Table of contents:

What's wrong with higher education in Russia
What's wrong with higher education in Russia

Instead of a ticket to the profession, you get outdated knowledge, unnecessary items and mortal boredom.

What's wrong with higher education in Russia
What's wrong with higher education in Russia

This article is part of the Auto-da-fe project. In it, we declare war on everything that prevents people from living and becoming better: breaking laws, believing in nonsense, deceit and fraud. If you've come across a similar experience, share your stories in the comments.

Why Not All Universities Are Equally Helpful

About 30.2% of Russians aged 25 to 64 have higher education. In the age group from 24 to 34 years old, this figure is even higher - 40.3%. At the same time, the Government of the Russian Federation has been saying for several years that the country does not need so many people who have graduated from a university. Many of them cannot find work in their specialty, since there is simply no need for such a number of specialists on the market.

Higher education is considered overestimated by 56% of Russians surveyed. At the same time, many people spend 5-6 years of their lives trying to get a diploma, which does not necessarily come with knowledge.

Now there are 741 higher educational institutions in the country, not counting branches. At the same time, only 25 of them are in the ranking of the 1,000 best world universities in the QS World University Rankings.

An average Russian university is rarely capable of providing a good education and making you a highly qualified specialist. And that's why.

1. Little practice

To understand how an industry functions and where you belong in it, you need to work in the fields. If you spend most of your time on lectures, your knowledge will be limited to theory, and how to apply it is not clear. A lot of information in your head is great if you are participating in a crossword puzzle competition. But after graduation you will have to solve applied problems.

Deep theoretical knowledge may be useful to you. But at the beginning of your career in a line position, you are expected to be able to perform a certain set of actions that leads to the desired result. For this, it is not enough to know the theory - you need to try everything out in practice at least several times. But universities often don't teach this.

I studied to be an information systems engineer (in fact, a programmer). After receiving my diploma, I went to work and realized that we were not taught to interact in a team - no Scrum, Agile, Kanban. The basics of programming were given, but it was impossible to apply them in real life. She suffered for three months and changed her field: she went to a newspaper as a layout designer, and she mastered the specialty herself.

Last year my brother entered the same university. But the program got even worse, they even added strength materials to get more hours. He ended up dropping out of university and taking part-time courses in programming.

2. The university provides outdated knowledge

Universities cannot teach you gag: the entire learning process is built according to approved state standards. Wherever a bureaucratic machine is running, change happens very slowly. But in the field, everything develops instantly, especially in some areas. Therefore, such situations are not uncommon when students are taught already outdated technologies. They are good only for broadening one's horizons and already have little value even for understanding the development of processes in the industry.

Anastasia Received knowledge from the past.

Journal of journalism, 2010. Fundamentals of editorial activity in the 1989 textbook! And we were taught to make up using layouts from the 80s.

3. There is a high level of corruption in universities

The university is the university. Somewhere it is quite difficult to agree on passing an exam or credit for money, but somewhere diplomas are immediately issued in bags with the inscription "Thank you for your purchase." However, there is a problem. For example, an associate professor at the Siberian State Industrial University was convicted of 58 bribes. The students transferred money to him directly to the card.

Leaving aside the legal side of the issue, bribery of teachers primarily demotivates other students. You can talk as much as you like about the fact that you can't buy knowledge. But the IQ is not written on the forehead. But the diploma contains grades - exactly the same as those of those who bought everything. And here is the temptation: "Maybe I should pay?"

Although there are few criminal cases involving bribes in universities, rumors spread quickly and graduates of certain universities develop a certain reputation.

Natalya Looked into the abyss of lawlessness.

We rented an apartment with a girl who did not even go to tests and exams. The whole group was simply thrown off to one person, and he took money and notes to the teacher. I would not like my interests to be represented by a lawyer who studied with her on the course.

4. Universities follow the "party line"

In some cases, the "party line" should have been written without quotation marks, because we are talking about specific political forces. But even if they have nothing to do with it, it often happens that the university is more like a secure facility than an educational institution.

The period from 15 to 19 years is considered late adolescence, when a person's worldview is still being formed. Severe restrictions on how to think and what to do clearly do not bring up a free personality.

Oksana Went to the rally for the assessment in physical education.

We had a fairly liberal university, but at some elections the elders were forced to call their groups and find out who voted and who did not. And if someone neglected his civic duty, explain how wrong he is. But at least they did not say for whom to put a tick in the ballot. Students of another university in our city, where many children from the region studied, were paid their way home and back, if only they could vote correctly at home.

Well, and we somehow, instead of physical education, went to a rally in one party. If we had not gone, we would have put on truancy, and the credit depended on the attendance.

5. Studying requires a lot of money


If you haven't applied for a budget place, you'll have to fork out. On average, a paid program at a Russian university in the academic year 2018–2019 cost 140 thousand rubles. Together with the cost of food, accommodation, and so on, the amount will turn out to be quite large. A student-state employee will spend less, but also significant.

It is noteworthy that the leaders of paid education are usually socio-economic and humanitarian areas, budgetary places in which have been reduced, as the market is overflowing with specialists.

6. The set of items often looks random

Many subjects have nothing to do with the future profession. They supposedly have to broaden their horizons. And this is great from the point of view of general development, but it does not bring you closer to the specialty, and it takes time. A particularly high concentration of such subjects is observed in the first courses. For example, students are immediately faced with a philosophy that should teach them to understand how the world works. But how can this be done if most of them cannot understand even philosophy as a subject?

