The promptly launched project of the Ministry of Defense of Russia for scientific companies drew public attention to the problem of the quality of the contingent of servicemen of the modern Russian army. The question of who today serves in the Armed Forces, what knowledge and competencies of the soldiers and officers corps has gone beyond the discussions of military professionals, it is discussed by specialists in various fields. Today, on the subject of the Red Star, Olga KASHIRINA, the secretary general of the Russian Union of Rectors, is thinking about this topic.
Today, it is an axiom for everyone that modern war is not so much the confrontation of steel as the competition of high technologies. Understanding this, as early as 2006, during its VIII congress, the Union of Rectors began a consistent movement to restore ties between higher education and industry that had been destroyed in the post-Soviet period, implying that one of the priority consumers of unique personnel and high technologies should be defense and security.
The system agreements with the Russian Engineering Union and the partnership with the League of Defense Enterprises made it possible from the very beginning to carry out this work, clearly recognizing the real needs and prospects of our defense industry. As an initiative, the RSR proposed forming direct links between university research teams and enterprises of the Engineering Union, lobbied for the engineering and technical component of the schoolchildren’s Olympiad system, and suggested forming an OPK personnel reserve from among the best olympiadists, including through vocational guidance programs.
The university environment, being very sensitive and dynamic, took it as one of its “basic settings” - representatives of the high-tech industry became almost full members of the regional councils of rectors, which made it possible to form highly productive models of bilateral interaction. Today, the basic departments of enterprises in universities, specialized Olympiads in the defense industry, joint work in small innovative enterprises have become a reality.
At the same time, this is a local experience of effective communication between higher education and the army, both in terms of content and in terms of territorial coverage. The task is much broader: we should form a system of training universities for the defense and security sector, create flexible mechanisms for bilateral scientific and technical cooperation. It is a systematic approach, in which scientific companies will be inscribed as an important link, will make this idea effective, will allow to attract educated and ambitious youth to the Armed Forces.
In our stories there was no period when universities were removed from the tasks of protecting the Fatherland - they always walked in the wake of the strategic tasks of the state. The essential relationship between the defense industry and higher education was at the same time a powerful engine of university science. Historically, through the training of representatives of the military class, it embodied the personnel succession of generations of army intellectuals: the archives of Moscow University show that by 1764, the proportion of children of servicemen among students reached 52 percent!
In the Crimean campaign 1853 – 1856, military training became mandatory for all students; universities gave the right to receive regular and extraordinary military ranks, motivating students to continue the military career of their fathers.
Today, it seems, there is a gap between the army and higher education, which is expressed in an acute shortage of institutions of interaction and the absence of an agreed agenda for common action.
University military centers as a basis for integration
In the USSR, the role of a system recruiter for talented specialists for the army was played by military departments. They fit well into the educational process, raised the prestige of universities, gave good skills to graduates for future work. Up to 1957, they were in each university, by 1990, military training was carried out in 86 percent of universities, at the moment their coverage is about 15 percent of state universities. Today, in accordance with the order of the Government of the Russian Federation 2008, the number 275 of the order of 40 percent of the military departments (39) is concentrated in the Central Federal District. They are practically absent in the Urals, they are completely absent in the North Caucasus.
In recent years, the faculties of military training, military departments and military centers in civilian universities have actually dropped out of the general education system. In my opinion, their leadership was weakened by the military authorities, and today they are in many ways not in line with the development trends of the Armed Forces. But it is important to remember that they have repeatedly proved their effectiveness and retained a large promising resource. So, the question of the revival of high school military departments today is increasingly recognized as necessary.
But in order for them to become the basis of university-defense cooperation, it should be recognized that the institute of military departments requires a fundamental reform update: their territorial network should change, their content orientation and infrastructure should be adjusted to meet the demands of time.
Geographically, the number of military departments should be expanded with an emphasis on uniform distribution in the regions. This is especially true for border areas. The councils of rectors of the Republic of Dagestan, the Altai Territory and the Far Eastern Federal District consider these departments to be an important factor not only in training but also in retaining qualified specialists in their border regions. For example, a regional military department of the Khabarovsk Territory could be created at Pacific State University, designed to combine the tasks of professional training and scientific work of students with the defense specifics of the region.
In terms of content, it is obvious that the army is expecting from university students not only the skills of drill, but also the intellectual potential, aimed at the development of high-tech Armed Forces. And this means that the most important issue on the agenda is the issue of military content. Together with the Ministry of Defense, we should analyze the priorities for the modernization of the military training system. It is time to revise the list of so-called dual-use specialties - civil and defense at the same time. This list is to be updated by coordinating the demands of the army and the defense industry with the structure of training in universities. The next important step is the transition from the historically determined linear model of military education in universities to a significantly more flexible, modular approach in working with different categories of students - bachelors and masters.
