Individual education

Individual educational trajectories

UTMN students are switching to a new form of education – individual educational trajectories since September 2019.
Now, all UTMN freshmen will study four main modules: Major, Core, Electives and Minor. During the first module, which is Core, students are required to join all disciplines that are not connected with University major. There are four main disciplines: "Russia and the world", "Digital culture", "Philosophy: thinking technologies" and "Principles of natural science".

Major is the main educational module and students join it since the second term. This is a block of field-specific courses, the bachelor's program is built of. It represents 70% of the entire program.
The combination of elective courses gives the opportunity to gain minor qualifications – a set of competencies that are not directly connected with the future profession of the bachelor. These professional qualities are the extra bonuses for employment.

The new UTMN education system will help each student to make an informed choice. It prepares a young specialist to adapt to current realities and to understand the particular study direction he or she joins.   

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Taisiya Pogodaeva, UTMN Vice-rector, Visionary of the Individual 
Educational Trajectories:   
“The new model of education turns a student into a key figure at the university. It is a student, not a professor or a department, who defines the content of a subject or an educational program. We suppose students who made their own informed choice are more demanding about the quality of their education.”

  There are several concepts of liberal education in the world. Certain universities follow a concept that involves the compulsory study of “great texts”. The main purpose of the bachelor program is to study all the books on the list, while further specialization is acquired afterwards. 

Another concept recognizes the existence of universal knowledge and skills which every person should possess. This education program, like the first, presupposes a given set of modules but they do not necessarily include the study of literary masterpieces. The list of disciplines may vary, what is more important is the final result.

The concept of progressivism is different from the both above-mentioned approaches. Students choose individual educational trajectories for which there are no established frameworks – the Open Curriculum is designed to enable students to develop their own programs of study. The Core Curriculum has the opposite approach. All students begin their undergraduate education by taking courses from the Common Core curriculum, irrespective of their choice in major.

Starting University is always a bit stressful for the whole family. Parents want University to clear things up and they want to understand the structure of modern studying as well as they used to study in their youth. 
Individualization is an easy way to find your place in the team. Individualization of education makes it possible to select educational tracks on the topic of the content, the types of activity, the complexity of the programs and the time to pass it.
Students choose disciplines, form of work, lecturers, project topics and composition of studying teams. Individualization is a new requirement of the labor market. Robot automation of all spheres of activity and digitalization change the place of the employee in the labor market. Critical and creative thinking, the ability to solve non-standard cases and to make controversial decisions, to generate new ideas and to take risks are the personal features, which modern economy demanded.
From the 1 of September, 2019, a team of tutors and the digital platform Modeus  provides support of the educational process of students. The best lecturers and courses have been selected to conduct core disciplines and electives.  

Competitive advantages of a new model:

  • The Core Curriculum program attracts teaching scientists and professors from leading educational establishments
  • Complementarity of the Core Curriculum courses 
  • Wide range of elective courses: 225 courses selected through a competitive process
  • Interdisciplinary students' projects as the foundation for building educational trajectories 
  • Studying in heterogeneous student teams (new course – new team)
  • Increased number of courses in entrepreneurship (entrepreneurship trajectory)
  • Tutoring support is an essential part of the educational process

Today the Core Curriculum consists of four main courses: ‘Russia and the world’, ‘Digital culture’, ‘Philosophy: thinking techniques’ and ‘Principles of scientific knowledge’.

The courses go hand in hand, complementing and expanding knowledge in all fields of study. The lectures include materials in a number of areas united in a common theme. For example, during the course “Russia and the world” first-year students attend lectures on history, cultural studies, urban geography and anthropology given by the leading researchers in the social and humanitarian spheres. After lectures, students have workshops and work on joint research projects, the results of which they later present before the experts.

The elective component of educational content is equally important. Traditionally Russian students have little choice: 1-2 elective courses per semester. However, UTMN has developed about a hundred of courses in different fields of expertise. By changing the approach to variability, students are given the opportunity to follow their individual educational trajectories since first year.

In the last years of studies, students pass to Major module and gain in-depth knowledge.

Since the second year of studies, students following individual educational trajectories can obtain additional qualification as bachelors for free. For this purpose, Minor module consisting of five elective courses was developed. 

This educational model gives students an opportunity to shape their own education. It also encourages them to develop digital literacy skills, critical-thinking and problem-solving abilities, independence, creativity, and flexibility as thinkers. Having taken different sets of disciplines, every student becomes a unique specialist who stands a better chance of finding the right workplace for them.

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