Aleksandr Shestakov, Rector of South Ural State University, spoke on pros and cons of distance learning at SUSU in the Personal Opinion program airing on the Channel 31.
In conversation with Elena Lebedeva, the program host, the Rector of our university touched upon the most important questions concerning the enrolling and educational processes at SUSU during the pandemic:
- Did the university switch to the distance learning format quickly?
- What difficulties do students and academic staff encounter?
- How international students, who are not able to return to Russia, are studying?
- How will the defence of diplomas and graduation ceremony be organised?
Aleksandr Shestakov, SUSU Rector, gave comprehensive answers to these and many other questions.
Currently, the university is actively functioning in a distance learning format for students. The university switched to the new format within just two days. It is due to the fact that the Institute of Open and Distance Education has been operating at SUSU for 15 years, allowing to conduct classes online. Of course, nothing will ever replace live communication between academics and students, but according to the Rector’s opinion, distance learning represents the broadening of capabilities of an advanced university.
There are virtual laboratories on theoretical mechanics, chemistry and physics, allowing to hold practical training online. According to Aleksandr Shestakov, the work on virtual equipment in these laboratories has a great advantage due to the lack of a real sample. In turn, students on distance learning continue to gain knowledge and experience without leaving home.
More than 2000 international students study at SUSU, and Aleksandr Shestakov shared that not all of them were able to return to Russia after visiting their home countries. For them, the educational process continued according to the usual schedule, but in the online format.
The 2020 Admissions Campaign starts at South Ural State University on June 20th. Everyone, who has the Unified State Examination results (for example, last year’s results), the graduates of institutes and vocational schools, have an opportunity to apply online. After passing the Unified State Examination in July, the graduates of secondary schools will be able to submit the documents via the web-site for SUSU applicants. The Rector of our university noted that, for about ten years, the university has been accepted documents from applicants in an online format (up to 30%), and this year it will continue this activity with all applicants switching to the online submission of documents. Creative entrance exams for journalists and architects will also be taken online.
Now, SUSU students are sitting the summer session exams, and defending their graduate qualification works. Aleksandr Shestakov says that up to 8000 students connect to the system for online communication simultaneously. The graduation ceremony for students will also be held online, on July 4th. The Rector of our university promises that there will be many creative performances and surprises.