7. University disappoints

This is one of the main problems of modern education. People who go to university for a profession are often disappointed in it even before they graduate, and all of the above is to blame for this.

52% of university graduates regret their choice of profession, and 33% would prefer another direction. Only 12.3% of the respondents did not find any shortcomings in their education. The rest complained about the uselessness of the disciplines in the program, the irrelevance of the subjects and the inability to apply knowledge in practice.

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What good universities give

On this sad note, one could end, but not everything is so bad. Among more than 700 universities, there are those in which you will remember your studies with warmth and gratitude, although they have some of the shortcomings from the list. Here's what they give.

1. Improve soft skills

This is the name for non-core skills that help to achieve success in work and other areas of life. After a good university, for example, you will be able to:

  • Seek information masterly.
  • Memorize data in a short time and be able to present them with a sense of complete understanding of the subject.
  • Present yourself.
  • Speak to large audiences, including strangers or negative people.
  • Schedule time and assign tasks. You will understand which subject can be dropped before the session, and which one should be taught constantly, when to start preparing for the exam.
  • Learn to be proactive and proactive. Better to try for the sake of the machine now, so as not to suffer later.

And that's not all.

About 100 years ago, the professor of moral philosophy at Oxford, John Alexander Smith, got to the heart of the matter. “Gentlemen,” he told the freshmen, “nothing you learn here will do you the slightest benefit in your life after school, except for one thing: if you work diligently and wisely, you will be able to understand when a person is carrying garbage, and this, in my opinion, is the main, if not the only goal of education."

Andrew Delbanko College. What he was, he became and should be"

2. Form a knowledge base

The variety and depth of information given at the university prepares a platform from which you can start almost anywhere. If the university is good, and the teachers are passionate about their work, you will be interested. Moreover, it awakens a thirst for knowledge and you begin to understand where you want to go.

Anna Learned to learn.

The university taught us to search for information and work with large volumes of it. Many people who “haven't finished college” find it hard to finish reading their posts on Facebook to the end. We received a classical education, not a craft. Therefore, there is so little practical use in it. But we were taught to learn. As they say on educational forums today, this is now the main thing.

3. Provide networking opportunities

If you went to a regular general education school in your place of residence, your social circle was determined by the territory. At the university, you will finally get access to a huge number of people with intersecting interests: you have chosen one profession. If the university is good and highly competitive, students will generally be smart, versatile and interesting. This is a great way to make friends.

If most of the acquaintances from the university will work in a profession, you will automatically have your own people after graduation in many companies. Very comfortably.

4. Provide access to student grants and competitions

Participation in such programs is always a competition, so you have to be the best at anything to take advantage of this advantage. But if it works, you will receive money, new acquaintances from other cities or countries, a chance to participate in interesting projects, and other similar bonuses.

5. Change attitudes towards themselves and their future

The average Russian schoolchild needs rehabilitation after graduation. Few of the teachers are able to build relationships with students on an equal footing, treat them with respect, provide them with the proper level of freedom (and it’s not always about them, we will not indiscriminately blame teachers).

In a good university, the overwhelming majority of teachers perceive you as an adult, independent person. And this makes you reconsider priorities and realize responsibility for your life. You are allowed to make decisions, do not press, do not control every step. But also to stand on ceremony, if you do not cope with something, no one will.

6. Expand the boundaries

School education is designed for the average student to master the program. Therefore, educators are more likely to focus on the laggards. As a result, few people fully realize what they are really capable of and what a big world around them.

A good university first of all makes it clear that there are no boundaries. There are obstacles, but you can do much more than you think, and certainly more than people think of you. Small bricks and whole cobblestones are added to the picture of the world, and it turns from a postage stamp into a huge canvas.

Natalya I am grateful to the university for the feeling of freedom.

Once, in a literature course, a teacher asked: "What did this writer mean?" The students began listing the versions, and she nodded. And on some bold idea she asked: "Could he have meant that?" And when people began to look at each other timidly, she added: "Of course he could, how do we even know what he meant." It was a very cool feeling, especially against the background of the fact that at school I was forced to rewrite my essay on The Thunderstorm, because I used my own thoughts, not Dobrolyubov's.

How not to fall into the trap

1. Realize that not everyone needs college


The diploma does not guarantee that you will get a place in a warm office and will do light work from 9 to 18 hours. 73% of Russians do not work in their specialty.

If you feel the potential to move mountains right now and have a clear understanding of what you want to do, explore alternative ways of gaining knowledge. College, evening and online courses, in-house training, internships under the wing of a tough talent, and open source study are all good paths if you're willing to try.

If after a couple of years you understand that you still need a diploma, then go to university.

2. Choose a good university

An institution with a 100-year history can be called a university, or an institution that even yesterday could not even dream of such a status. In order not to be mistaken, study the Lifehacker's text, which will help you decide on plans.

3. Analyze if you like everything

Studying at a university is not flying on an airplane, from which you cannot get off until you are at your destination. It's more like a train journey, where you can pull the stop-crane: braking will be sharp and traumatic, but you will be able to turn off and go the right way. So from time to time you should sit down and think if you are doing everything right.

4. Learn

If you have already entered a university, try to take from him everything that they can give you. It is believed that you should spend as much time on self-education as on classes in order to master the subject. If you've never learned anything over the years, the problem may not be at the university.

5. Work

It is not necessary to wait for a diploma to start working in a profession. You will need more experience at the finish than a diploma. And money for labor will come in handy now.

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