Nowadays, an active entering of corporations into the highest professional education is observed (for example, "Modern Humanitarian University", having been founded in Russia, with 180,000 students). It is enough similar examples both in Russian system of education and abroad.
In the present state of affairs, the problem of "survival" of regional institutes of the highest education is relevant, may be they are not as massive as corporate ones but they fulfill their state, social and public roles. They are exactly regional highest institutes which play city-forming, cultural and other functions, that is why they need a mechanism, which would allow them to oppose numerous challenges to their prosperity and even existence from the direction of "mega-institutes".
The basis, which would allow regional institutes to be able to compete, may serve an open pedagogical system, with the following features (S.L. Timkin ):
- a formation of "a consumer for the whole life";
- a support of innovation - educational work and a formation of innovation-educational collective;
- an open interaction with others educational systems of different levels;
- supplying students and teachers with temporal and spatial mobility;
- united informational-educational environment of a continuous education.
Many researchers (A.A. Andreev , G.V. Majer , V.I. Soldatkin . V.P. Tikhomirov  and others) point at organic bond between the conceptions of an open and continuous education and the distance one. An organic union of traditional and distance educational technologies is essential.
In 1999, V.V. Verzhbitskij and E.A. Manushin  surveyed 5650 respondents aging 18-45 from 22 different Russian subjects. 98% of respondents, who are interested in education, as a condition to it pointed out at the realization, at least one of the main characteristics of distance education: openness, flexibility, a possibility of combination of study and work, remotability, etc.
Essential characteristics of open system of education are listed in the work . Let us sum up their main points:
- an openness of a system supposes to take as a source a man - an origin of development but not a system in its current state;
- an open education gives free access to informational recourses of the whole world;
- an open education gives an opportunity to choose the education strategies;
- an open education assumes personal directivity of the process of education.
An open system of education is to be built on the conception of "education through the life". It should be noted that continuity and openness of education are interrelated and essential features of an open system of the highest professional education. In this case it is better to indicate an open system of continuous education. The system should provide for both highly-skilled specialists´ training and raising their professional skills after the diploma period.
Distance - teaching (DT) as a component of open system of continuous education may be realized in the following cases:
- pedagogical technology of a case distance teaching;
- pedagogical technology of a satellite distance teaching;
- pedagogical technology of a network distance teaching.
In the present conditions, for a wide spreading of DT it is essential to resolute a complex of problems which reflect world-outlook, theoretical-methodological, technological, legal, social, financial-economical and other aspects of this new form of education.
The main pedagogical principles of DT are: learner-centered character of educational process; practical - centered content of education and kinds of activity; module organization of education programmes; activity and independence of students as the main subjects of education; problem and dialogical character of interrelation in the educational process; self - organization of students´ activity and reflexive character of this activity; independence, implying an inner motive of getting education; context of education; an electivity of education, giving to the students free choice of a goal, content, forms, methods, sources, level of educational results´ assessment.
Let us point at the principles of distance teaching´s organization:
- choice of synchronous and asynchronous system of distance teaching (in some cases their combination);
- inclusion of series of subsystems into the system of distance teaching;
- choice of educational methods by principle "I - myself", one to one, one to many, many to many;
- usage of regulation - educational forms in the distance teaching;
- detachment of distance educational course as the main comprehensive unit of distance teaching and specification of distance teaching´s model in the models of distance educational courses;
- distribution of computer education´s systems;
- presence of the following components of the process: structural, comprehensive, variable, technological, evaluative-resulting;
- realization of interactive educational technologies;
- distribution of teachers´ functions who fulfill the distance teaching;
- the importance of consultations at the different stages of distance teaching.
- Andreev A.A., Soldatkin V.I. Distance education: essence, technology, organization. - M.: Publishing House MESI, 1999. - 196 p.
- Verzhbitskij V.V., Manushin E.A. The needs in distance educational services of Russian population. [Electronic resource]. - http:/academy.odoportal.ru/documents/academ/bibl/Russia/2.html
- Majer G.V., Demkin V.P., Mozhaeva G.V., Vimyatin V.I. Academic university in the open system of education. - Tomsk: Tomsk University publishing, 2005. - 200p.
- The basis of open education / Andreev A.A., Kaplan S.L., Krasnova G.A., Lobachev S.L., Lupanov K.Y., Polyakov A.A., Skamnitskij A.A., Soldatkin V.I.; Edited by Soldatkin V.I. - V.1. - Russian state university of open education. - M.: Publishing House НИИЦ РАО, 2002. - 676 p.
- Timkin S.L. Pedagogical system of the highest institute in the condition of implementation of distance educational technologies: monograph. Omsk: Publishing House OmSU, 2007. - 385p.
- Tikhomirov V.P. Basic principles of distance teaching system´s formation in Russia // Distance Teaching. - №1. - 1998. p.4-9.
The article is admitted to the International Scientific Conference «The problems of international integration of education stendards», Czechia (Prague) - Luxembourg - France (Paris), came to the editorial office on 17.12.07