From school to university, from university to enterprise
Round Table on this topic, initiated by Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi National University, was held at City Council on May 30. Round Table discussion coincided in time with the independent external evaluation of school graduates, which opens them the way to higher education. But from the other hand we can ask, whether the university is ready to provide them with quality professional training. As one of the answers to this quite complicated question can be the ranking of Ukrainian universities, made by different rating agencies. Therefore, to the discussion there were invited several representatives of national academic project TOP-200 of best universities in Ukraine. Also there were other important participants of Round Table discussion such as: Mykhaylo Zagirnyak - Rector of Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi National University; Victor Kalashnyk - Deputy Mayor for Education; Volodymyr Kovalenko - Head of Avtozavodsk District Council; Lesia Linovetska - Project Manager of National Academic Ranking Top 200 of best universities in Ukraine; Gennadiy Moskalyk – Head of the City Department of Education; Liubov Mykhailyk - director of school number 4; Oleksander Redkin - Director of Human Resources and Social Affairs of PJSC "Road Machines"; Mykola Yakymenko - Personnel Director of PJSC "Kriukiv Wagon Building Plant". There also were many other guests: directors of institutes of KrNU, deans of faculties, heads of major academic departments of the university, students and graduate students, and representatives of regional media.
Rector prof. Mykhaylo Zagirnyak introduced to all participants the brief history of KrNU and how regional Polytechnic Institute, within 15 years of dynamic growth, gained the status of National classical university. He also described the readiness of KrNU to accept school graduates this year. Prof. Mykhaylo Zagirnyak also said that in creating a strong material base in different years the university was helped by the government and industry at various levels, but the biggest input was made by its team. This is especially proud of everyone who attended and worked at the university. Nearly fifteen hundred graduates will receive diplomas this year. Some of them continue to study as PhD students. For those, who wish to overcome the way to the Professor Degree there were created all conditions and strong research potential at the university. University students make serious steps in science. Not less than 40 awards each year our students get on national competitions for young scientists. The teachers also work hard and three of them won a prize of Science and Technology of Ukraine, two - a prize of President. Due to the active international cooperation, university has 19 universities-partners all over the world. Students and teachers have the opportunity to internship and study abroad. KrNU is a member of 4 international university organizations. In 2012 50 students became winners of subject Olympiads and competitions, 38 – of scientific papers competition and 12 – of other Olympiads.
Now the university provides higher education according to the latest educational technology, developed according to the model of “The specialist of XXI century”, established at the university. Students can get mathematical, informational, environmental, humanitarian education in 35 specialties and 25 master’s degree programs. This year at the university there were opened two new specialty - "Journalism. Publishing" and "Service Industry. Tourism." However, Mykhaylo Zagirnyak emphasized that the training of technical specialties remain a priority not only for the university, but the state as a whole, because 70% of budget places is aimed at training future engineering staff. That’s why students, parents and teachers should pay attention to this peculiarity.
Kremenchuk is positioning itself as a European city, cultural and educational center of which is a National university. Obviously, this university is a real pride not only for citizens but also government representatives. Meanwhile, Victor Kalashnyk convinced that higher education, which currently students can get in Kremenchuk, should be claimed in the region. Therefore, if students, who now enter the university, plan to stay in Kremenchuk, they have to pay much more attention to the technical professions. But before choosing a future profession, they should contact the HR departments of leading industry to find out which specialists they need. In general, there is a need in a more effective cooperation among schools, university and industry in the sphere of student’s career guidance. The same opinion was expressed by Gennadiy Moskalyk, the Head City Department of Education: "In our country because of poor career guidance and social conditions, students choose to study those professions that are not needed in the market, although they may like it. After graduating (funded by the state or parents), many students do not get the desired work and go to the Employment Center to shift. The state must pay a second time, until one finds the work ". So, the discussion of this topic at the Round Table is very important.
For its part, industry representatives stressed that manufacturers need young staff. However, in addition to strong theoretical training they should have practical skills, because for adaptation of young professionals the company needs at least five years. "Road Machines" and "Kriukiv Wagon Building Plant" cooperate very closely with KrNU: students gel practice; representatives of these plants participate in the state attestation commission during diploma protecting; university researchers carry out their orders. Only "Kriukiv Wagon Building Plant" now employs over one thousand graduates.
All present and especially school graduates were interested to hear how Ukrainian universities are located in the National TOP-200 of best universities in Ukraine, what constitutes this rating and which place occupies Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi National University. Les Linovetska, Project Manager, noted that the rating of Ukrainian universities "Top-200 Ukraine" is an example of academic ranking that evaluates universities in terms of scientific capacity and scientific achievements of teachers and students. The authors and executors of this rating are the European Centre for Higher Education UNESCO - CEPES and "Higher Technical Education, Applied System Analysis and Informatics" Department of UNESCO. Results of the ranking were published in the newspaper "The Mirror of the Week".
Universities are rated on three criteria: quality of scientific and pedagogical potential (number of staff, elected Academicians / Corresponding Members of NAS of Ukraine or state-supported academies, the number of professors, associate professors, doctors and candidates, the number of staff, awarded the State Prize in Science and technology or the Shevchenko State Prize, the number of patents, industrial designs, utility models received by higher education establishment during the previous year), the quality of education (number of students, winners of international and all-Ukrainian competitions, the ratio of the number of masters and bachelors specialists, the scale of universities), international recognition (number of foreign students, membership in the European University Association, the Great Charter of Universities, Eurasian Association of Universities, the University Network of the Black Sea region, the International Association of Universities). Based on these three complex criteria, integrated index of rating can be calculated. While maintaining a common approach, each year ranking methods are slightly different and refined. Very important part of peer reviews is that the university website, completeness provided the information on it, the complexity of navigation, and such quantitative indicators as attendance site users from Ukraine and other countries. Each year all universities of III-IV accreditation levels sent questionnaires and responses must be signed by the rector. Parallel they processed data, obtained from reference books and official websites of NASU, specialized academies, information and production database "Education", reference materials of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. For universities that do not provide such data, the ratings are not determined.
The calculating of rating takes into account the following criteria: the satisfaction of graduates by the received education and ability to use it in work; opinion of young professionals (graduates) as to the opportunities to get demanded education at university where they studied, including aspects such as assessment of practical relevance of training, satisfaction of university support in job placement, work experience graduates, satisfaction and evaluation of their own university and university which gives the best training in general; employers’ evaluation of quality of education in Ukrainian universities; employers’ determination of Ukrainian universities that give graduates the best preparation for work in their company; experts’ evaluation of the quality of education in Ukrainian universities and definition of the best Ukrainian universities; collaboration among universities and companies, employers (CR4); the number of companies, employers and experts who collaborate with universities.
The final rating score is calculated as the sum of scores received for each criterion of university’s ranking. Outlining the rating 2012, Les Linovetska informed that KrNU not only retained their positions, but also went one step higher - from 56 to 55 position. It indicates the dynamics of continuous development and improvement of the university.