USCO

Date:  2013-06-13  Author: admin   

 SCO University should operate as a network of already existing universities in SCO Member States, as well as in observer states (Mongolia, India, Iran, and Pakistan). Training of highly qualified personnel at SCO University should be carried out in priority areas of cultural, scientific, educational, and economic cooperation of Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States (Energy, Environment, Engineering, Metallurgy, Materials Science, Construction, Transportation, Fuel and Energy Complex, History, Linguistics, and IT-Technology).
 
Goals of creation of SCO University have been defined within SCO by multilateral legal instruments adopted by SCO Member States, and consist of the following:
· strengthening of mutual trust and good-neighborly relations between SCO Member States;
· development of integration processes in the field of education, science and technology;
· providing new impetus to the expansion of multilateral educational, scientific, and cultural cooperation;
· expanding opportunities for youth to receive quality modern education, and for teachers and scientists to develop scientific contacts;
· promoting effective cooperation of SCO Member States in political, economic, scientific-technical, and cultural fields.
 
At the present moment, creation of a full-scale SCO University would be premature for a number of reasons:
· lack of regulatory framework for mutual recognition of diplomas by all SCO Member States;
· partial mismatch of educational standards of SCO Member States;
· lack of high bandwidth Internet lines which makes it difficult to fully use modern electronic training media, and multimedia and telecommunications technologies;
· difficulty of coordination of forms and mechanisms of co-financing in accordance with the rules of decision making within SCO.
 
In this connection, priority activities for creation of SCO University should be focused on the following primary and additional objectives.
 
Primary objectives:
· more active exchange with students, postgraduate students, doctoral candidates, and scientific-pedagogical staff;
· expanding scientific and academic cooperation;
· introduction of modern educational methods and technologies;
· establishment of mechanisms for recognition and equivalency of documents on education of SCO University by SCO Member States and by the global educational community.
 
Additional objectives:
· conducting of expertise and making recommendations for specific areas of SCO;
· training of personnel for SCO structures and affiliated organizations;
· establishing a network of language (Russian and Chinese) and country learning courses.
 
Interaction between Member States in the field of creation and operation of SCO University is being carried out at the level of state educational agencies with the assistance of leading educational institutions.
 
Model of SCO University
 
Training of highly qualified personnel should be implemented within the following educational programs:
· initial language courses;
· Bachelor’s degree (4 years);
· magistracy (2 years);
· postgraduate school (3 years), as provided for by bilateral agreements;
· doctoral candidacy (3 years);
· training, professional training, distant, and full-time/part-time educational programs.
 
The main languages of training within SCO University will be either the state language of the country where the university is located and/or the official SCO languages – Russian and Chinese.
General form of interaction, management, and decision-making within SCO University must comply with mechanisms that are in effect in SCO. Model of SCO University should be based on interaction of universities of SCO Member States, which are the Basic (Head) Higher Education Institutions in corresponding areas of training in their countries. SCO University should become sort of an “umbrella”, under the auspices and with the support of which educational and scientific cooperation will be implemented. The task of head universities is to gradually coordinate programs for graduate students, masters and bachelors, that are being implemented within the educational standards of their countries, with the purpose of creation of a unified curriculum of SCO University in corresponding areas of training. Cooperation of universities within SCO University can reasonably be started with establishment of joint postgraduate programs that are less formalized. The next element of the joint educational system should be joint magistracies, the percentage of higher education in which is more than that in the bachelor programs. Studying at the baccalaureate, students will have an opportunity for proper language training for their further education for master’s degree at SCO University and without wasting time that is available for language learning. The work on coordination of training programs for masters and bachelors degrees of SCO University must be started at the first stage of the project implementation and introduced subject to mutual coordination of sections. The activity within SCO University should be started with the work on several priority directions in the field of natural sciences and humanities, by working out methodology, and to expand to other areas of training. SCO University should be open to new universities and to creation of new joint training programs.
 
With the interests of SCO Member States in mind, it is useful to introduce, at the first stage of SCO University creation, the following training areas: Regional Studies, Ecology, Energy, and IT-Technology. In the future, and subject to coordination by educational authorities of Member States, other areas and a list of specialties will be determined.
 
Studying at SCO University
 
Students studying on a program of SCO University should be allowed to continue their education starting from any semester at the head foreign university which implements the instant program. In doing so, the maximum period of stay and the number of foreign partner universities is not limited. Students are required to complete training at a foreign partner university for a period of not less than one semester.

Recruitment of students is based on mutually agreed quotas for admission of students to universities through SCO University. Quotas in general must comply with the inputs of SCO Member States to the budget of the University. These quotas shall be determined annually by Member States and shall be applied only to students whose education is financed from the budget of SCO University. The second group of students is comprised of students studying on a contractual basis, and independently covering cost of their education. Number of such students shall not be subject to quotas and shall be determined by agreement between head educational institutions. Preliminary coordination is necessary primarily to plan and control subsequent flows of academic mobility.
Following training, student shall receive a diploma of the educational institution where he/she started training or studied most (not less than 60% of the time) and at the initial stage of creation of SCO University – SCO University Certificate, and then – standard diploma of SCO University.

