|The Ministers of Education of the member-states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) have reached an agreement on the decision to found a common network university on the base of the leading higher educational institutions of these countries in 2009, the Head of the Ministry of Science of the Russian Federation Andrei Fursenko told the media Thursday. |
The SCO currently includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan hold the statuses of observers.
"I think the document on the establishment of the SCO university could be signed at the level of the ministries of member-states, the group of universities to participate in the project, and the master's programmes and other professional development programmes could be agreed on by the end of 2009," Fursenko said at the second meeting of the Ministers of Education of the SCO member-states.
He explained that the proposed university would not be located in any particular one place, but would function as a network of the already existing universities in the countries of the SCO, RIA Novosti reported.
Fursenko noted that the four areas (courses) to be targeted by the newly established university would include regional studies, ecology, IT-technology and energy. The Russian Science Minister said the parties did not dismiss the possibility that another area – nano-technology could be added to these fields.
The main languages of instruction at the universities will be Russian and Chinese, as well as the state language of the country in which the university is located.
Fursenko noted that the students who graduate from the SCO University will be given an opportunity to continue their education in foreign universities starting from any semester.
"Students will have to spend at least 30% of their study time in the universities of the partner-countries," he added.
Student enrollment will be based on mutually agreed quotas along the line of the SCO university. The quotas will generally correspond to the proportion contributed by a particular SCO member-state to the budget of the university and will be determined by the member-countries on annual basis.
The graduates will be awarded the diplomas of the university in which they started their education or completed at least 60% of the study time, and a certificate of the SCO University. It is envisaged that in the future the graduates would be awarded a special diploma of the University of the SCO.
"The university is created to prepare the specialists for the fast growing economies of our countries," the minister emphasized.
He also informed that according to the plans by the end of 2010 the parties will have agreed on the normative base for the issuance of documents on the establishment of the University of the SCO, the launch of study, management and administrative structures of the universities, and agreed on the deadlines and fields of study of the students.
"It is especially important to keep in mind the launch of the doctor's degree programs to prepare the staff of the highest qualifications," he added.
By 2012 it is planned to launch the Bachelor's and Master's programmes, thereby completing the establishment of the full-scale university, Fursenko said.
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