An Innovative Approach to
Prepare Specialists for Russian-Japanese
Cooperation at the Start of a New Type of Civilization

by Tamara Kostina, Nizami Mamedov, and Boris Sedunov
Moscow State Institute of Business Administration

A presentation for the International Symposium on Stability and Development in Northeast Asia
Niigata Sangyo University, Kashiwazaki, Japan, 26-27 October 2002

The Symposium collected together scientists and educators from all countries of the Japan Sea Rim and had two Panel Discussions:

@1. Establishment of Sustainable Development of Each Region in Socio-Economic Activities;
@2. Progressive International Cooperation in Research and Education among the Universities.

We are grateful to President Yasuzo Uchida, Niigata Sangyo University, for a beautiful organization of this Symposium and for an opportunity to know Japan better, its people and culture. And we are sure the Cooperation between the Moscow State Institute of Business Administration, Niigata Sangyo University and other participating Universities from the Japan Sea Rim countries will grow with time.

Boris Sedunov

This report is the result of a constructive cooperation between Moscow State Institute of Business Administration (MSIBA) and Russian Academy of Government Administration under President of Russian Federation (RAGS). That cooperation covers both sides of the governmentally regulated market oriented economy: MSIBA prepares specialists for competitive business and market environment, while RAGS aims at preparation of specialists for governmental structures. MSIBA in its educational practice carefully follows all changes in business environment basing on its cooperation with enterprises and information from students and graduates, who work in market economy. RAGS takes participation in the governmental documents preparation and works in a tight cooperation with governmental and lawmaking structures.

The authors of this report are: Tamara Kostina - doctor of philosophical sciences, rector of MSIBA, working out spiritual problems of business education in terms of sustainable development ideas; Nizami Mamedov - doctor of philosophical sciences, vice-head of RAGS Social-Ecology Department, working out culture problems of international dialog facing global ecological problems; Boris Sedunov, PhD, - a manager of the Internet based International Virtual University project, working out transformation trends of business education at approaching to the sustainable development of a global and national economic systems.

MSIBA is the successor of the Moscow College of Business Administration that signed in 1993 an agreement of partnership with the Niigata Sangyo University. This partnership let MSIBA to be acquainted better with Japanese culture. The MSIBA students show a great interest to Japan, to its business successes and a great motivation in studying the basics of Japanese organizational and corporate culture that has proven to be very effective in the winning competitiveness of the Japanese economy.

MSIBA in cooperation with RAGS has organized five International symposiums on the sustainable development global and local problems and on principles of business education modernization in terms of the sustainable development ideals. Therefore, the themes of the current Symposium are quite close to the MSIBA and RAGS interests, and the results of the Symposium will be useful for Russian educational practice and state politics.
The main trends of the XXI century in social-economic spheres can be expressed as:

  • political and economic globalization;
  • informatization of production and society;
  • a quick growth of changes rates in social, economic and cultural spheres.
  • The challenges of the new century are mainly connected with strict limitations on the human technological activity that results from the exhaustion of basic natural resources and deterioration of global and local ecology.

    The principal aims and general goals of the World people in this century will turn around the strivings to improve the quality of life, and especially the quality of education that influences significantly the conditions of personal development and by this again the quality of life.

    The authors are sure that growing global and local ecological problems can not be solved properly without new type of specialists who should possess an ecological intellect. To prepare them it will be needed to form the future business and economy leaders' personality in accordance with principles of the ecological culture. Depending on the content and orientation culture can either complicate or solve contradictions with nature, either unite or separate people. A culture of people whose mentality is on the world level should be called for. Nowadays the survival of mankind depends on an establishment of a new culture of world harmonizing original national cultures via utilization of universal values.

    In terms of globalization in different fields of human activity what is meaningful for the future of civilization is to establish a system of values based on humanistic ideals, promoting the well being of the present and future generations. The values of the world culture are a quintessence of national culture values supporting the spiritual prosperity of each person, harmonizing social life and sustaining the development of society. This is not an artificial but a natural way of establishing the culture. Due to a present tendency towards social-political unification of the world, the intensification of communicative relations solves the problem of mankind dispersing in space and time on our planet.

    In the process of the new world culture establishing, an intercultural dialog plays a special role to further mutual understanding among national cultures. In the dialog among representatives of various cultures, such an exchange implements the coordination of values, ideals, norms and other attributes of human spirituality. Intercultural dialog gives the person an opportunity to look at his attitude objectively, and to go beyond his own culture. The classical example in this respect can be an influence of the medieval Arabic-Moslem culture on the Crusaders' views. The results of the Crusades were the reformation of Christianity and the Renaissance advent.