Our education system is very heterogeneous in terms of departmental affiliation - universities are subordinate to almost 20 ministries and departments. In this situation, it is important to create a mechanism leveling the risks of disunity. The creation of university military centers of inter-regional and inter-sectoral directions is a priority - they will become integrators of common efforts in the interests of defense and security from the point of view of both industries and territories.
The system of military departments will work for the benefit of the army and the defense industry only in the case of a deep modernization of the infrastructure and equipment of modern military equipment. Agree that for any student, the presence of flight simulators on MiGs or submarine trips at a military department is a strong motive and interest. Technical re-equipment should be carried out in accordance with the priorities of the world scientific and technological development and the country's defense strategy.
The equipment of military departments with modern equipment is very expensive, and universities should not solve this issue alone, but with the system support of the state. In this regard, I consider a very promising initiative of the team of the Siberian State Technological University about the need to establish a special state program.
Is the community ready?
The Union of Rectors held a broad discussion of the issue of military education in civilian universities. The dominant views of the councils of rectors, industry university associations and university teams is a high interest and a great desire to increase their activities in the interests of defense and security. Moreover, the intention of each university is based on a clear understanding of its subject niche in the general system of training professionals for the army and the defense industry. Many higher education institutions fairly consider their location in the territories with developed defense industry clusters as the potential of a powerful cumulative effect that can be mutually beneficial to high school and defense industry.
Volgograd State Technical University: "The experience of cooperation of VolgGTU with the 4th State Central Inter-Service Range of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the Prudboy Combined Arms Range, the enterprises of the OPK PO Barricades and CDB Titan, allows training military specialists for motorized rifle tank troops, engineering and technical personnel of divisions of tactical and operational-tactical missiles, specialists in measuring and information systems. "
Tula State University: “We are requesting the creation of a military department for the training of specialists with knowledge and competencies in the operation of modern military equipment of the near tactical zone.”
Don State Technical University: “We ask you to consider the creation of an interuniversity military training center on the basis of the liquidated Rostov Military Institute of Rocket Forces in Rostov-on-Don”.
Astrakhan State University: “We, cooperating with the testing ground” Kapustin Yar, offer to consider ASU as a platform for training specialists in the field of IT technologies, information security, robotics, cartography, electronics and nanoelectronics, technology of new materials ”.
Moscow State Institute of Tourism Industry named after Yu.A. Senkevich. "We are ready to organize high-quality training of specialists in the field of military translation in 23 foreign languages."
Tver State University. The natural sciences and physics and mathematics faculties could become the nucleus at the opening of our military department. ”
Novgorod State University named after Yaroslav the Wise. “We are petitioning to support the opening of a military department for the training of military specialists of radio electronic, automotive and medical profiles on the basis of our university.”
Buryat State University. "We have ample opportunities for training commanders of motorized rifle platoons for motorized rifle units and subunits."
Kazan State Energy University: "The university has the opportunity to train specialists for mobile power plants for the Armed Forces."
A large number of proposals came from universities that have significant experience in contacts with the army, unfortunately, stopped in the process of reform.
Among them are Tula State University, Belgorod Technological University named after Shukhov, Kuzbass Technical and Siberian Industrial Universities, Moscow State University of Civil Engineering, Siberian State Geodetic Academy, St. Petersburg State University of Civil aviation, State Medical Academy of North Ossetia - Alania and many other universities.
Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University named after R.Е. Alekseeva: "We propose to consider the issue of resuming the work of previously existing military departments in technical universities."
Samara State Agricultural Academy: "We hope for the revival of military departments in universities."
Kostroma State Technological University: "We are requesting inclusion in the list of universities for the resumption of the work of military departments."
Nizhny Novgorod State University named after Lobachevsky insists on "restoring the work of military departments in universities with successful experience in organizing their work in engineering and science-intensive specialties" as a matter of priority.
Precedents are multiplying when the decision to rebuild a military department has already been approved by a decision of academic councils of universities, for example, at Tambov State Technical University. Support for these decisions is the overall responsibility of defense and education managers.
A similar position on the need to revive the new quality of the system of military departments is occupied by universities of various levels and specialization. Among them are federal universities (Siberian, Kazan, North-Eastern Ammosov), classical (Penza, South Ural, Bashkir Novgorod state universities), capital (MEPI, Higher School of Economics, Energy and Construction University, Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography ), regional - from Khabarovsk to Ukhta.
