental design base. Without prejudice to the interests of higher educational institutions, we can say that not only society but also the university itself will benefit: the dispersion of funds decreases, the scientific and pedagogical and methodological potential of the departments increase, self-control and self-esteem, the moral and psychological climate and, above all, the collective productivity. Possible objections: Is it a return to monopoly on the part of some universities? It seems that this question will be answered by the state of preparation in the newly opened areas operating in recent years. Undoubtedly, some of them justified themselves, but others need to draw conclusions. The opening of new directions for a given university should be the result of the natural growth of the scientific and pedagogical potential of the collective, sociocultural and economic needs of the region.

Third, while maintaining the current system of two-level training specialists, master's training urgently needs attention. No need to be reminded of the well-known problems of master's training. It would not be an exaggeration if we say that, to put it mildly, she was not very successful. Again, from my point of view, one of the reasons is the “shredding” of recruiting, excessive crushing on specialties in conditions that are still insufficient for the narrow-profile susceptibility of consumers. Under the conditions of the emerging undergraduate degree, a flaw in the master's degree training significantly reduces the weight of the national status of higher education. What can be attributed to the shortcomings of today's graduate? First of all, the low competition for admission, which is primarily due to the uncertainty of the labor status of the bachelors and masters. Practically, with rare exceptions (for example, scientific and pedagogical activity), at present, both the bachelor and the master can occupy the same position. The presence on each course of the specialty 3-5 masters does not encourage conducting lectures and other activities. The master in its current form based on the individual work of the teacher with the student, but the students do not have the skill of independent work, and teachers have the necessary consistency and integrity in individual work with the masters.

Free interpretation of the structure of the university, without its linkage with the objectives of the reforms, the specifics of the profile and without taking into account the positive international experience in this matter, significantly affects the quality and effectiveness of the educational process. This suggests that, as conceived at the beginning, reforms should be accompanied by thoughtful and phased structural changes.



 Rector of the Samarkand State University.

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