Interview of Vice-Rector of Orenburg State University, Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Professor Tatyana Aleksandrovna Olkhovai
In anticipation of the II Open Russian Statistical Congress, the RASt press service interviewed the Vice-Rector of Orenburg State University, Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Professor Tatyana Aleksandrovna Olkhovai on a number of questions about the development of statistical education in OSU, which resulted in getting state accreditation for educational programs in statistics.
— Tatyana Aleksandrovna, at the International Scientific and Practical Conference of Statisticians held at Orenburg State University in 2013 the «International Year of Statistics» there was formulated an initiative to recreate the Russian Association of Statisticians. In April 2014, at the Inaugural Congress at Rosstat, the association was recreated. Now Orenburg State University has received state accreditation for educational programs for the preparation of bachelors and masters in "Statistics". What caused such an attention towards the development of this area?
"Learning enlightens the mind..." Under this motto, Orenburg State University (OSU) is operating in Orenburg. The university is a major educational institution. The number of structural units does confirm this. If we talk about the faculties of OSU, there are now 13 of them: architecture and construction; geology and geography; electric power; transport; applied biotechnology and engineering; physics; chemistry and biology; mathematics and information technology; humanities and social sciences; philology and journalism; economics and management; economics and finance; law.
In the OSU there are also larger structural units such as institutes. There are 2 of them: aerospace and the institute of management. Both faculties and institutes have higher education programs. Quality education at all levels of training (undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate) is impossible without the inclusion of statistical disciplines. The higher the level of training, the more statistical knowledge is required.
The essence of the work of the OSU is not only in the training of students, on a wide range of educational programs. The university is engaged in scientific activities. The work is carried out within 12 scientific branches in 54 areas. The scientific activity of the university is effective. The publication activity among professors of the university is maintained at a high level, the papers include the use of statistical methods. Experts annually carry out research and development for the state and enterprises of the Orenburg region. The university has established certain research groups. For example, one of them deals with the design and strengthening of buildings, the other conducts research to ensure the quality of road transport operation, etc. All scientific research includes statistical observations, various statistical classifications, statistical analysis and data management.
- Orenburg State University is a classical university, famous in Russia and abroad, primarily for its engineering programs. What are the peculiarities of teaching statistics at OSU?
Orenburg State University is recognized worldwide. Various organizations and educational institutions cooperate with the university. At the moment there are more than 30 partners. Among them are educational organizations and universities in Germany, China, Kazakhstan, Japan, France and other countries. Cooperation with other states allows Orenburg State University to participate in various events and organize some of them. For example, OSU has become one of the venues for the Eurasia International Youth Educational Forum, which included session on the theory of statistics. Cooperation with foreign organizations allows us to develop an academic exchange of teachers and students, to popularize the study of foreign languages. Many students get the opportunity to study in Italy, China, USA, Germany, Japan. The main feature of our university is the statistical school headed by V.N. Afanasyev, elected member of the International Statistical Institute (ISI), member of the RASt board, Honorary Worker of Higher Professional Education of the Russian Federation. He prepared a sufficient number (46 PhDs and 4 doctors of science) of highly skilled statisticians for the educational system of Orenburg. Of course, it is particularly important for the heads of all university structural units to understand in the need to teach statistical disciplines. Now all scientific areas of postgraduate study include the course "Statistical methodology in scientific research." Many graduate programs have included in their curricula statistical methods for processing information. At the Faculty of Finance and Economics, and the Faculty of Economics and Management, statistics and econometrics are basic disciplines. The Department of Statistics and Econometrics is a regular participant of the scientific and methodological (practical) conferences in OSU, the Russian Federation and abroad (International Association for Statistical Education). The branch of the department has been located in Orenburgstat for the past 12 years, which makes it possible to timely obtain statistical information for all educational areas of the university and thereby popularize the state (official) statistics.
- In what direction, Tatyana Aleksandrovna, do you think will the statistics be developed in the near future?
