Meeting on the situation in the educational system in the context of the spread of coronavirus infection

May 21, 2020 President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin held a video conference meeting on the situation in the education system in the context of the spread of a new coronavirus infection. Representatives of the leadership of the Government and the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation, Minister of Education of the Russian Federation S.S. took part in it. Kravtsov, Minister of Science and Higher Education V.N. Falkov, Rector of Moscow State University named after MV Lomonosov, President of the Russian Union of Rectors V. A. Sadovnichy, rector of St. Petersburg University N.M. Kropachev, Head of Rospotrebnadzor A.Yu. Popova, heads of executive authorities of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, including Moscow Mayor S.S. Sobyanin.

In his opening remarks, the head of state noted that the end of the current school year was difficult. Nevertheless, according to the President, the Russian education system, both secondary and higher schools, have adequately passed these tests. V.V. Putin thanked schoolchildren and students, teachers, parents for their patience and mutual support, civic engagement, and spoke about the decisions taken to adapt the existing mechanisms for assessing knowledge to the conditions of the spread of coronavirus infection. Representatives of the leadership of the national education system in response informed the head of state about measures taken to ensure the availability and quality of the educational process in a remote format, to reliably guarantee the full realization of the right to education.

V.A. Sadovnichy, speaking on behalf of the rector’s corps, noted that since the beginning of March, work has been organized in all universities of the country to transfer the educational process to a remote format, eight online meetings of rectors have been held with the participation of the leadership of the relevant ministry, and measures have been developed and implemented to dampen social the economic consequences of the pandemic; the employment of students at universities; the coordination of the volunteer movement, especially the work of medical students.

V.A. Sadovnichy emphasized that in virtually a few days the entire system of higher education was able to be transferred to a completely different mode of operation. All educational processes have been digitized; in a few weeks, students will leave for the summer holidays. A survey of teachers conducted by the Russian Union of Rectors also testifies to the fact that, on the whole, the professorship corporation has adapted quite successfully to the new working conditions. Viktor Antonovich also informed the meeting about the work being carried out by the RSR on organizing the final stages of the olympiad movement, voiced the initiative to hold Alumni Day online throughout the country, so that graduates in 2020 worthily mark the completion of studies at universities as an important stage in their biography.

The president of the Russian Union of Rectors drew the attention of the meeting participants to the fact that now many countries have taken the path of substantially easing the rules for admission to their universities. To solve the task set by the president to double the number of foreign students in Russian universities, to successfully compete with foreign universities, Academician Sadovnichy suggested accepting foreign applicants for training in the portfolio system, taking into account the previously shown educational and scientific activity. In addition, according to Viktor Antonovich, students of domestic universities could form the basis of volunteer teams that can work in the summer vacation system of schoolchildren and must be actively involved in such work, at a new stage reviving the good traditions of the past,

At the end of his speech, the rector of Moscow State University emphasized that the entire rector’s corps is set to begin the new academic year in the country’s universities on September 1.