At the present stage the students of higher professional economic tertiary education get background knowledge in various areas of economic sciences, nevertheless, the disruption between the theoretical knowledge acquired in the process of training and the demands of modern Russian economics being now in need for new researches and developments is, perhaps, much greater, than before.
There are many samples about it. So, in the course of microeconomics of any economist having experience of work at a real enterprise, the use of one-commodity model bewilders. But in the real market only multi-commodity firms act practically. Any small enterprise performs different kinds of work and services. And any tiniest booth sells tens types of merchandise. But there can be more than a hundred of such commodities at big enterprises. And the main problem facing the administration consists usually in the choice of the right assortment. The full time students having no practical experience of work and studying the course of microeconomics in a HEI simply don´t know what managers really concern themselves in the firm. Problems rise to the surface much later, after graduating from the HEI. Having come to the working place the former student finds out that, in fact, Economics is hardly helpful to anybody in the form it was taught.
Several more examples are given here. On the pages of a standard theory textbook there never appears such a concept as "quality", important for providing the firm´s working life. Doesn´t it deserve a theoretical treatment? Things are not better with the project thinking. The theory presentment is composed as if the firm turns out one and the same products continuously and unlimitedly long. The expert is, first of all, asked for the solutions concerning business-projects, i.e. single, time-limited tasks a distinct beginning and end and almost always being in need for specification in the course of realization. And the presentment of the theoretical material on price formation is composed as if the firm knows its production demand curve in and out. Besides, in some textbooks of the mean level everything is limited by this very curve, that is still possible to be taken for a simple model of the process. But in the "advanced" editions the student is famously taught to operate with the second differential coefficients, leaving not even a hint to how the analytic expression of the corresponding functions was got. The learner is made solve the problems uneasy even in their mathematical form with the help of these methods. It is obviously supposed that it will help him in the practical management of the firm. But in fact the demand curve is unknown to the manager. More over, it is so changeable, that its any mathematical expression can be considered only as its evaluation with a certain share of probability.
The poignancy of the briefly outlined problem of the theory and practice disruption in the educational process sharply grows by the virtue of the international commitments accepted by our country. Within the framework of the Bologna Agreement already signed by Russia there placed a greater importance on the economic theory as a whole, than within present-day Russian educational programs, while training bachelor´s degree holders on economic directions.
The Economics study deepening can consist only in the transfer to the theory teaching focused on practice. This is an uneasy problem and there are difficulties here.
As it is known, new theories in the economic science have usually a high degree of the apparatus formalization, that gives rise to revolutions from time to time. The result of this is the refusal of a part of scientists to go on rounding out the apparatus details and the effort to revise the fundamental principles instead of it. The end of one of such revolutions - the neoinstitutionalistic outbreak of the neoclassics theoretic paradigm - we are outliving now. To change the epoch of "Storm and Stress" there comes a new era of absolutely necessary perfection of the apparatus - the neoinstitutionalism grows together with neoclassic. For the science having such a complex subject to study as that one fallen to the lot of the economic theory, the "round-trip" way of development is apparently unavoidable.
The perfect competition model - is a classical sample. The unrealistic model can fairly prove to be extremely creative and heuristic one just owing to its informality (as it turned out to be in fact in the perfect competition model case). And the "revolt" against its admissions doesn´t throw the science back, but pushes it forward taking into account the model-made data.
But the expert, as distinct from the theorist, cannot use the unrealistic model "for a time". The demand for the knowledge reality is set much more strictly for him, than for the theorist. He should be adequate to the situation always, every moment of time, here and now, no matter how far could the theorists be from the purely scientific solution of the corresponding problems.
It is obvious that a more realistic course will obligatory prove to be a more complex one. Famous Joan Robinson, the author of the oligopoly theory, once said that economic models could be either simple or realistic. Thus, the use of unrealistic models in the Russian economy should give way to a scientifically grounded approach to the construction of realistic models of economic processes. Here, however, it is necessary to admit that a deep insight into the essence of economic processes is not always achieved due to intense mathematization. The fact that while the "pure" economics was perfecting the mathematical apparatus of the consumer behavior theory, the economic science focused on practice created the foundations of marketing, can serve an example to it. And marketing studied the same consumer behavior, but did it absolutely differently, almost without resting on the concept of marginal utility, but exactly like the firms needed it in their everyday activities.
Thus, the process of training qualified experts will need not only the creation of new textbooks, teachers´ retraining, but also a more active involvement of students into research-and-development work in the area of economic processes study, as the approximation of the existing theoretical models to the reality of the present-day economy not always can prove to be well-taken. For the Russian economy there can appear the necessity to create new models.
The research-and-development work at the Finance Academy under the Government of Russian Federation is an integral part of the educational process, the most important factor of strengthening intelligent potential, the ground for a permanent renovation of the methodological support. The quality of research work at the Finance Academy is assured, first of all, by a high level of the faculty professionalism, and also due to the creation of conditions for highly effective research work.
The research work of the Finance Academy students (RWS) is organized, first of all, at the departments with active organizational participation of the Students´ Scientific Society and RWS section of the Research Coordination Administration. All together at the Departments of the Academy the work of more than 50 of hobby, task groups and debating-societies is organized. The most large-scale and already traditional ones are the students´ scientific activities held within the framework of the annual "Science Week", the International Students´ Scientific Conference. The participation of the students in the scientific activities outside the Academy is characterized by a high activity. In 2007 the Academy students took part in 32 various scientific actions and won thereat more than 80 different diplomas and grateful letters.
However, not all the students (especially those of junior and middle courses) manifest their wish to take part in scientific actions held by the Academy. In this case the top role in the process of attracting students to research work, in the author´s opinion, belongs to the teacher running lectures and practical trainings with the students. It is the very teacher to be in a close contact with the students who can form a stable interest to research work, which is so necessary for a highly qualified specialist.
In the current contest the capacity to study, creativity and thinking flexibility of experts are as important as storage of knowledge. The study at a HEI takes five-six years. How business wants will change during this time, even the business itself doesn´t know; that is why one of the concerns of the teacher is to prepare mobile experts with encyclopedic knowledge, to provide them with skills and expertise sufficient to adapt to new labour market demands. HEIs should become the initiators of new activity kinds, the basis for the integration of knowledge into practice, the ground for permanent contacts of the academic and business environments´ representatives without reducing the academic training and research work level. In the new generation HEIs the future specialists obtain support from their entrepreneurial initiatives and get experience of their own business-projects management in the course of study. The package of disciplines on a particular speciality is supplemented by a sound training in the area of information technologies and knowledge from linked industries. A wide range of training is also necessary for interdisciplinary research and is profitable for graduates as every once in a while there is experts´ overproduction in various economy sectors.
The author of the given article is the research manager of the academic and research Simulation Modeling seminar working at the Department of "Mathematical modeling of economic processes" at the Finance Academy under the Government of Russian Federation. Students discuss the most topical subjects of the Russian economy during panel sessions of the given seminar. The students´ best reports are published in collections of scientific papers. With the reports approved at the seminar the students take part in scientific actions outside the Academy. And the most active participants of the seminar get the priority right to choose the training place and the following employment.
The work was submitted to international scientific conference «Prospects for the development of university science», Dagomys (Sochi), 20-23 September 2008. Came to the editorial office on 18.07.2008.