Modernization of higher education structure in Ukraine in the context of European standards system requirements

Abstract. The article gives an overview of some aspects of modernization of Ukrainian structure of higher education. It is stated, that modernization is changing in the context of the requirements of the European system standards. It facilitates the development of national cultural values, democracy and humanism as the major factors of civil society functioning.

Now educational system of Ukraine takes an important period of development. For the first time the national doctrine regulated a priority of education in the state policy of the country, recognizing its responsibilities and interests of the state. As one of the components of a vocational school reform there is the task of integration of Ukrainian education into the world educational system taking into account global trends.

Education today is not only and not so much the information broadcast, not only an appeal to the intellect, but an appeal to the senses, to the individual unique world of a person, his or her outlook. The purpose of education is the full development of the person as an individual and the highest values of the society, the development of his/her talents and mental and physical abilities, education of high moral character, the formation of citizens who are able to realize an informed public option, enrichment of intellectual, creative, cultural potential of the nation, increasing its educational level, preparation for the national economy of qualified professionals. [1]

It is sad to note the fact that during the years of independence Ukraine has not yet managed to overcome the socio-economic crisis, which is clearly manifested in the higher education system. Education Reforms are futile and not coordinated, do not solve the immediate problems, such as: reduction of the quality of education, the gap of information links, the sharp devaluation of the status of teaching and research activities, the residual principle of financing education, outdated material and technical base of high school, the existence of educational institutions of various forms of property, inadequate pensions and social protection of teachers and students, the loss of teachers.

The most acceptable way of reforming the Ukrainian higher school today is modernization according European model. Ukraine’s accession to the Bologna Process in 2005 meant for the national vocational school principal election of further development in the European direction. An important factor that determined this way was the prospect of equal cooperation and mutual adjustment of all European educational systems, the desire for unity while preserving the uniqueness of each of them.

This approach gives our country the opportunity not only to enter the European higher education system, but also to contribute to the enrichment of the European cultural and educational space, to demonstrate their strong position in the formation. The program of modernization of national vocational training requires the use of advanced and pedagogically effective achievements that can be used in the Ukrainian education. The implementation of priorities for the modernization of vocational education structure in Ukraine is extremely important for further development.

The work of specialist of any specialty focuses on a particular object of the activity and is outlined in the performance of production functions. It is associated with a particular operation system and implemented by means of a system of this activity.

Amid permanent scientific and technological revolution the life cycle of modern technology becomes smaller than the period of professional activity of a specialist. Preparation of an expert is the main objective of the system of higher education, it is expedient to organize the educational process so as to achieve all-round development of the personality. The means of identity formation are educational technologies, the activity product is the identity of higher education graduates, who should not only be competent in the professional field, but also to have an active life position, a high level of public awareness, ability to demonstrate a professional approach to solving any life problem.

It does not require any proof of the fact that all the actions for the modernization of higher education will have a positive effect if they stay in the legal field. The current legal framework, in particular, The Law of Ukraine “On Higher Education” fully takes into account the needs of higher education, the economy and society that accelerate educational reforms. The modernization of structure of Ukrainian higher education is changing in the context of the requirements of the European system standards that facilitate the development of national cultural values, democracy and humanism as the major factors of civil society functioning.

In such circumstances, higher professional school of Ukraine which implements a fundamental, general cultural and practical training plays a special role. Principles of education reform set out in the Bologna Declaration are advisory in nature. Proposed specific structural limits at the same time pointed out the potential of free interpretation of the provisions and implementation of the results. Speed and results will vary in different countries depending on how traditional educational structures and practices differ from European principles [2].

Bologna documents reflect the call for cooperation, each country agreed to comply with European objectives, choosing the direction of national reforms, while avoiding harmonization of educational systems. A number of trends in the modernization of the national vocational training are similar to the prospects of vocational education in Europe: the mechanisms for licensing and accreditation of educational institutions, the introduction of a three-level model of higher education (Bachelor, Master, Doctorate), introduction of the European Credit Transfer System (the ECTS), the quality of education, the use of advanced information technology, remote vocational training [4].

Borrowing positive experience of vocational education humanization in western Europe with its adapting to the realities of our country helps to improve the efficiency of the national training professionals, to avoid mistakes, typical for the period of its development. Studying the experience of Germany, Britain, and France in the area ofprofessional training can be very useful for Ukraine. But it is necessary to consider that these are the countries with an effective market economy, social and cultural well-developed infrastructure. In Western European countries, professional education is considered to be a natural right of young people, a necessary condition for achieving the desired social status.

