Civil Network OPORA analyzed the draft “Terms of university admission for 2012" published by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of Ukraine. We must admit that issued draft of the document which will regulate admission to universities in the next year, doesn’t meet requirements of transparency, obtaining it through competition and on terms of equal access to higher education.

Equal access to education

In 2012 it is planned to keep the mechanism that determine different technologies of admission for different categories of applicants. The results of public monitoring 2011 showed that from the whole number of 230100 applicants registered in IS “Contest”1, 53964 were passing entrance examinations, 7954 counted on admission within the competition, and 190255 used the external testing certificate2. At the same time, only 159160 entrants (69% of total number) were entering on the basis of 2011 EIT certificates. Therefore, all the achievements of educational reform which provided equal conditions for entrance in 2009 were brought to nothing. Civil Network OPORA deems it necessary to cancel the admission to universities through the entrance examinations for graduates which have got a diploma of secondary education before 2007, to stop admission by EIT certificates of different years, and exclude unconstitutional norm which allows admission without competition. Realizing social guarantees for preferential groups is inappropriate through guaranteeing a place in university not looking at personal academic skills.

For raising preparation of graduates willing to study natural and mathematical as well as technical specialties in 2010 was used charging extra points for students of preparatory departments of corresponding training areas. Public observation noticed three fundamental defects of this scheme: graduates of moderate means can’t afford taking these courses; educational process in schools prevents future graduates from attending preparatory department in another city; some universities guarantee highest points for only visiting paid courses what throws discredit on the initial idea. Even though the latter problem is resolved by a new draft Terms of admission which oblige universities to give extra points more attentively and publish results of preparatory department students before the beginning of document submission, all the other drawbacks remain unchanged. Civil Network OPORA suggest MESYS and CMU to budget financing of studying on preparatory departments for applicants from the families of moderate means; besides that, as soon as preparatory courses are licensed by MESYS, we suggest to allow entrants to get extra points not only in the university where the course was taken but also during the admission to the other university on the same qualification.

Special attention requires also calendar plan of admission campaign which in offered form can't guarantee the rights of graduates. Admission commissions which take entrance examinations on 30-31 of July are allowed to deny the appeals of applicants referring to the lack of time. The first lists of recommended to admission entrants shall be published on 1 August. Civil Network OPORA noticed such incidents the while monitoring during the stage of submitting documents; on the basis of observation results we recommend to complete the conduction of entrance examinations not later than 29 July.

Securing the transparence of admission campaign

Legal framework for independent monitoring of universities' work remains absolutely confined.  The permission of MESYS to conduct observation allows public observers to be present on the meetings of admission commissions where usually technical issues considered. The presence of observers during conduction of internal examinations, professional testing, creative contests, and meetings of appeal commissions is not regulated, although the transparency of these proceedings is essential.

The major threat is an absence of informational system "Contest" in the draft Terms of admission. This system allowed applicants to follow the real-time contest situation; it made possible horizontal control for entrants what is a form of systematic protection from abuse. Notifications form applicants helped public activists to detect unsubstantiated charging of extra points or inaccurate calculating of the average score of school leaving certificates. We deem that “Terms of admission” must include the regulation on functioning of IS “Contest”.

Positive innovations in the draft Terms of admission

However, Civil Network OPORA approves certain innovations in the draft Terms of admission. For example, increasing passing score of the main subjects to 140 points evidence the rise of standards of studying in high school. The introduction of weight coefficient methods will increase the chances to enter the budget place for entrants who are inclined to study certain subjects. Besides that, already mentioned requirement to publish the results of preparatory department students before submission of documents makes entrance campaign more transparent.
Civil Network OPORA hopes that recommendations based on public observation will be taken into consideration.

1Applicants who entered military institutions of higher education and entrants who ignored IS “Contest” despite instructions of MESYS are not included here.
2As long as the same entrants may belong to some categories at the same time, the number of applicants of different categories exceeds their total amount.

Detailed information:
Coordinator of educational programs of CN OPORA
+38 093 459 53 88