President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with heads of leading higher education institutions in Ukraine. The participants of the event noted that they had not met with the Head of State in such format since 2005, and expressed satisfaction with the interest in higher education.
The meeting was also attended by Deputy Head of the Presidential Office Yuriy Kostiuk and Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Education, Science and Innovation Serhiy Babak.
The parties discussed the issues of optimizing higher education institutions, expanding their financial autonomy, the level of educators' salaries and the conditions, in which students study.
The Head of State stressed that there was a staff shortage in Ukraine, and this problem must be solved by higher education.
"If we do not seek a solution together, the staff shortage in the country will remain. The state should solve this problem together with higher education," the President said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that more than a million students study in Ukraine. Most of them do not want to stay in Ukraine. And of those who remain, many do not work in the acquired speciality.
"Why did you waste your experience, why did the state spend its money, if we can't involve these really talented students later?" the President addressed the participants of the meeting.
For his part, Serhiy Babak stated that the task of the Committee on Education, Science and Innovation, as well as of the Parliament as a whole is to create legislative conditions for the development of the higher education system and its further evolution. So far, the Verkhovna Rada has already taken some steps to change the university funding system, which will stimulate quality improvement.
Contracts with rectors will now include performance indicators over time and mechanisms for verifying these indicators.
"By the end of 2020, our plans can be divided into two parts: tactical plans are a university admissions process, and financial autonomy. We have many plans. The committee is always open for cooperation," Serhiy Babak said.
Heads of the leading higher education institutions stressed the importance of opportunities for the development of education provided by the new law on higher education, involvement of business in education, creation of venture fund mechanisms, financing of startups and in general the need for legislative initiatives to transform domestic higher education into modern, comfortable and successful.