Now experts are developing a cooperation strategy, that implies convergence of plans and programs, apparent attempts to create common higher educational standards to all countries of the European Union, they regularly organize conferences of rectors of universities, establish a European system of documentation and information with the use of the Internet; focus on the unification of technical and vocational education. Topical issues of development of vocational education in the European Union make up the subject of discussion at many conferences, where there is an active search for ways to improve the quality of the organization and content of education.

The communiqué of the conference of European Ministers of Education “The Bologna Process 2020 – The European space in the new decade,” noted that the sign of the European Higher Education Area should be mobility of students, young researchers and staff, it will improve the quality of programs, will allow a high level of research, strengthen academic and cultural internationalization of European higher education, as it will contribute to the personal development and employment, formation of respect for the representatives of different cultures, enhance cooperation and competition between higher education institutions [3].

In recent years, higher education infrastructure of Ukraine has not been analyzed outside the context of the support of international and donor organizations. Association of German higher education institutions (DAAD) promotes relations between German and Ukrainian universities through the exchange of students and educators. German Cultural Center Goethe-Institute offers language courses for beginners and for those who improve their knowledge of the German language at the basic, secondary and tertiary levels. French Cultural Center in Ukraine holds numerous cultural events: film festivals, drama and ballet performances, classical music concerts, art exhibitions, courses of French.

Higher Education and International Education Support Program of International Foundation “Renaissance” directs its efforts on support of qualitative changes in education, the maximum approximation of social and humanitarian education in the best international models. The main purpose of the educational projects of the International Centre for Policy Studies is to attract the public and independent experts to develop the concept of education and reform programs with Western experience. Innovation and Development Centre (IDC) disseminates situational methods of teaching in higher educational institutions of Ukraine.

Consortium for the improvement of business education in Ukraine (CEUME) plays an important role in acquiring by Ukrainian teachers all modern western teaching methods for business disciplines. Association of graduates of foreign universities promotes democratic processes, economic reforms and development of civil society in Ukraine, using their knowledge and professional training of its members.

International education and resource network (LEARN) creates international and national telecommunication projects with the support of “Renaissance” International Fund. Council for International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) develops and implements training and educational programs to assist scientists from the former Soviet Union. Delegation of the European Commission in

Kiev is actively involved into the leadership of the European Union program – TACIS – and in its implementation. The most important program in the field of education (TEMPUS) – Trans-European initiative in the field of higher education. During the decade up to 2020, it was elected to improve the mobility and diversity, providing at least 20% of those who finish the training in the countries of the European space of higher education, training or internships abroad. [3]

Existing educational programs introduced by the European institutions, focused on the development of mobility of students and teachers, curriculum development, contributing to the integration processes of formation of the common educational space. Program «ERASMUS» and «SOKRATES» generally supported by all the educational institutions of the EU countries.

Individual projects implementing the program «ERASMUS» under the auspices of the Commission of the European Union also deserve a detailed analysis.

The project «EDIT» («European Dimension in Teacher Education») aims to bring together all the efforts to develop an optimal plan for teacher education. It involves 16 schools (13 countries) for teacher training. The goal is the establishment of European standards in education. The basis of the «EDIT» consists of five components of the curriculum, designed for 16 weeks in a semester. These blocks can be implemented in various combinations on the basis of universities involved in the project. For free access to the program in Europe it is offered its multimedia options and learning via Internet in «Open Distance Learning» system [6]. The program consists of five modules.

Higher education in Ukraine is still at the stage of decentralization and autonomy, while higher education in Western European countries is based on market principles of organization and management. EU has already had established system of qualifications of different levels: educational programs have different objectives and profiles, they are balanced with each other and interconnected.

Changing the content of education requires either the presence of curricula concluded with the requirements of humanization or influence to the content of education within the state standard of higher education. Government plans and programs are basic documents regulating the content of education. To achieve the goal of humanization the programs need rethinking in the part relating to general subjects or disciplines of opposite direction of specialization within the limits outlined by the state standard.

REFERENCES

1. White Book of national education of Ukraine. – 2009.: http://refdb.ru/look/1238872.html.

2. Zinovatna O. Peculiarities of educational programs in magistracy/O.M.Zinovatna//Professor and student: terms of personal and professional growth: materials of International conference (29-30.10.2009).

3. Communique of the Meeting of European Ministers in Charge of Higher Education : Towards the European Higher Education Area : Prague Communique. Prague, May 19th 2001 [Electronic resource] / Access mode : http://www.bolonga-bergen2005.no

4. Communique of the Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Higher Education, Bergen, 19–20 May 2005 [Electronic resource]. – Access mode: http://www.bologna-bergen2005.no/050520_Bergen_Communique

5. Delmartino M. Teacher Education and the ERASMUS Programme / M. Delmartino, Y. Beenaert. Osnabrück, 1996. – 434 p.

Myroslava Chepurna, PhD, Ukraine, Cherkasy State Technological University

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