How are the achievements of the scientific and technical revolution affecting the Soviet higher education system?

Grigori Reznichenko ::: Young people in the USSR. Answers to questions

In this day and age no college or university can give a student during his years of study sufficient knowledge in his chosen field that would last him throughout his active life. Realizing this, the college aims at teaching its students to study independently and to understand the need to do this. A modern higher educational establishment puts the accent not so much on imparting a certain amount of knowledge, as on teaching the students methods of acquiring knowledge, developing their abilities to do creative work.

Experience has confirmed the correctness of train­ing specialists in a wide field, enabling them to acquire a good knowledge of the basic theoretical aspects of their subject and its methodological prob­lems and experience in doing research work. The technical colleges have streamlined the courses in mathematics, physics, theoretical mechanics, etc., so as to provide the students with the necessary foundation for studying general and special engi­neering subjects.

Extraneous information and secondary or obsolete material are weeded out from the courses. That is not an easy job and it cannot be done at one stroke. In perfecting the curriculum, we draw on the expe­rience of the more advanced educational establish­ments to find the optimal ratio between fundamental and applied sciences, the amount of class-room and independent work to be done by the student.

The traditional system based chiefly on lectures is no longer good enough. Today the student is not a passive recipient of knowledge, but an active par­ticipant, together with his instructors, in scientific research.