Russians given access to e-learning advances

Russian employees and the country’s unemployed are to be given access to
online learning following a deal between learning technology provider
Click2learn and the Russian system integration specialists CSS.

The two companies will work with global corporations based in Russia,
progressive Russian companies and government agencies in the country to provide
training for those out of work.

Ruben Agababyan, general manager at CSS, said, "The Russian market for
e-learning is huge and virtually untapped. During 70 years of communism,
Western business strategies and practices, which are now widely accepted, did
not apply to the Soviet way of doing business.

"We have now entered a new era in which we can take advantage of
cutting edge technologies that have evolved in Western Europe and the US. With
Click2learn on board, we have been able to leapfrog previous training
technologies to provide Russian-based companies with a sophisticated and
market-leading e-learning solution."

While senior management in the multinational companies speak English and
have been able to use e-learning courses developed in the West, the vast
proportion of Russian employees do not speak English and have not had access to

CSS has localised content and translated courses to widen access. Agababyan
said that, in addition, CSS intended to be a full solution provider offering
installation, consultancy and development services.

Stephen Bennett, Click2learn’s vice-president for Europe, said, "The
reason we have extended to Russia is because, as a nation, it is incredibly
hungry to learn.

"Since the fall of communism much of the education and further
education infrastructure has crumbled and people are desperate to get their
hands on anything that can improve their capability to find employment.

"Russia is such a huge country that technology can play a very
important role. Virtual classrooms, e-learning, the whole blended learning
experience is the most cost effective way of providing that education."

By Lisa Bratby

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