DURING padmic universty exam

Pandemic exam: how universities face a new challenge

The pandemic and its transition to distance learning should not lead to a drop in the quality of education and the rejection of well-functioning institutions such as the USE

We are all undergoing a stress test – people and families, enterprises and organizations, industries, countries. Naturally, this applies to the education system, and to each individual university or school. We all pass exams: those who are completing their studies and preparing for graduation, and those who are preparing for admission. But those who must organize the graduation and admission, that is, the educational institutions themselves, are passing an equally difficult exam now.

At the end of March, they switched to distance learning in force majeure mode. It was not easy: I would compare the situation with a jump on the go from one car to another. And at the same time we began to prepare for the admission campaign, which, as already in March, it was clear that should also be organized in a new way. However, despite the unusual situation and the novelty of technology, the task that we have to solve has not changed – universities want to get the best students and in their programs meet their needs and expectations. After all, as at all times, the best university is the one in which the best students study.

Do I need a unified state exam

One of the questions that you often hear these days is about the prospects for the exam. There are proposals to cancel it this year. The severity of the situation requires decisive action, but this is not a reason for the destruction of existing institutions.

The unified state exam has been functioning normally for 11 years and is the main final exam from the school and the entrance to the university. It took several years to debug it, to ensure its reliability and transparency – and now it is an effective institution with powerful anti-corruption potential.

With all the difficulties of conducting the exam in modern conditions, it would be wrong and shortsighted to refuse it. How to replace it? Examinations at school, especially in a stressful situation, will not give an objective result.

Entrance exams at universities are also not an effective way out. Firstly, applicants will not be able to enter several educational institutions at the same time – and this is a great advantage of the exam, which for some reason its critics always forget. Secondly, this will create new stress for parents and applicants, who have been preparing for the exam for quite some time. It can be assumed that parents will urgently look for tutors, or rather, people close to the universities they have chosen for admission. All this will reduce the level of public trust in such a sensitive area for all as admission to the university.

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