Alexander Bezborodov: by collaborating with educational institutions of the BRICS countries, the Russian universities gain invaluable experience


Alexander Bezborodov: by collaborating with educational institutions of the BRICS countries, the Russian universities gain invaluable experience

Interview with Rector Bezborodov for TV BRICS.

The Russian educational system is known in many countries as one of the best in the world. Tell us how it will develop in the future to become even better?

I am confident that the Russian educational system is becoming more and more effective every year. First of all, this is due to the development of the entire range of areas for training specialists in natural sciences and exact sciences. Humanities are not lagging behind in this regard. It is very important for us to keep in mind that in the near future the reform of higher education in Russia will gain new momentum. Specialist programs will be used more widely, including in humanities. It must be remembered that international cooperation has been expanding, especially in recent years, and the Russian Federation will, as it does now, have relations with a number of countries that have a two-tier educational system. Therefore, in order for this education to be relatively compatible, some segments of both Bachelor’s and Master’s programs must be preserved. This symbiosis will in the near future be the most sustainable in order to increase the efficiency and quality of Russian education, including through the use of world experience, including the BRICS countries.

More and more foreigners are seeking to obtain higher education in Russia. How comfortable do you think our educationalsystem is for citizens of other countries?

Higher educational institutions in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other large cities have created comfortable conditions, including the opportunity for students to live in excellent dormitories. We must understand that, of course, this serves as an important, a very attractive moment for our partners abroad, including in the BRICS countries.

Are there many foreign graduate students in Russia today? What contribution do they make to the development of Russian and world science?

According to our data, more than 10 thousand foreign graduate students are currently studying and possibly working in Russia. This is not the limit: this figure needs to be increased. Thus, Russian science will develop at an accelerated pace and gain new heights in all directions.

RSUH is among the top 200 best universities in the BRICS countries. How prestigious is it for RSUH to be in it?

There is no limit to perfection: we respect the BRICS countries very much, we form our relations at a fairly high level with eachcountry, as well as with those who will join the ranks of BRICS in 2024 or further down the line.

How do you assess the cooperation of the BRICS countries in education? How can the countries of the association benefit each other given its expansion?

We have many opportunities to develop education. Each university, of course, has had its own successes in this regard, but at the same time, the potential that has not yet been used is very significant.

Not long ago, RSUH and the Girijananda Chowdhury University of India held a conference dedicated to the languages and culture of indigenous peoples. Why are such projects important?

The Conference was held at the end of January.  It was attended by our representatives from the Center for the Study of South Asian Countries. We actively study and teach the history, languages, culture, and art of India. Therefore, interaction with our Indian partners, including in online and offline formats, is invaluable. The materials of this conference will be used in the educational process of the Center for the study of South Asian countries in the same way as the materials of Russian-Brazilian meetings are involved in the work of the corresponding Center. Confucius Institute, which has existed for 15 years, is also functioning successfully.

In 2024, Russia assumes the BRICS chairmanship. Many events are planned, including those related to education. Personally, as the rector of a respected university, what would you be most interested in talking about with your colleagues? What experiences could you share?

It is very important for me that in 2024, when we, together with our colleagues from the educational system of these countries, will interact more closely, social and humanitarian education does not fall out of our sight, so that new programs and tasks are identified, thanks to which we could act for the medium and longer term.

How do you feel about the fact that some universities around the world have officially allowed theses to be written using artificial intelligence? 

In humanities, it is best to think with your own head, since this is an invaluable experience for both the head and the individual. Therefore, we have a very reserved attitude towards such artificial intelligence capabilities. In general, a final qualifying thesis written using artificial intelligence further exacerbates students’ ignorance of a particular problem.

What do you think the educational system should look like in 10 years? At what age will one need to decide on a profession?

It is obvious that the role of humanities will increase in 10 years, so it is necessary to train specialists who can understand various humanitarian fields. In general, the practice of humanities education will be in great demand, since today systemic liberal artseducation in schools and universities gives the best results.

What specialties are the future?

Of course, these are bio- and information technologies, psychology, a complex of pedagogical sciences, philology and, of course, fundamental historical training, which should be an integral part of any education in Russia.