Summer is over. Some people were on vacations they truly deserved. Some people worked for the admission campaign. Now all of us are waiting for the new academic year to commence. This time we are especially inspired and happy as the admission campaign this year was a success.
I believe everybody remembers how we were debating at the meetings of the Academic and Administrative Councils about whether we should raise the minimum ACT score for entry into Tomsk State University. It was obvious that one of the best Russian universities was supposed to attract the most talented and promising enrollees. However, such move could reduce the number of people who had a desire to choose certain majors. It also could reduce the number of people who wanted to pay for their education because their grades were not good enough to study for free. Taking into consideration all the risks mentioned above, we decided to raise the ACT scores. Turned out, we were right.
Even though the total number of enrollees decreased by 5,6%, the number of young people whose results were good enough to enter the University increased by 1,000 people. It was not just about quantity, it was about quality as well. Most of our freshmen have excellent academic results and the highest results in their graduate tests. 1250 young people from 37 countries are going to spend their first year at TSU. Last year we had first year students from only 30 countries.
But was raising the ACT scores the only reason why we have such great and talented first year students this time? I believe there are three major reasons for that. First – the statement “the best enrollees wait for the best proposals” was proved. We made the best proposal and it was heard and accepted. Those who could not count on state funded places stayed with us anyway and will pay for their education, though they could enter some other university and study for free. They believe that they will receive the best education at Tomsk State University.
The second reason – we not only relied on the best enrollees to come to us but also prepared them. The network of education “school-university” programmes is aimed at it. There is a multilevel and multidisciplinary system of collaboration with regional schools our University is involved in. Faculties, institutes, and departments participate in these programmes. School students establish their individual personal education schedules at TSU. Last year TSU worked with over 70 schools. We did it here in Tomsk and remotely. TSU spent a lot of resources to work with schools in order to prepare their best graduates to enter the University.
TSU has its own schools to prepare new generations of students. This year the TSU School of Physics and Mathematics celebrated its 45th anniversary. Internet Lyceum has been a successful project that has been carried out by the TSU Institute of Distance Learning. Both personal and group forms of training are available there. Having successfully completed the courses, graduates get TSU certificates. We are constantly looking for new forms of interacting with school students. This September the tutoring service will start its work. It will help kids to find their paths in lives and to choose their future programmes and majors.
Of course, our efforts paid off and affected the results of the admission campaign. But there is a third reason why we succeeded in attracting the best enrollees. It is very important to prepare the new generation of students. But it is also important to receive them as well as possible. It is not a secret that some universities use aggressive forms of advertising or even wrong-foot their competitors. As enrollees were applying at different universities, they could compare different styles of communication with them. And it was a pleasure for me to hear from the parents that at our University kids did not have to face unethical methods to attract their attention. They met respect and found support. I will not be surprised if some students who have chosen state-funded places at other universities will come back to us and pay for their education to study particularly at TSU.
The result of the admission campaign was achieved thanks to all the efforts put by the University staff. All departments participated and shared the responsibility to attract the best students. It was vital and people understood it. Departments sent their representatives – professors and managers - to work with the enrollees and their parents. Now we have to analyze everything that happened during the campaign to take it into consideration next year. No doubts that departments and faculties should work with their future students in order to achieve better results.
I want to thank each and every person who contributed to attracting a new generation of students at TSU. I congratulate you on having the opportunity to enjoy working with such talented young people. This year we will certainly have more of them!
Eduard V. Galazhinskiy,
Professor and Doctor of Psychology