The revised educational standard will make it possible for students to choose their own educational trajectory. This was announced by experts at a meeting of the federal training and methodological association in the system of higher education in the integrated group of training areas 40.00.00 ’Jurisprudence’ held at St Petersburg University. 

Not so long ago, when choosing a profession, applicants could be sure that when they graduated they would have enough knowledge and skills relevant in the labour market and could start working straight away. Today, however, means of production, communication and technology are changing rapidly. Today, if you study at university on a four-year programme, you might find yourself with a wealth of knowledge at the time of graduation, although this knowledge may no longer be relevant. 

Legislators are responding to this overall acceleration by changing the norms that govern education. For example, the State Duma has passed a law revising the current mechanisms for developing federal state educational standards for professional education. Educational standards are now allowed and even recommended to include professional competencies from other subject areas. Moreover, students will be able to obtain several qualifications at the same time. For example, while getting a higher education, they will be able to master working professions. Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods at St Petersburg University, noted that while this is not so relevant for law studies, it is a very timely and important decision for education in the spheres of transport, construction, and engineering. 

Today, the idea of customising education is implemented through students’ choice of internship placements, coursework and graduation projects, elective courses, online courses and functional groupings in clinical training.

Moreover, students are expected to be able to change their field of study or programme of study. The need for such an opportunity was announced by the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, in the Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly. 

At present, a large number of initiatives to develop Federal State Educational Standard 4.0 are underway. This standard should logically fit into the general trend of individualisation and customisation of education. The participants agreed that modern science has already proved that all people have different types of intellect, different speed of absorbing information, different preferences and aptitudes. The labour market is also changing rapidly: professions that were in demand yesterday are now obsolete. To meet the challenges of this ever-changing world, experts say, one must either endlessly develop new academic programmes and standards, or incorporate individual educational routes into already existing ones. The new Federal State Educational Standard will contain a certain number of disciplines that can be selected by the student. According to it, about 30% of the subjects will be optional. Other subjects shall remain compulsory for all. 

Today, we no longer question the need for personalisation in education. It is the ability of an individual to make informed, rational choices that determines the quality of the outcomes.

Elena Kazakova, Professor of St Petersburg University

Universities anticipate that this approach, offering the student a choice and thus sharing responsibility for his or her career, will lead to greater autonomy and success for the graduate, increasing his or her value and employability as a specialist. 

Today, St Petersburg University, working according to its own educational standards, which are a step ahead of the federal ones, gives students in some areas the opportunity to choose their own track of study. For example, in 2021, the University offered a new master’s programme ‘Legal Support of Business’. It is the first university programme in law where students will be able to form their own educational trajectory. 

Compulsory disciplines of the programme include: corporate law, procedural law, corporate labour management system, competition law, business protection in control and supervisory activities. ’A graduate will be able to choose an educational trajectory in the field of: resolving economic disputes between entrepreneurs; protection of business rights and interests in public law disputes; interaction of commercial organisations and entrepreneurs with the authorities; and legal support of personnel to name just a few,’ said Nelly Diveeva, Chairperson of the Federal Training and Methodological Association in Jurisprudence, Academic Supervisor of the programme, Professor at St Petersburg University, concluding the meeting.