The intention to work in the field of defense and security announced not only technical universities, but also a wide range of industry. Among them are medical, transport, construction, forestry, agricultural, pedagogical, humanitarian. Obviously, the general understanding that the future development of defense technologies lies on an interdisciplinary level, on the combination of technology, biology and psychology in their broad sense.
Stavropol State Medical University: "We consider it expedient to resume military training in medical schools as a condition for maintaining the mobilization resource of the country."
Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry named after A.I. Evdokimova: “It is important that medical personnel be recruited from the ranks of citizens who dream of connecting their whole lives with medicine.”
Ural State Forestry University: "The military department of our university has all the opportunities to train specialists in the field of motor transport."
University science for the army and the defense industry
Universities in modern Russia are dynamic research facilities. In recent years, with the support of the state, the research infrastructure of universities has been radically updated, young people are coming to science, who think in terms of global trends in scientific and technological progress. Not to use these opportunities in the interests of the Armed Forces and the DIC would be a mistake. It is necessary to seriously expand orders for high schools for military scientific developments. It can be modern software and engineering solutions in the field of communications, robotics, new materials and, of course, bio- and cognitive technologies.
In this direction there are great opportunities for career guidance work of military departments. Students, through the inclusion of specific intellectual projects in defense and security, will gain invaluable experience and, after graduating from the university, will come to the defense sector as motivated young professionals.
I am convinced that small innovative enterprises have great opportunities for cooperation of universities with defense and security institutions in the scientific and technical field. Creating them together, attracting students to specific projects, at the same time, issues of personnel and technology can be solved.
Academic aspect of alternative service
The student has enormous intellectual potential, and it would be wrong not to use it in the development of alternative service. Alternative service is meaningless when a student programmer washes floors. His place in the defense enterprises, and he must work in his specialty. The flexibility of modern military education lies in this.
Now we have, unfortunately, a lot of draft dodgers. I am sure that many of them would have revised their civil position in relation to military service if they were offered a job in a military enterprise or in the army in their specialty.
For example, the Council of Rectors of the Republic of Tatarstan put forward the initiative to perform alternative service in the field of IT-technologies based on the innovative satellite city of Kazan, Innopolis. The Russian defense ministry should consider placing its specialized units in such technology parks and innovation zones, as well as defense enterprises.
Recall the Great Patriotic War. Then, in the 1941 year, engineers, rushing to the front, were sent to the rear of the military factories in the form of an order. The role of the military engineer in Victory is unprecedented. And today it is important to remember and continue to use this experience.
The implementation of the Defense Ministry’s initiatives to attract qualified personnel to the army, as a rule, is accompanied by skeptics ’reasoning that, say, these initiatives will not lead to the result that the army and security issues are not interesting for today's youth. I consider such pessimism groundless.
Today, a highly motivated generation is coming into the arena of adult conscious life, which intuitively craves civil realization. This generation is sensitive to our history, is proud of our victories and realizes that they have been achieved by a great army of a great country.
I say this with confidence, because the work of the rector's union is closely connected with youth projects. The start of 2013 of the Russian Union of Rectors was entirely connected with the memory of the great victory of our people in the Battle of Stalingrad, whose 70 anniversary was celebrated on February 2.
Higher education institutions dedicated to this date piercing events that connected in one burst of pride and pain for the battle on the Volga most diverse generations of our people and the most remote corners of our Fatherland.
A sincere response among students, professors and university professors received a competition of student videos “My Stalingrad”, which was held as part of the multimedia student festival “Stalingrad 3.0”. The responsibility with which students of universities in the Far East, Siberia, the Caucasus and the South of Russia, the Urals, and the central regions approached the topic of Stalingrad is striking to the depths of the soul. Rollers, being different in terms of production, one and all contain a tangible perception of the modern young man of those historical events. The authors of the works posed questions about whether they deserve the Victory, whether they have the ability to become successors to the heroes.
The theme of Stalingrad for our students has become a peculiar point of civic self-identification. I believe that these issues in themselves testify to the highest potential of the spirit of our youth, the university community. This proves that the university at all times - and today is no exception - is a strong culture and values of our society. This is not idle rhetoric, but conviction.
Therefore, the interaction between higher education, the army and the defense industrial complex has the most optimistic prospects. But this requires systemic solutions. It is important to combine real initiatives that correspond to the time and tasks of the state. This is the only way to rely not on a local result, but on a cumulative effect. For universities, serving the interests of the Fatherland is not just a mission, but a necessity and a way of being. Therefore, today universities are open to dialogue.