SCO University Management System
 
In accordance with management mechanisms that exist within SCO, management system of SCO University includes several stages:
· Coordinating (executive) Council which is composed of one representative from each Member State, from the agency responsible for educational cooperation. It is advisable to combine representation in the Coordinating Council of SCO University and in the expert working group of SCO Member States on cooperation in the field of education. If such combination is not possible, a representative to the Coordinating Council of SCO University is appointed in consultation with a representative of an expert working group of SCO Member States on cooperation in the field of education. Leadership of the Coordination Council is carried out on a rotational basis. The Coordinating Council coordinates the activities of SCO University at the level of corresponding ministries and governing bodies of SCO, and makes proposals for regulatory activities of SCO University.
· Board of Trustees. It ensures formation of a positive image of SCO University in SCO Member States and the global educational community, attracting businesses to joint training of specialists, and provides assistance in job placement of students. It helps to attract funding for development of SCO University. It promotes the interests of SCO University in various governmental and non-governmental organizations, foundations, and organizations.
· Secretariat (Rector’s Office) of SCO University. It manages the ongoing activities of SCO University including information-analytical, legal, financial, and organizational support of SCO University, maintains ongoing activity and documentation.
· Expert groups on each training field include one representative from each head educational institution for each area of training. They support educational and research activities in a specific area of training.
 
Financial Basis of Functioning of SCO University

Financial basis of SCO University activity is its budget that should ensure:
· proper operation of the Coordinating (executive) Council, secretariat, and the expert groups of SCO University;
· development of coordinated curricula;
· conducting working meetings on the development of SCO University;
· scholarships for international mobility on SCO University programs;
· coverage of costs of higher educational institutions to train foreign students on SCO University programs.
 
The budget of SCO University is formed from a variety of sources:
· budgets of corresponding ministries of SCO Member States or purpose programs;
· contributions from SCO Member States within the development of SCO structures;
· non-budgetary (contract) means of student training;
· other sources.
 
Financing of specific activities should be carried out from various sources. For example, it will be reasonable to perform the development of coordinated educational programs and conducting workshops at the expense of corresponding ministries of SCO Member States, and functioning of the Coordinating Council and the Secretariat of SCO University – at the expense of the mutually coordinated budget of all project participants.
 
Main Stages of Creation of SCO University
 
· coordination of intents and understanding of Member States;
· development of operational scheme;
· signing of inter-agency Protocol of Intent of education ministries of SCO Member States;
· determining head universities and beginning coordination of programs;
· working out of SCO University Charter;
· signing of decision on establishment of SCO University by leaders of SCO Member States.
 
The activities on creation of SCO University may be implemented within the following terms:
1. Short term (during 2008-2009):
· clarification of positions and capacities of SCO Member States on establishment of SCO University;
· working out of the concept of the development of SCO University for further discussion with the Member States of the project;
· signing of inter-agency Protocol of Intent of education ministries of SCO Member States;
· analysis of the regulatory framework for joint issuance of diplomas and certification and making recommendations for its improvement;
· coordination of the group of universities participating in the project and identification of universities in charge of certain areas of training at SCO University;
· coordination of several master’s programs of joint training on the basis of already existing educational ties as a “pilot field”;
· working out of projects and quality assurance systems for master’s programs in agreed upon specialties, support for Centers of Russian and Chinese languages existing in SCO Member States and their “conversion” into SCO language centers (one per country), development on their basis of language specialists courses for SCO bodies with appropriate certification.
 
2. Medium term (2009-2010):
· signing the decision on establishment of SCO University by the leaders of SCO;
· coordination of the regulatory framework of issuance of educational documents by SCO University and their forms obtained through the agreed upon curricula and courses;
· establishment and putting into operation of training, managing, and administrative structures of SCO University;
· launch of joint doctoral (postgraduate) courses (also provided for by already existing bilateral agreements), conduct of joint and coordinated scientific research;
· coordination of master and bachelor training programs, skill development programs, and professional training programs;
· coordination of terms, forms, and direction of training of students within SCO University.
 
3. Long term (2010-2012):
· launch of training on the “Master plus Bachelor” system for those areas of training that were being implemented on the basis of magistracy;
· establishment of a network of information provision and distant education of the University;
· expanding the list of areas and specialties of training;
· publication of scientific newsletters and other publications of the University;
· conducting activities aimed at broad international recognition of SCO University and its diplomas, as well as at international accreditation of educational programs of bachelor’s and magistracy courses in order to improve the competitiveness of the University.
 

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