Are Engineers Disappearing? Why state-funded places remain at leading universities

The shortage amounted to hundreds of state-funded places, mainly in complex engineering specialties. As a result, an additional set was officially announced. Applications were allowed until  25 August, and the last orders for enrollment will be issued on 16 September. Moreover, initially, according to the rules of admission, enrollment should have been on August 3rd or on the 9th — if there are places left. looked into the reasons for such a shortage of students.

Were you not taught enough mathematics?

As they wrote in the  Boiling MEPhI telegram channel, 5 of 10 universities of the first group included in the Priority-2030 program (essentially chosen as leaders of science and research), students were missing: TSU, TPU, UrFU, MSTU, MIPT. The shortage is everywhere in engineering specialties. The authors of the channel explain this by the fact that there was simply no one to enter: “On” 250 thousand budget places with specialized mathematics, only 240 thousand people passed it successfully. In total, no more than 190 thousand people took physics and computer science. These subjects are not chosen not only because they are not interesting, but and because there are not enough teachers who are ready to ensure the passing of these subjects by 70-100 points».

And although there           there were  there were  the initially there were                           there were            ), who then chose one university.

The and in the admission committee of the Ural Federal University (Yekaterinburg) confirm the same thing.

“With every year the number of schoolchildren who take physics and especially chemistry in the form of the USE —— told in the press service of UrFU. — This year, profile mathematics — about 10 & nbsp; thousand who did not pass. In addition, in recent years, IT areas have been actively promoted: the number of budget places has increased, and active advertising has been carried out. This year, benefits were added (deferment from the army, employment) specifically for IT people. Finally, now universities give the applicant a choice of which subjects can provide USE scores for the same specialty. For example, math — required, and physics or computer science — to choice. As a result, even those who passed physics often chose IT areas. Moreover, they were ready to enroll in them under a contract, preferring them budget places in engineering or electric power».

At the time of enrollment in UrFU, 337 budget places were not filled. These are almost entirely engineers, including specialists in chemical technology and energy. In 1-2 places remained in the direction of natural sciences, in particular, in astronomy. True, they were empty for a short time. Applicants quickly got their bearings and reapplied to the remaining places.

Graduates stayed at home

This year 73% of state-funded places in universities were given to the regions. It would seem that the places should have remained in some supernumerary regional universities. However, the shortage also affected some leading universities.

“Boiling MEPhI” explains this by the fact that many of those who could pass to the leading universities of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tomsk, Novosibirsk were afraid to submit documents and went to local universities, where they were guaranteed to pass. In addition, many people are forced to stay at home due to the difficult economic situation, because in another city they need money for living. And the low salaries of engineers so far also attract few.

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Rector of the Moscow Polytechnic University Vladimir Miklushevskybelieves that in order to rectify the situation and attract school graduates to engineering fields, it is important to pay special attention to the training of children and career guidance. These can be lessons in schools from university teachers, advanced training of school teachers in higher education institutions.

This is the path taken at Far Eastern Federal University. The university immediately managed to close all 748 budget places in  engineering areas.

         —  — shared Director of the Department for Work with FEFU Applicants Mikhail Kompanets.— In during the year, we carried out systematic work to popularize priority educational areas. As part of the admissions campaign, we held an online open day and lectures, talked about promising engineering specialties, organized tours of university laboratories for schoolchildren and their parents. In addition, we work closely with industrial companies and jointly develop practice-oriented educational programs».

«Let them teach me»< /h2>

The universities cite the fact that children are poorly taught mathematics and physics in schools. And and and take on technical specialties sometimes physically.

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«Such is the reality that interest in school mathematics of children is declining — confirms Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexei Semyonov.    School mathematics, just like mathematics, which is required in junior courses of technical universities, has nothing to do real life, to tasks that have to be solved. They learn to solve problems on their own instead of solving new interesting problems from life. This is a tradition. The contradiction between tradition and life leads to such a result. Yes  and  it    everything is not so rosy. The course of informatics in the school is small. And also often don teach children to think, but teach some mechanical things».

The academician also names another reason for the decrease in the motivation for enrolling in engineering universities. Engineering in Soviet times occupied a different position in society than engineering today.

However, the expert believes that there is nothing particularly catastrophic if children enter universities poorly prepared in mathematics, and they have to complete their education. “Don't” think that this is such a problem. If weak children come, let the department of general mathematics teach children this. The mathematics that he considers necessary. Children will understand how the correct mathematics works — from  quality professors, and not from not very professional schoolteachers. Just accept reality as it is, and work in this reality, achieve the results that you can achieve. And next, think about whether the really need that or other mathematical knowledge that you require of of them. Or you need to use, for example, mathematical models that are in computer. And just to teach kids how these models work».

Natural Process

Nevertheless, the situation is not so critical. According to the results of enrollment in one wave, 97.5% of places were closed. Last year, this figure was 94%.

Rector of St. Petersburg State University of Industrial Technologies and Demidov Alexey Demidovbelieves that it is wrong to talk about  failed recruitment and lower level of applicants. “If we compare the last years of admission campaigns, then and earlier not all universities recruited 100% of state-funded places on a specific date, — the expert explains. — And nobody made a tragedy. Moreover, these unfilled places often amount to 1-2%. It is possible that not all applicants could immediately understand priorities and submit documents correctly. Many used the online service for enrollment in public services. And not everyone managed to submit consents online in a timely manner, for example — this cannot be ruled out either.

Aleksey Demidov emphasizes that the change in the interest of applicants towards the side of IT specialties — normal process. The fact that now many people want to go to IT, and the part of those who pass physics has decreased, is also natural. In the next years, the pendulum may swing in the other direction.

«Even if the average USE score has dropped, say, in physics — this also does not indicate unequivocally that a smaller number of people are ready to apply, — notes the rector. — There could have been more difficult tasks, which led to a decrease in the overall GPA. We can draw conclusions about the preparation of applicants after the first semester. So I don't see»any failed set.

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