    In attempting inter cultural dialog the problem of mutual understanding in interpersonal relations extending to intercultural communications gains a special meaning. Despite differences between national cultures, there is always some common basis upon which the opportunity to dialog may arise. These are universal values that embody the social-cultural experience. Universal values are fundamental values that give meaning for a human being. They determine the level of conscience of an individual as well as the viewpoints of any age. Every culture creates different expressions of these universal values, which embody its cultural uniqueness.

    Our World faces an existence and development of a diversity of civilizations, cultures, and nationalities, a plurality of educational systems in different countries. It results from the social evolution diversity development law that is the law of the evolution progress direction. And existing diversity of civilizations, cultures, nationalities and educational systems is a unavoidable condition of the human development progress that reflects a diversity of social, cultural, geographic, landscape, climate conditions of development for different people and results from features of their historical experience.

    Due to the influence of information technologies an antagonism between nationalistic and universalistic cultural tendencies is increasing. However, communication is preparing new conditions for intercultural dialog by destroying some of previous forms of cultural originality. Communicative development (while respecting cultural differences) promotes an establishment of the world culture based on humanistic principles. In this way, it can lead to an ultimate solution of global problems. Modern communications in their essence possess enormous integrative potential by discovery of commonly shared values in our global community.

    We understand that the world culture formation should be based on a corresponding education of young and adult people in a system of long life learning. The Russian Government has approved the doctrine of the education development in Russia that has proclaimed an idea of a free access for any citizen of Russia to middle and higher level education on a competitive basis.

    The Russian educational system faces a goal not only to adapt itself to changes that take place in the country and in the world, but also to become a reliable basis for transformation of Russia into a powerful, distinctive and prosperous state. Education should be one of key points in the survival strategy and sustainable development of Russia.

    Summarizing the principal points of view on the education development role for Russia, it may be stated:

  • Education should become a leading mechanism for Russian society and civilization development. From modernized education to new sciences, new technologies, new social, economic and business relations, new personal and social goals and strivings.
  • Education should be put into a basis for sustainable development of Russia. Through education to new ecological culture, to new standards of industries and life, to new nature saving decisions. The sustainable development model should be a harmonic coexistence of strict standards of the human-to-nature interaction with creative development of progressive social and productive technologies.
  • Education should determine the quality of life in a changing world. Through education to new proportions in material and intellectual demands, to limited material consumption and to expanding intellectual and spiritual interests, to more economic ways of the material demands satisfaction.
  • The state of Russia has been formed on an enormous continent of Eurasia and takes a 1/8-th part of the World's dry territory. Therefore, Russia may be both a center of stability and instability of the World geopolitical development. A decay of Russia can launch an explosive instability of the World in military, economic and demographic spheres. Only with a good educational system Russia can provide a positive input into sustainable development of the World.

    At the beginning of the last century Russian outstanding scientist V. Vernadsky has formulated his ideal of the 'learning people'. To the end of the XX-th century this ideal has been put into a basis of educational policy in many countries, including Japan, Great Britain, Germany. Russia, like Japan, has features of a communal civilization that is based on a fundamental historic, social and genetic origin. This communal character makes our peoples closer to each other, therefore the MSIBA former students that have been graduated from the Niigata Sangyo University gave an example of a positive international and intercultural dialog and became leaders in the intercultural interaction.
    MSIBA regularly organizes international symposiums on the educational problems for sustainable development of societies and we see that thus a core for international dialog has been created and there is seen an attraction to this core from Russian speaking population of the New Independent States (NIS), which emerged after the USSR decay.

    The progressively thinking people of Russia feel their responsibility for the future of Russian speaking population in NIS. On this reason Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov ordered MSIBA a creation of a distance education system for the Russian speaking population of NIS. This work took a form of the Internet based International Virtual University project. MSIBA plays a role of the experimental laboratory for this University. Computerized educational technologies of this University should be firstly tested and implemented in the educational practice of the MSIBA. Their implementation in MSIBA in parallel with face-to-face technologies should expand ways for a self-education of students and to make the face-to-face communication between a teacher and a class free from routine work that may be transferred to the computerized educational methods.

    This Symposium shows that the methods of the educational and international cultural problem solution can be put into a basis of the sustainable development of both individual countries and a whole World. We suggest expanding of our Internet based International Virtual University project on the countries of the Japan Sea Rim and appeal to the Symposium organizers and participants to take part in its development and implementation.

    It will be our constructive input in the decision of difficult problems concerning the start of our countries' movement to a sustainable development model. And it will be a good example of a civilized solution of the international cooperation problems.

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