We must put the question of quality in education side by side with organisational problems

Respected members of OD

I am in solidarity with many of your protests. Much has been said on the subject that I have no wish to repeat. What is most worrying to me about the current situation is the future of our faculty. It is a fact that in 2007 the faculty is, in reality, already totally destroyed.

It is also true that the good lectures are leaving. Here is the question: what positive consequences can come from this scandal and what do we want to achieve? In my view, by observing in full view what is happening in the faculty and in MGU in general, we are opening Pandora's box. The current situation echoes the systemic crisis in education in the Russian humanities, and in particular the crisis of the MGU humanities faculties.

In my opinion, we must put the question of quality in education side by side with organisational problems. I study in the non fee-paying division. But, the majority of students pay for their studies and it is no small sum of money. This funding does not produce quality results. I do not know whether others feel the same way, but in the year of study it took me to meet the sociology faculty's entry requirements, I actually learned more than in my 4 years of study at the university.

All the most talented lecturers have either left or are thinking of leaving; students in the first years of the degree are receiving an even worse education than we did. Many have answered this by pointing out that those who want to can study everything themselves, that there are books, libraries and Internet. But this cannot replace interaction with lecturers.

It is shameful that, thanks to the decaying system that is now established, many talented students are altogether disenchanted with MGU and with the humanities. They regard their time here as entirely lost in terms of their education. It may be the school of life, but it is impossible to receive in depth academic knowledge here.

It is important to raise awareness of programmes for the development of the faculty. It is said that evaluations have already been carried out and that the results for current sociology faculty members were sad ones. We must now turn away from the faculty's deficiencies and towards its resources and future. If the current scandal develops further the faculty will implode and hundreds of students will find themselves with unfinished degrees; as for the lecturers, it is difficult to say.

Do not forget to present positive proposals next to objective criticism. The canteen and the problems with the building are merely visible signs of the deficiencies inherent in the whole system. We should not concentrate on improving these things, but rather on reorganising the whole system from within. Only then will all of this have some sense. Otherwise, external changes will ultimately only help an internally corrupt system to disintegrate further.

With respect and in support of much of your programme.