DO OLDER STUDENTS NEED UNIVERSITIES IN RUSSIA?
Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
One of the criteria for assessing of the national policy in the field of education is the availability of organizational measures to support geronto-education. In Russia, the development of adult education takes place only in the sphere of supplementary and non-formal education. However, the institutionalization of geronto-education almost has not affected the sphere of HE. Meanwhile, in Russian society, the preconditions for the institutional development of this direction of HE have developed. This kind of education is being demanded by elderly Russians. The vanguard of the scientific and pedagogical community sees in geronto-education a source of positive transformation of universities. There is an interesting experience of foreign universities in working with older students. Some Russian universities have unique practices for teaching age students.
The goal of the study is to identify the institutional conditions for the development and implementation of geronto-education in Russian HE.
The objectives of the study are the following:
1. Identify the readiness of educational communities (university management, students and teachers) to interact with age students.
2. To study the legal, organizational and pedagogical conditions for the development and implementation of educational programs for age students.
3. To assess the integrative and segregation models of geronto-education for their social effectiveness under Russian conditions.
The object of the study are the universities of the Ural Federal District (UFD).
The empirical basis consists of the data obtained with the help of the sociological research conducted in 2016-2017. The following methods were used:
1) a survey of university students in the UFD (quota sample, 1860 people);
2) a semi-formalized interview with teachers and heads of universities of the city of Yekaterinburg – the University center of the UFD;
3) analysis of the content of Internet sites devoted to the problems of elderly Russians; 4) analysis of statistical data and normative documents on HE.
The main results of the research are reflected in the article:
1. The educational law of the Russian Federation does not hinder the development of geronto-education in universities, but at the same time it does not stimulate it. In Russian universities, it is possible to create organizational structures for the education of an older students, but the development of funding for their activities is required. Pedagogical infrastructure (which includes technologies, methods of teaching, adaptation) is quite developed, but it requires certain adaptation to HE.
2. The attitude towards the older students among young students, teachers, even more – the leadership of universities – is contradictory. They have different degrees of willingness to be included in adult education practices. However, this barrier will be overcome if the problem is actively «promoted» as an element of the university's educational policy.
3. If we focus on the current state of universities and educational communities, then the segregation model of geronto-education seems to be the most adequate. However, in order to create a culture of tolerance and intergenerational dialogue as the value of the future, it is necessary to introduce an integration model for the education of an older students, which involves joint training of both youngsters and adults.