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Facing The Future Of Engineering Education In Russia: The Cost Of Change

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.282.1 - 3.282.12

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Paper Authors

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Robert A. Hall

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Mark W. McK. Bannatyne

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Session 3260

Facing The Future of Engineering Education In Russia: The Cost of Change

Dr. Mark W. McK. Bannatyne, Professor Robert A. Hall Purdue University/State Dept. of Corrections, New Hampshire


Change, more often than not, is a painful thing. The citizens of Russia have within the last 10 years had their share of pain; the only life that most Russians have ever known has been violently stripped away and slowly replaced with an uncertain future. The social structure proselyted for over 75 years by a centralized Soviet government was gone literally overnight and the problems left in its wake could not be overcome in a day regardless of what promises a better economical system and social prosperity might offer.

Indeed, there will continue to be a great price to pay for this change. Lessons and practices of the past will have to be overcome. Mind sets established over generations will have to first be persuaded to flex and then change. Past and present experiences will have to be re-examined and re-evaluated, and a willingness to listen to outside sources of expertise have to be patiently sought and requested. These are hard pills for most Russians to swallow. However, there will be an even greater consideration in all of this change. During these years of transition Russia will also face a problem which most fledgling democracies face - a generation of disenchanted youth. The future hopes of this nation, in the midst of all its anxiety, have been thrust upon the young people, for they are the ones who have, perhaps by fate, been assigned to live through it.

The task before the young is a formidable one. As reported in the International Labor Review (1994):

First, the sheer size of its [Russia s] population and economy raises training and skill-related issues of unparalleled proportions; second, the political and economic reforms implemented in the final years of perestroika and in the aftermath of the disintegration of the USSR already call for new skills on a huge scale and for a radically different approach to the role of education and training in society; and, third, has undertaken a comprehensive overhaul of its educational and vocational training systems...the government has launched an in-depth reform of the country’s educational system to lay the foundations for the acquisition of tomorrow s skills and help students...But, the magnitude of the task at hand and the country s present economic chaos, the pace of actual change...are bound to be slow. (p. 265)

While Russian legislators view the changes needed in education as a means to solve much of the

Hall, R. A., & Bannatyne, M. W. M. (1998, June), Facing The Future Of Engineering Education In Russia: The Cost Of Change Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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