Saturday, 21 February 2009

The Chechen State University

Hello, my dear FD.  
Hope you haven’t be bored without me. If “yes”, we’ll correct it immediately. =)
Today I’ll tell you about The Chechen State University (CSU). 

From the papers of history...

CSU was founded in 1972. But in fact its history begins from 1938. First it was Teachers’ institute with two-year program where teachers for primary schools were prepared. 1941 – Chechen-Ingush State Teachers' training institute and on bases of it – Chechen-Ingush State University. In 1995 it was renamed to the Chechen State University (CSU)
In the days of old CSU was a centre of science and education in Chechnya and was one of the best institutions. Unfortunately all of its training buildings, libraries, unique scientific libraries and typography were damaged during the war.  

2000 is a year of revival of the university…revival from the ruins as everything in Chechen Republic including people’s souls, hearts and hopes. 

Today we have more or less good conditions for studying. There are 5 training buildings, 13 faculties, 803 teachers among them 34 DPhils and about 15 000 students in the CSU. 

Nowadays we don’t have a rector as it used to be, but a president of the university – Saidov Zaurbek Aslanbekovich. From 2004 he was a head of the State Committee of Youth Affairs. In 2008 he was appointed the president of CSU by our republic’s president.

University Herald”
It is a name of the CSU’s own newspaper.

1. Steps of revival

Restoring of the main building of the university is in progress. Its majestic facade, decorated with columns and bas-reliefs, was a pride of CSU in the past. The new building won’t become a copy of old one, but, it’s promised, will as beautiful as it and will become a pride not only of the university, but also of the capital.


2.Chechen students abroad

(Interview with pro-rector of International relations of CSU Shavady Arsaliev) 
- Who was the initiator of the project “Studies abroad” and how passed the selection of those who would go for studying abroad?
- First of all I want to emphasize a great role of our president Ramzan Kadyrov in this project. It was by his order that Ministry of Education with the Chechen State University selected students of our 3 institutes of higher education for studying abroad. The institutes: The Chechen State University (CSU), The Grozny State Oil Institute (GSOI), The Chechen State Teacher’s Institute (CSTI). 
- After thorough selection, testing and interviewing the candidates were selected 89 students. 41 of them went to Germany (CSU – 33 students, GSOI – 4, CSTI – 4) and 48 to Great Britain (CSU – 25 students, GSOI – 10, CSTI – 13). 
- It is our first experience, but in spite of this, as show the numbers I’ve presented, we gathered quite large group of students and sent them abroad. 
- Why have you chosen Germany and Great Britain?
- Of course, it wasn’t a random choice. Germany and Great Britain are countries with the most developed system of higher education. There are many prestigious universities with centuries-old history in the countries. To be a student of such universities is a great honour and responsibility for young man, all the more for representative of such long-suffering and fast-developing region as Chechen Republic. 
- It wasn’t randomness that our president Kadyrov R. talked about the responsibility that rests with selected students in his farewell speech. I think, the guys understood that they’d have a difficult travel around Europe. 
- To which professions you gave preferences?
- We gave preferences to professions that are first-priority for our economics, among them: medicine, agronomy, animal technician, veterinary science, produce processing industry, economics of production control, commerce, management, physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, informatics, social service, tourism, ecology, geography and professions relating to petroleum industry.  
- Did foreign partners take part in the selection process?
- Of course! The process was led with active participation of representatives of foreign educational organizations: DAAD (Germany), INTO and Study Group (Great Britain). They checked our guys at all points. A special attention was given to the knowledge of foreign language. 
- All troubles about the selection are in past now and our students are in Europe. They left home in the beginning of January. 
- On what will they live? Will they have grants and whether it’ll be enough for life?
- Of course, they’ll get grants. And the money should be enough for our students to live quite respectable life. The students who are in GB first month will get: 1) those who live in hostels, ₤500; 2) in families - ₤400. Beginning from the second month: 1) ₤400; 2) ₤300. 
- A basic monthly grant in Germany is €410 - it must be enough for student. 
- How will our republic control a learning process of our students abroad?
- A data about every student will be collected and sent us during first weeks of their studying abroad. It’ll contain an information about their progress (in studies), attendance of lessons, etc. We’re getting telephone numbers of our students already. And can contact with them when it’ll be necessary. 
- Besides, at the end of this month we plan to go abroad and visit higher educational institutions where the students are studying. It’ll gives us chance to receive evidence that our students deliver the goods.  

- Will be the program of studies abroad of chechen students continued?
- The program is planed to be continued till 2019. Depending on the results of the winter term a new reception of applications for studying abroad will be announce a in all three state institutions. Every 1st-, 2nd – year student, who studies for “5”, “4” (without “3” in the student's record book) can apply for the grant except those who studies by correspondence contract basis. 

