In the Hotel "Dnipro" there was an expert round table "Fair university admissions 2010." The information campaign "Fair university admissions-2010" is maintained by OPORA and the Committee of Voters of Ukraine for support of the educational program of the International Fund "Renaissance". 

The organization of this event was intended to create a discussion platform for discussions on anti-corruption reforms in education, opportunity to fully elucidate this problem. 

During the debate entrants, teachers and students, representatives of regional and city education departments, school principals, local NGO experts and journalists could express their views. 

Serhiy PASICHNYK (Deputy Chairman of CHOO ECU): 
"After the change of political power, traditionally in Ukraine, already during the process the rules changed. Unfortunately, Parliament successfully failed the bill, which would stabilize the educational reform. Instead, today there is a real threat to return a variety of corruption schemes in higher education."

Serhiy VARYCH (Head of Research Department of the Cherkasy department of CN OPORA): 
"Two ministerial innovations recently introduced to the rules of enrollment in higher education actually discredit the whole system of external testing (EIT). For example, this year's admission to the universities presupposes examination for some specialties, and this again enables examiners to take bribes. Other innovations return corruption to school, because admission to universities now, except the score on the EIT, also take into account the average rating of certificate. The pupils of 11th grades are shocked because during the year they intensively trained only for subjects on which they planned to pass EIT, and in the second semester they were reported that good knowledge is now obligatory in all subjects. The children have now two ways: either spend all the free time to prepare for the EIT and for all school subjects, or be prepared only to test and ask the parents to fix it with the teachers.
Another negative point is the optional EIT for graduates of previous years to 2007 inclusive, which come in the form of distant learning. Application of this rule creates a substantial background of corruption. Distant education again turned in a queue for diplomas, in order to get the paper, knowledge is not obligatory. Look who is coming to study in the form of distant learning - these are people who have jobs and sometimes family, with very limited free time. Many of them consider it easier to give money than to prepare for exams, testing and to confirm their qualification at the level of this year's graduates. For example, in past years, so entrants to enter the university should have been at least six months to prepare and draw up training courses. It is unacceptable when the knowledge of external entrants would be lower than the knowledge of students who study on the full time, as they have the same degree. In addition, this innovation creates inequality between distant graduates: this year's entrant will be forced to pass over EIT and for example, a graduate of 2007 will pass only the entrance exam. 
Reform in education was virtually the only reform since independence which has brought positive results, but it is now virtually wiped out." 

Olha FURMAN (Chief Specialist in the Department of Education and Science of Cherkasy regional state administration): 
"The Ministry of Education cared about admission to university, but later  some changes were introduced. These changes are designed to perhaps provide broader rights for applicants for admission. For example last year there was a case where the applicant for technical specialty had 194 points for the mathematics and physics, but he had 123.5 points for the Ukrainian language and literature and had no right of entry. The positive change is to limit the number of universities where the applicant may submit documents. This will reduce the tension level at the final formation of the list of nominated entrants. Unfortunately, now universities do not yet have confirmation on the number of places on the state demand. An additional complicating factor for the high schools is significantly reduced time of admissions. Despite all the challenges, all universities in Cherkasy region are fully ready for the admission this year”.

Mykola MAKUKHA (head of Cherkassy department of CN OPORA): 
"This year there is no lowest score for non-core subject. For example last year to join the university the applicant had to score at least 124 points on the EIT of all subjects. Now, thanks to innovations, the Ministry of Education and Science, for students who enter into the physical and mathematical specialty it is entirely optional to know the Ukrainian language and literature, at least at a minimum. Instead, it is enough to get the score more than 170 for the majors such as physics or mathematics. Ukrainian language in general became optional - the state does not encourage that its citizens know the language of the country in which they live. What a disgrace to any state!"

Vyacheslav LININH (this year's entrant, the head of the international children's league Mart): 
"This year's changes in the rules of entry, which was approved before the admissions, significantly complicated the training of future entrants creating them unexpected challenges. So among my friends and future students here are many persons who, knowing the EIT system, purposefully prepared only for a narrow circle of certain subjects and in the first semester didn’t  paid much attention to other disciplines. New regulations which provide incorporation of the average score of certificate forced them to seek out how to improve the points for first and second semester. In many cases, it is simply impossible without corruption."

Nazar LAVRINENKO (lecturer of Cherkasy State University): 
"If the system of internal exams comes back, it will be a big step back for education reform, and certainly it will increase the level of corruption in higher education. For my part, I can mention that over the last year or two, quality of entrants has changed for the better, as they entered solely on the basis of their knowledge, not the financial capacity of parents."

Serhiy SAYENKO (director of the 1st City Gymnasia, Cherkasy city council member): 
"Unfortunately, we have to admit that education reform, which was begun by Education Minister Stanislav Nikolaenko in the Yanukovych’s government, now is largely stalled. Without a major modernization of higher and vocational education Ukraine has no chance to compete in the global market of the qualified professionals."

Mykola Makukha,
(0472) 38 22 65,
063 628 67 81