Among modern tendencies of the world´s development there is one that excels among the others. It is the dynamically growing in strength tendency of education internationalization that is manifested in: in the role of international collaboration in the sphere of delivering and exporting educational services, and also in creation of inter- and transnational institutions, organizations, centers, investment programs and funds to optimize this activities.
The Higher Education Internationalization represents an objective and dynamically developing process which steps into a new quality integration stage and is characterized by a global integration of national educational systems on the basis of maintaining original traditions.
Education Internationalization is exhorted to build a model of educational network interconnections in correspondence with the demands of socio-cultural environment. The effective projecting of educational space considering social particularity of a cross-borderland region is the most important way of optimization and development of economics and national-cultural and historical traditions of the region; value system formation that provides social and political stability of the cross-borderland region. The education, international social educational establishments and institutions oriented on the countries of our cross-borderland region is the basis of formation and strengthening the systems being formed under the influence of cross-borderland relations.
All this determines the work of a cross-borderland Higher School that is to be accompanied with the:
- integration of a "productive", social and organizational infrastructures of the given space development;
- integration of educational institutions´ activities;
- working out the ideology of the future region´s social image;
- educational market demands´ control;
- changing of scale and specialists´ training in the region.
The Higher School faces a double ambition which is characterized with social and personality levels. For the society, first of all, it is in training highly qualified specialists. Relative to a person, it is the creation of possibilities for self-realization and providing a necessary social status.
This multilevel ambition determines the following functions of the Higher School: regulation of the activities associated with delivering knowledge necessary for performing highly qualified intellectual activity; providing the possibilities of definite layers´ and communities´ reproduction; creation of conditions for assimilation of socio-cultural norms of the society by a human-being (socialization).
All the above said determines the conception of the development of ZabSHPU during the nearest ten years in the sphere of delivering educational services of the new type. The opening of a Transnational University in the Eastern Transbaikalian cross-borderland region can become such a social educational institution that will be able to promote deepening the processes of international integration.
The concept of the new educational institution supposes the creation of maximally favorable conditions for the educational services´ export expansion and the academic mobility of the students and teachers.
Zabaikalsky State Humanitarian-Pedagogical University named after Chernyshevsky N.G. has got steady suppositions and a special experience in teaching foreign students (from China, Mongolia, Turkey etc.). During the last ten years more than a hundred of students from China and Mongolia had studied at different faculties of the University on the basis of corrected curricula and got double diplomas. Under modern circumstances the realization of educational process on the conditions of creating a cross-borderland educational institution is becoming more urgent.
The main purpose of creating a new educational institution is satisfaction of the cross-borderland region´s increasing demands for highly qualified specialists; providing qualified teaching students who are getting professional training with maximal retaining of national educational systems´ peculiarities in correspondence with the demands of the world´s standards which are competitive in the labour market.
The realization of this purpose is possible with solving the following problems:
- the formation of adequate to modern level of the civilization development knowledge about the nature, human being, problems of the environment and the society of the cross-borderland region;
- the achievement of the correspondence of the students´ knowledge to the world´s level of general and professional training and culture;
- the integration of a person into the world´s and nation´s system of culture under the new conditions of existence in the conditions of a cross-borderland region, involvement into a unified historic, social and economic and cultural context;
- the development of ability of the students to a "horizontal" dialog (intercultural, interlingua, social one and etc.) in the interests of strengthening civil peace, of collaboration and development in the region.
The main activities of the University projected are:
- the organization and carrying out the educational process in the sphere of Higher Professional Education within the frame of license to have the right to perform educational activities;
- the creation of a unified evaluation system of students´ knowledge and nettings of academic disciplines;
- the elaboration of linked curricula which provide fulfilling of educational standards of both countries;
- providing getting two/double diplomas;
- the elaboration and introduction of active and intensive training methods and knowledge quality monitoring into the academic process;
- carrying out the procedure of recognition and establishment of educational documents´ (ED) equivalence for the citizens of foreign countries and also of the University ED legalization;
- the research activities on mutual agreed programs with academic and educational institutions of the countries, Academies of Sciences and Academic Communities on theoretical and applied problems;
- the creation and exploitation of informative-intellectual resource bank of scientific ideas, software support and information systems of neighboring states;
- financial and economical activities;
- the organization and performing regional and international exhibitions, seminars and conferences.
The creation of the University will need to solve the following problems:
- the accumulation of organizational, managerial, scientific, financial, material-technical and personnel resources;
- the creation of ideology, language politics and concept of the University by means of international like-minded people collective formation;
- the elaboration of a unified educational system (determination of structure of standard contents, curricula, programs, forms and technologies of teaching), evaluation of teaching quality and appraisal forms of graduates (credit system);
- the determination of the diploma and its supplement status, its nostrification and convertibility;
- achieving competency of the graduates on the labour market and their possibility of further job placement not only in a cross-borderland region but all over the world.
Let us consider aspects of the given problems - the structure and content of the educational standards, the evaluation of education quality and appraisal forms of graduates (credit system).
The existing State educational standards in Russia include both federal and regional components. If the federal component of the State standards provides the unity of the educational space of the country, then the regional one considers the specifity of the region. The educational standard of a cross-borderland University probably should involve the following components:
- sub-regional (cross-borderland) which in this case will be more global than national.