3. As you eat, you shall study. 

There’s hardly any other point of catering in our republic as popular and called-for as students’ canteen in the central building of CSU. “Feast of stomach” is here! “There's not an inch of room, there's no room to move” at rush-hours.

Recently a Moscow journalist making the round of the university dropped in the canteen and said with admiration: “As I see your students don’t have problems with appetite”. 

Indeed, they don’t have such problem. They are young, healthy, full of energy and they have an appropriate appetite. All the more, when there’s an opportunity to satisfy it right at the university.

Of course, this is not a place for gourmet, but one can easily dull the edge of his appetite. The most popular dishes are round fried meat pies, patties, hot dogs, tea, coffee and cakes. Therewith prices of here are much cheaper than in the near-university cafes. 

- Coasts of dishes set in accordance with cost breakdown, - says the manager of the canteen Malika Abazova. 

Malika is one of the most old workers of CSU’s catering. She came to the university’s canteen 22 years ago. Constancy and devotion to the job are “trade mark” of the canteen. The personnel of canteen consists of 5 members and none of them can be called a “beginner”. For instance, cooks Ayna, Roza and Fatima work here since 1991. The others joined them in 1996. It seems even cookery experts feel themselves safe and comfortableunder the university’s wing. Though, as Malika Abazova says, the history of the canteen was quite hard. During the war in 1994-1996 it was damaged. At the first opportunity in 1996 canteen’s team restored it and began to work as they wanted to provide students at least with some food - round fried pies, patties, tea and coffee.  

Any other café may envy today’s influx of clients of the canteen. Because of the great number of clients there’s always problem with free rooms. At the “prime-times” one can see a queue for vacated chairs – their total number is 120. It’s clear that there’s need to make the canteen wider. 

- There’s need not only to make the canteen wider, but also re-equip it, - says the manager. 

The direction of the university already knows about the problems and the president of CSU Zaurbek Saidov ordered to find means to solve them. 

The Chechen State University has taken the road of modernization recently. No doubts, the new trends will touch university’s catering system. It’s planned to create a complex of nourishment for students, where will be plenty of places and food. 

A sound mind in a sound body! And the sound body needs tasty, salubrious food in a comfort conditions.

4. Well of stamped knowledge

Many years ago before the TV and video industry had become so developed as today, and the Internet wasn’t so worldwide, book depositories were very popular. With appearance of new types of media, in part, the Internet, the number of book readers reduced.

This tendency is a standards for any other library but not for the university’s ones. They are usually full, especially during attestations and examinations’ periods. At this time it’s very important for librarians to react to student’s requests in good time. Youth is full of energy, active and sometimes even impulsive people. And because of these it’s necessary sometimes for librarians to apply some educational measures (steps) against the students (like shouting) – but it happens very seldom. 

Nobody likes fuss in this kingdom of books, and the main enemies of here are dust, moisture and, excuse me, insects that are harmful for papers. 
There are 5 reading halls in CSU at 5 faculties. The main office is situated at the faculty of law. Nobody knows exactly how many books in the library. The reason is that most of books were received as presents and they haven’t been calculated yet. 
- We make an inventory now, - says a director of the library Rezida Shavkhalova, - and very soon we’ll find out an exact number of the books. In general, there are more than 200 000 books in the library. 

 5. Computer is not so black as it is painted

Students’ folklore says: a student lives from term to term. What does he do during the term, the folklore hushes up. Though it’s easy to see, that examinations and tests’ period is the most difficult one for students, which is full of worries, stresses and intensive preparations for the exams.  

A new numerical-rating system joined with computer testing put additional load of worries and responsibility. Pass exams on computer for “excellent” mark, add one’s rating points, and then get an average “good” mark is not easy. But the students have adapted to the system. It’s seen from their results. And a correspondent of ‘University Herald” got evidence of that by visiting computer examinations at the end of January. 

There were 4 groups passing exam (“Chechen folklore”) that day – 3 of them were philologists, 1 – journalists. The They all passed the exams for “5” and “4” marks. 

- I’m satisfied by their results, - says a candidate of philological science, a teacher of the subject “Chechen folklore” Sharany Djambekov, who was controlling the passing of exam. – Now we need to calculate their total points including current points, which they got during the term (at the lessons). 

And the students too look quite satisfied by results.  

- We were preparing for the exam without any hope for condescension, - says a student Laila. – And I’m very glad we passed it for good marks. 
Computer examinations has become an important part of educational process of CSU. Now there are no doubts of reasonability this new system of evaluation student’s knowledge and traditional system gives way for innovations. 
“University Herald”
№2 (6) February, 2009