Today, on August 19, the Senate Committee on Science, Education and Health held a meeting for discussing problems in higher education. Khushnudbek Khudoyberdiyev, a member of the Republican Council for Higher Education, spoke about a number of issues in the system and their causes.
“The system that has existed for so many years has plunged us into a swamp. It will be hard for us to get out of it, as this system did not work for decades and set us 20 or 30 years back. We still have a long way to go to reach the level of the developed countries.
The state has long opposed private higher education. They say the government should control everything, including education. Private higher education was perceived as an enemy. The government did not manage to take it under control, nor did it abandon fixed fees or allowed entrepreneurs to enter this sphere.
Besides, we all know how the entrance exams are organized. Schools are not good at all. Even if they continued their education in Cambridge, only 30 percent of them would be good specialists. What do we do now?
Because of the pandemic, a lot of things have accelerated. No cowards should manage the sphere of education. Such people should not have any positions. They say “higher education is not ready, students are not ready, teachers are not ready”, but if we spend more time in fear, we lag behind the rest of the world. For a long time, online learning and distance learning has been a target of debate. They said we are not ready, and what happened eventually? We anyway had to make a transition to online education. We received 1.5 million applications for higher education this year!
If we had started distance education a little earlier, 5-10 universities would have been able to provide basic quality education. We did not allow it at all. It started from scratch. As a result, students remained unhappy with the quality of their education,” he said at the meeting.
He stressed that universities should publish expenditure reports openly so that students had no room for questions and objections.
“Further, it is necessary to ensure financial transparency. Tuition fees cover 68 percent of the cost of education. We have heard that number a lot, but where did they have it? This is not the case in all higher educational institutions, since 68 percent is the average index and in some cases, the figure may be 30 percent or 90 percent. But rectors never publish financial statements of their university. Why is there no financial transparency?
The Ministry alone is responsible for more than 100 institutions. It concludes all the data and gives us one number, which only increases the number of questions. I think every rector should talk to his students. These are taxpayers’ money, students’ money, not the rector’s.
Each rector has to announce the expenditures of the university they head. Then people will be satisfied, and the protest will end. Only then we can discuss the quality of education.
This is not a secondary request. We have to demand. We demand you to publish your reports openly and transparently. Let us identify problems and on their basis define the strategies,” Khushnudbek Khudoyberdiyev concludes.