Recently, thanks to Kyiv School of Economics I attended the lecture Open Lecture «Maximizing Public Wealth» by Dag Detter, of one of the co-authors of «The Public Wealth of Nations: How Management of Public Assets Can Boost or Bust Economic Growth» book of the year 2015 according to The Economist and Financial Times. In this book, among other things, the scientists proved that it is preferable for the governments to focus not on the debt management of countries, but on public assets management, the volume of which on a global scale is about USD 75 trillion. At the same time, the quality growth of public assets management will provide for the creation of new investment resource for infrastructure development and life improvement. Growth in public revenues is likely to reach USD 750 trillion. Low management quality results not in the financial loss only, but also means the loss of opportunities. Authors offer the recipe for public assets management quality improvement based on transparency and institutes coordination. To impellent such management, National Wealth Fund may be created, which shall be managed as corporation and shall be alienated from politicians. Condition on alienation from politicians is conditional upon the fact that they tend to think only about the prospects of retention of power/re-election and are not interested in efficient and high-quality management of public assets, because they make practice of populism, which does not require their efforts.
At what conclusions I have arrived in public assets management, namely in academic degree awarding?
- This asset is being managed extremely poor. Decision-makers from the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, namely Liliia Hrynevych, Volodymyr Kovtunets, Shevtsov Andriy do not realize that scientific potential, namely appraisal system, aimed at its increment, come at a price.
- Currently this cost is negative due to artificial creation of “bubble” in this field by opportunists – plagiarists, falsifiers, corruptionists, who, while acting on their own benefit,
firstly, destroyed the quality of scientific researches in majority of sciences,
secondly, led to depreciation of academic degrees,
thirdly, push straight-arrow scientists from educational institutions (ref. to recent dismissal scandal of Bohdan Pastukh),
fourthly, reallocate public resources for their own benefit in the form of extra pays being the annuity for life,
fifthly, enroot the academic evil-doing practices and protect their own drafts of regulations (ref. to recent draft procedure for academic degrees awarding).
- Reasoned failure to act of decision-makers from the Ministry of Education and Science relates to the interest in political control retention over the field of education and science. They exercise control with the help of populism and massive promotion of ideas like “New Ukrainian School”. In sober fact due to poor state management we have no resource to implement such an idea. Everything we have is being spent on imitation and creation of “Potemkin villages”.
- Only through the resistance of civil society representatives and discourse development we may have an impact on situation change, namely recognition of existing problem and practical steps to resolve it, such as:
end-to-end independent verification of quality of presented theses;
end-to-end review of the activity of specialized councils;
end-to-end review of publication quality in scientific professional publications;
end-to-end review of the activity of higher educational institutions, in which doubtful special councils operate;
end-to-end review of the activity of expert councils and appraisal bodies of the Ministry of Education and Science;
review of statutory regulation environment of this field.
Theses presentation and extra pays for the academic title/academic degree shall be temporarily suspended for the period of end-to-end review.
- Based on the revision results we shall:
1) determine the degree of plagiarism, counterfeit and fabrications in qualifying papers;
2) dissolve special councils that take no notice of plagiarism, counterfeit;
3) dissolve scientific professional publications, who publish plagiarism, falsification;
4) terminate contracts with rectors, who allow for the operation of evil-doing special councils;
5) break ranks with experts and members of appraisal body, who fail to exercise their powers;
6) develop the regulatory environment, meeting the state of affairs and development conditions, which will succeed in promotion of honest researchers and will undermine operation of evil-makers.
Only when the revision and cleaning are made, “burst” of created “bubble” and rise in value of appraisal system and, in the long term – scientific potential, may be possible. Persistent failure to act by the Ministry of Education and Science with regard to this may lead to the bankruptcy of science and education, considering that soon there will be no one in society to perform their functions.
What is more important to us – to preserve the political control of opportunists or to promote the development of science and education as the social goods?
This question shall be posed to the key players of our political elite.