Liberalization of education discussed at NUST MISIS

NUST MISiS hosted the meeting of Philip G. Altbach, member of the International Council under the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, with the university`s administration to discuss liberalization of higher education.

During the lecture, the scientist spoke about the recent revival of liberal education traditions. These traditions are based on the necessity of teaching undergraduates the entire spectrum of key academic disciplines at the basic university level and developing their critical thinking and analytical skills. According to Philip G. Altbach, it is necessary to include courses on global studies, contemporary political science and cultural studies in curricula of technical universities.

The lecture was also focused on the different implementation traditions of liberal arts worldwide and an analysis of reasons for the concept’s increasing relevance in contemprorary higher education around the globe.

“It is important to remember that thinking outside the box is an essential skill not only for undergraduates who specialize in liberal arts, but also for undergraduates at technical universities. I was pleasantly surprised that the NUST MISiS administration had showed its interest in liberalization of higher education system. This, in turn, points out the changes that are taking place in the approach to higher education in Russia as a whole”, said

Philip G. Altbach believes that introduction of liberal values into the higher education system contributes to the improvement of higher education quality and thereby increases competitiveness of universities. Liberalization of education also helps to improve the graduates’ knowledge level and expand its range. It promotes making them not only competent in their narrow field of specialization, but also in other fields that are urgently important in the modern world. Graduates of the universities that have implemented liberal values in their educational system will navigate the modern world better and will be in high demand by employers.

“We strive to ensure that each university graduate could compete on the global labour market and be in demand by leading Russian and international companies. It is not enough to be just a qualified specialist to achieve this. That is why NUST MISiS’s curriculum includes additional courses that help to develop public speaking skills and learn how to work in a team. It also promotes developing other skills that are necessary for professionals”, noticed Alevtina Chernikova, Rector of NUST MISiS.

Philip G. Altbach is the founder of the Center for International Higher Education in Boston College, the senior researcher at Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the member of the Competitiveness Enhancement Project of the Leading Russian Universities among the Global Research and Education Centers.