Famous scientists of various areas call statistics a universal memory, which allows one to know in order to anticipate, and to anticipate in order to manage. Therefore, in modern society, it will be one of the most important tools for managing various processes, including scientific ones. Compilation and analysis of information using statistical methodology provides an opportunity to get an adequate picture of the system of interconnections of phenomena and processes, to reflect on the results of management influence. Research and didactics should be reflected in statistical education.
In 2019 we plan the admission of applicants on a budgetary basis in "Statistics" and on the statistical profile of "Economics" study program. Due to the fact that the majority of teachers who must conduct training for bachelors and masters in "Statistics" study program have a basic economic education, 450 hour-long retraining of teachers with the qualification of "Statistics" is organized at OSU. The university also plans targeted training of statisticians for territorial bodies of state statistics of the Russian Federation which is the main employer.
In the run-up to the II Open Russian Statistical Congress in Rostov-on-Don, let me wish the participants beneficial work and the solution of many problems facing statistical education, science and practice.
- Thank you very much for your answers and support of Russian statistics.
RASt press service
The Russian Public Organization ‘Russian Association of Statisticians’ (RASt) was established at the Moscow Inaugural Congress on April 2, 2014.
RASt was registered with the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on August 8, 2014 (registration No. 0012011804). The relevant public association state registration information was entered into the Unified State Register of Legal Entities under the main state registration number 1147799012954 on August 13, 2014.
The RASt is a membership-based, voluntary, self-governing, non-profit association of statisticians, other individuals and legal entities (non-profit organizations), established to protect common interests of its members and to pursue its Charter goals.
RASt goals are as follows:-
- To promote the development of statistics and its applications;
- To promote statistical staff training and advanced training;
- To bring to the attention of relevant executive and legislative authorities the issues of statistics, to propose ways and means to address these issues; and
- To foster international cooperation in statistics, to develop ties with statistical communities in foreign countries, to facilitate the integration of Russian statisticians into the global academic and professional community.
Promoting development of statistics and its applications
Our partners in promoting the development of statistics and its applications are the Federal State Statistics Service, the Interstate Statistical Committee of the CIS and other national and international organizations involved in the development of statistical activities, as well as research and educational institutions, associations, media and corporations. RASt does not seek to substitute activities of the national statistical offices or research and educational institutions. RASt defines its role in developing the national statistics as the support to creative initiatives of Russian and foreign statisticians, innovative statistical projects, to raising awareness and enhancing the perception of statistical activities, the professional understanding and cooperation between statisticians. RASt undertakes the task to organize the Russian Statistics Congress in different regions of Russia annually. The Russian Statistics Congress is expected to become a forum for professional statisticians, both academics and practitioners, from various areas of statistics and to contribute to the implementation of our motto, ‘Statistics for the public.’
Promoting training in statistics
RASt stresses the particular importance of developing and implementing a modern educational standard in statistics, improving the quality of curricula, textbooks and other methodological documents. More broadly, RASt seeks to take an active part in improving the Russian public statistical literacy.
Liaising with authorities on development of statistics
RASt sees its immediate task in preparing the ‘Statistician’ professional standard adequate to the current global trends and international standards. In addition, RASt will participate, in the manner prescribed by the Russian law, in the drafting and discussing publicly of the laws and regulations related to statistical activities and statistical classifications. RASt will participate in the relevant expert groups and bodies and share its opinion in the media.
Fostering international cooperation in statistics
RASt identifies its most important task in strengthening cooperation with statisticians and professional communities of CIS member countries, the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space. RASt also seeks to develop fruitful cooperation with professional statistical communities of other countries, and with international professional organizations, first of all the International Statistical Institute (ISI). RASt is grateful for the support kindly provided by ISI and statistics associations of the USA, Japan, the UK, Poland, ‘Open Data Watch’ public organization, in preparing for and holding of its Inaugural Congress.