If the first component of the standard provides the correspondence of the educational content to the international standards, the second one does the correspondence to the interests of the member-countries.
The sub-regional component is considered to be a complex of disciplines of the academic curriculum within the frame of the formally established agreement between some Universities with the purpose of coordination and stimulation of qualified collaboration in the contracted fields (education, management, ecology, tourism and others). The sub-regional component should consider natural, socio-cultural and economical specifity of a cross-borderland region; provide the educational system´s orientation on cross-border territorial interests and market demands.
When projecting the component of the educational standard of a Transnational University, it is necessary to find answers to the following questions: how to refer the educational standard components of a Transnational University to the components of educational standards of the member-countries; what should be the content filling of the above numerated components; what is the time correlation allowed for their consideration; what are the sources of scientific, methodic and resource provision of the educational process?
Providing educational standards is realized in the quality evaluation of the education got. The results of education quality control are expressed in its evaluation. Being founded on the control data, the evaluation should consider the efficiency of all kinds of learning-cognitive activity; characterize fullness and quality of knowledge digestion, consciousness of their digestion, presence of general and specific knowledge and skills for a given subject.
The Higher School integration in Russia, China, Mongolia into pan-European educational system, the development of a multilevel system of professional education make us revise the existing evaluation system in Russian Higher School. As an alternative to the existing five-grade evaluation system it is offered to consider a credit (or unit) evaluation system which has been used in Higher Schools of China and Mongolia.
The existing models of credit systems can be referred to the two main types:
- credit systems oriented generally on credit accumulation;
- credit systems oriented generally on credit examination with the purpose of providing academic mobility.
In China credit-examination systems are used. They, as a rule, are based on the notion and definition of credit as an evaluation unit of labour contributions on the development of the educational program as a whole or a part of it. Credit-accumulation systems mainly define credit as an evaluation unit of the development results of the educational programs - the acquired knowledge and skills.
The systems oriented on the evaluation of the planned results of the educational programs development, and not labour contributions, seem to us to be more attractive. The accumulation evaluation system involves the variability of the results of education, promotes the manifestation of individual-personal features of students. It stimulates the methodical work of the student, excludes the subjectivism of the teacher. If we think that a credit is a unit of a quantitative volume measurement of the education got (credit units), then, basing on the average labour contribution, using credits will only come to a conversion of labour contribution of hours allowed to study a discipline into credits or credit units. In such a presentation, as some research workers note, the credit system gives absolutely nothing for the educational system. That is why, when evaluating the education quality in the planned Transnational University, it is necessary to come out from the fact that a credit is not only labour contributions of a student, but also the evaluation of the results of the educational program, i.e. one should use credit-accumulation credits.
What difficulties will one have to overcome when introducing the given credit system? The analysis of literature and the experience on linking curricula on the given problem allows formulating some important statements which, in our point of view, will result in revising general approaches to the academic work organization in the projected University.
- It is necessary to enlarge courses. To join together not only themes of allied subjects, but also read integrated courses.
- It is necessary to reduce the quantity of auditorium hours making accent on solitary work. To use auditorium hours to study problem questions of the course, hold panel discussions, seminars and not to translate information.
- It is necessary to organize the solitary work of students in a new way. The solitary work of students should have: a controlled character (according to the development of students´ readiness to solitary work the original direct leadership of the teacher passes over the mediated leadership to autonomy); problem character (creation of task system teaching students to search, analyse and information interpretation); structural character (it should correspond to the structure of the academic activity and have an approximate, performing and controlling parts; a tendency to intensify the current and ease the result control being manifested); an individual character (to take into account the individualization principle).
- It is necessary to introduce a module time-table of the educational process, having reduced the number of simultaneously studied disciplines; the dipping method on special subjects is possible.
- It is necessary to work out and introduce integrated cross-disciplinary activity types. Cross-disciplinary term papers, business-games, group research projects, etc., which will train students to write qualitative graduate and thesis works.
- It is necessary to use widely an independent examination on the very different grade levels in the form of public defence of term papers, student teaching reports, research projects, when the work done is evaluated and the questions are asked by students themselves or teachers who didn´t the given course.
Introducing a credit system supposes not only changing the accounting unit of labour contribution of the educational programs´ development, but also reorganization of the academic process.
The reorganization of the academic process is aimed to provide for a student a freedom to choose an individual educational trajectory which is defined by the individual curriculum; activation of cognitive activity of students and development of capability to self-administration of their cognitive activity.
Effective projecting of educational space considering all the specific features of a cross-borderland region is the most important way to retain and develop economics, national-cultural and historical traditions of the region; to create a basic value system providing social and political stability of the region. Now-a-days the realization of the given tendency of work is carried out. So, the Protocol of the intents to make a combined institution of a transnational type is signed between Zab SHPU and the Administration of the city of Manchzhuriya.
In general, the education internationalization, being the key direction of educational policy and the means of development of all cross-borderland region´s life is exhorted to build the system of interconnections of education and socio-cultural environment.
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The article is admitted to the International Scientific Conference « Problems of the international integration of national educational standards », Paris-London, 2007, April 20-27; came to the editorial office on 08.02.07.