The article considers the role of elective courses in professional development of students of economics. Modern European education is developing on the principles of democratization and humanization, where democratization implies the involvement of all agents/participants of the education process into forming its content and solving numerous related problems. Moreover, in order to be competitive in global labour market, modern specialists must develop such features as mobility, cultural, language and religious empathy, professionalism, commitment to the human virtues, etc. The content of education expressed in the curriculum is now not a rigid unity. Offering elective courses, university curricula can be easily modified to the students′ needs and aspirations. The analysis of the curricula of the economic faculties at some leading European universities has showed a great amount of elective courses mainly in general subjects such as Psychology, Pedagogy, Philosophy, History, Politology, Social Science, etc. These courses make up approximately 10 % of the total study load and are meant to realize interdisciplinary links, deepen students′ understanding of economic phenomena and develop analytical and strategic thinking. On the one hand, by choosing elective courses students are more agitated in learning, more interested and motivated. On the other hand, universities think harder over the supply of subjects and their content. At the same time, it increases lecturers′ motivation to consider new approaches, update information, and on the whole do their best to make their subjects appealing to students. The research has proved that elective courses realize an important role in students′ professional and personal development by integrating knowledge of many subjects, through their participation in tailoring the curricula and enriching their professional portfolio.
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