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    PUTIN DWELLS ON FUNDING EDUCATION

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    KRASNOYARSK, FEBRUARY 27, RIA NOVOSTI - Meeting Friday in Krasnoyarsk with the principals of local colleges and universities, President Putin told them that the government would deal with the education issue in the nearest future.

    He suggested the rectors present should comment on paid education problems within the following range of questions: What is your attitude toward it? What share should it claim in the country and in the Kranoyarsk region and does it justify itself or not?

    Putin also drew attention to the fact that the end product does not comply with requirements on the labour market.

    One more question raised by Putin was the Bologna process which had caused lately harsh debates at the session of the Russian Council on science.

    According to Putin, the Council members were critical about the process as they believed that the Russian education system was better than what Russia could get within the framework of the Bologna process and that Russia could thus decrease its level of education.

    Vladimir Putin said he, in general, agreed with that thesis and justified its right to existence but said that there was another side of the matter as well.

    "If we want our experts to be universal and to have access both to Russian and European labour markets, this aspect of the problem should also be borne in mind," said Putin.

    The president sees the task of our colleges and universities in promoting the labour product to the European market but at the same to avoid degrading tuition standards and ruining the Russian education system which Putin characterised as "quite good". The meeting was attended by eight Krasnoyarsk higher school rectors, representatives of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian academy of education.

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