The academic ranking by Center for World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University is considered to be one of the most authoritative rankings in the world. The United States is this year’s leader again, as it was last year. Overall 150 American universities are presented on the list, the top three positions are occupied by the US universities as well. China is the second, having 42 of its universities included, and the United Kingdom is the third with 38 of universities recognized. The list also includes universities of Japan, France, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Turkey, Poland, Israel, Germany, Sweden, and also Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Russia, and other countries. This year a Serbian university was presented in the list for the first time. It became a tradition that none of Ukrainian universities are on the list of the best ones, though we are one of the countries with the highest number of higher education institutions per capita. Probably, the quality of our universities, and the fact that we really need this amount of schools of higher education are disputable.
“Not any other country, at least in Europe, has as many universities for such population as we do. And this is also a state-level problem,” said in his interview to The Day dean of the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University Leonid HUBERSKY.
According to him, the enrollment statistics shows that Ukraine has no need of the present number of universities: 50 institutions would be enough to provide quality education and actually prepare good specialists. “The statistical data of 2012 enrolling process should be analyzed: 90 percent of entrants sent their applications to 50 higher education establishments only. And what about the rest? Some state and private schools received only a couple of dozens applications, or even less than that. Such system harms the quality of education. It is obvious that today 40 or 50 Ukrainian universities are enough to satisfy the admission needs,” the dean says.
Concerning the quality of education, Hubersky is sure that reputable universities with history provide quality education and are able to prepare really good specialists. “I do not support the opinion that our system of education is nowhere close to the European or world level. We have enough examples that witness a rather high level of preparation of specialists. We succeed in different branches of science, and this would be impossible to achieve without a quality education. Many Ukrainian school and university students and young scientists win prizes at international competitions and contests. If the level of our education was low, where would these results come from?” Hubersky explains. He thinks that the only area where Ukrainian universities are falling behind is the material resources supply. “We still have a lot of work to do in that sphere,” the dean explains.
And in general, Hubersky stresses that “we shouldn’t be too shy to appraise ourselves a bit more.” “The leading universities of Ukraine provide a very high level of preparation. Our students who study abroad show good results and receive high grades. Foreign professors that come to teach in our universities are surprised by the level of education of our students,” sums up the dean of the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University.