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07.08.2010

Higher Education places in 2010: lack of information, new corrupt schemes

   

On Friday all those applying to institutes could see the lists of those accepted. Representatives of the Government and Committee on Education say that the process this year was successful and that problems with a large number of people entitled to concessionary treatment and corrupt schemes were overcome. Independent experts on the other hand talk of numerous violations.

The number of applications at 37 million was slightly down on last year since now each person can apply to a maximum of 5 institutes.

The Head of the Centre for Education Monitoring, Pavlo Polyansky says that the process was successful and that on the whole there were no excesses and that the Ministry managed to prevent leaks of the exam tasks. He says that the complaints were largely that a person received a lower score than they expected, but that this is life.

At the same time he speaks of attempts by some institutes to turn down some of the applicants through various means and create new corrupt schemes for entry. One of such schemes was to recognize applicants as winners of school olympiada [competitions – meaning they don’t have to compete for places – translator) where the kids had not even taken part, but have influential parents. However they usually found lawful means, he says, by having additional interviews or tests, often in non-profile disciplines (knowledge of law for people trying to get into an agricultural college)

Maxim Lutsky, member of the Parliamentary Committee on Education says that the possibilities for creating dishonest conditions were brought to a minimum, with all based on ZNO [independent external examination] and school leaving certificates.

However Coordinator of the Civic Network OPORA, Olha Aivazovska believes that the authorities themselves created the conditions for chaos and abuse. Contributing factors were the dismissals of several rectors just before the beginning of the process, the change of rules for getting in and the appearance of new categories of applicants who didn’t need ZNO.

She says that they found situations where the commissions provided information about people who had not submitted documents. Or they put ticks about participation in Olympiada or other concessions which the people were not entitled to, or institutes didn’t post their lists, making it possible for people whose marks had been lower to get in.

Other specialists also speak of systematic infringements, for example, member of the Parliamentary Committee on Education Oles Doniy, who believes that the system created does not ensure equal access to education. Independent monitoring showed that in many institutes there had been hundreds of cases where people jumped the queue, or where a person was scheduled different interviews at one and the same time.  However they say it will only be possible to fully assess the situation in five days when the process of taking documents from those who got onto the lists is completed.

From a report at   http://www.radiosvoboda.org/content/article/2120923.html

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