This paper examines the patterns, and possible causes and consequences of public universities decline across nations in general and Russian Federation in particular. It is argued that decline in public higher education systems is a common feature across the Western and developing nations as well as Russia. It is further argued that this global decline was, and still is to a great extent, triggered by a worldwide marketization of the higher education systems, sweeping privatization, and ideological conservative economic theory of market supremacy that led to the major shrinkage of public sectors’ resources and even deinstitutionalization of public institutions. The purpose of the study is to elaborate on the background and possible causes and consequences of declining public universities, and to reveal basic patterns of the decline with a particular reference to the Russian public higher education institutions (HEIs). The theoretical framework with related literature is drawn from the perspectives on organization theory (e.g., organizational decline, cutback management, organizational resource interdependency theory), public choice economic theory, bureaucratic politics, and political economy of public expenditures theory. An analytical approach is proposed and applied for evaluating the dynamics and potential outcomes, using a four-step analysis that covers (1) universities’ resource base dynamics indexes to calculate and to single out the group of declining organizations; (2) a cluster analysis of dynamic characteristics of declining public universities and their performances; (3)two sample t-tests were performed for declining universities; and (4) analysis of a series of semi-structured interviews with the topmanagement of seven particular declining Russian universities.
Findings reveal that there are common causes for public universities decline, classified as intraorganizational, contextual, and technological factors. It is also illustrated that the dynamics of the performance characteristics of the declining public universities with statistically significant scores differ for the worse as compared to the control group. The findings allowed making a series of propositions for public policy and university leadership lesson-drawing, with several policy and administration implications for public higher education institutions across other nations worldwide.
Higher education has generally been excluded from the welfare discourse, especially in transition countries. This article addresses existing research gaps by applying the ideas of decommodification and stratification to higher education in post-Soviet countries, within the comparative framework of welfare regime typology. The purpose of this study is to analyse the extent to which higher education relates to welfare state models in such countries. The research demonstrates that institutional settings and outcomes of higher education provision in Estonia, Georgia and Russia are evolving toward patterns of social-democratic, liberal and conservative models, respectively. Although the correspondence is incomplete, we argue that post-Soviet states are more similar to groups of countries representing these welfare regimes than to each other. This study argues against the assumption of a uniform post-Soviet pattern of higher education policy and shows that its structuring is embedded in the wider context of national welfare state models.
Although education is one of the key public spheres, only about 3% (2801 out of 9,319) of all papers have devoted to education in top-journals of public administration research in the last decade. There is a lack of discussions linking broad issues of public administration with specific phenomena in education. This special issue (SI) aims at renewing the attention to this field of study from the specific viewpoint of public management and administration disciplines. Specifically, the SI covers four streams of public administration research in education: policy regimes and reforms, distribution of public resources, efficiency of public education organizations, and micro-level practices of policy implementation. Overall, the SI adopt an approach based on analyzing the relationship between governance arrangements and its characteristic and results, with a specific attention to (i) country-level considerations and (ii) higher education as the field of application.
Soviet higher education had a distinctive institutional landscape. It combined two institutional types in a uniform model that embedded higher education in the national economy. This paper focuses on the post-Soviet system-level changes in the institutional landscape in all 15 countries of the former USSR. It shows that over last three decades the Soviet two-type institutional model evolved into a three-type model, with the specialized university as a new institutional type. Highlighting the instruments of horizontal and vertical differentiation for each country, the paper explains how structural reforms and market forces led to the rise of the university/ multiversity form of institution, and the strengthening of vertical stratification at system level. The comparative analysis shows that there have been different patterns of transformation in the 15 countries, shaped by unique combinations of structural reforms and marketization policies, with certain countries having made more distinctive steps away from the Soviet institutional model. There are now 15 formally different systems of higher education which poses further questions for comparative analysis.
Expansion and the growing role of higher education in determining life outcomes highlight the issue of its provision as a part of state welfare and redistribution policy. This article employs the critical review method and analyzes research on higher education in welfare state regimes. The article addresses research gaps and perspectives in studying higher education addressing the welfare regimes’ framework. A comparative analysis of access to higher education, educational systems’ institutional settings, and social stratification provide patterns in higher education redistribution, typical for conservative, liberal and socialdemocratic welfare regimes.
This chapter is aimed at providing insights into main engagement and disengagement factors in international doctoral students (IDS) experiences at Russian universities. Following the Tinto’s model of student departure, we look at two domains of IDS integration - social and academic. Based on data from 20 semi-structured in-depth interviews with IDS in three Russian universities we show that involvement in the university knowledge community and monetary support are the main factors of engagement that leads to positive IDS experience. At the same time language barriers, bureaucracy of the system of Russian higher education and an absence of a peer-support from the national communities are named among the main disengagement factors.
This paper studies the relationship between university institutional autonomy (both formal and informal) and their performance and efficiency using multi-stage empirical methodology. First, we measure an “autonomy-in-use” index, and then we employ Data Envelopment Analysis in order to evaluate institutional efficiency. Lastly, we use a panel fixed effect regression to provide robust evidence for the relationship between institutional autonomy, performance and efficiency. We find that formal status of autonomy does not predict higher publication activity or efficiency. However, the findings also reveal that informal autonomy is positively associated with efficiency scores, and advanced practices in staff management can contribute to increases in publication activity and overall institutional efficiency.
In a moving world, the concept of competency appears flexible enough to adapt to the needs of societies and economies. From a more individual perspective, the development of skills that can be valued in the labor market would be a means of increasing employability. There are several challenges that students face when entering the job market in Russia. This note analyses several national policies within European countries that develop instruments to identify their economic migrant needs, even if one of the most glaring result is that there is currently no European common policy on economic migration and labor market needs. Nevertheless, the European Commission is trying new approaches in identifying sectors with unfilled vacancies. This note also elaborates on the success of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) approaches that consist of awarding full qualifications, partial qualifications, credits toward a qualification, exemption for access to higher education, and/or exemption of all or part of the curriculum to applicants that have been assessed and have proven that their experiential learning outcomes meet the standards used in the higher education system. The first part of this note identifies the obstacles that prevent international students from staying in Russia after their studies and integrating into the labor market. The regulation of the labor market and the lack of employability of these students are highlighted. These issues are rather specific to Russia and, therefore, Section III on international experiences show the added value of international students to the development of the stock of human capital and competencies.
Grit is widely considered a trait composed of perseverance of effort (PE) and consistency of long-term interests (CI) that is positively associated with educational and professional attainments. However, because of unclear relations between the two elements that compose grit, PE and CI, the theoretical model of the construct of grit is still questionable. On the one hand, we have extensive evidence that the overall score for grit can predict important life outcomes. On the other hand, predictive ability does not necessarily indicate that a measure reflects a unitary psychological trait. In the case of the Grit scale, a number of works have shown that treating grit as a whole or higher-order construct is psychometrically and psychologically unsound. In this work, we aimed to explore the relationship of PE and CI with long-term educational outcomes in desired educational trajectories while controlling for potentially confounding factors. We hypothesized that if PE and CI are facets of a unified grit construct, we would find consistent patterns in these facets for a range of educational outcomes. Our study was conducted on a large sample of students (N=3110) from a national longitudinal study of school and university graduates. These students were also participants in both the TIMSS-2011 and PISA-2012 studies. When the students were in 9th grade, we assessed their grit, academic achievement, and educational aspiration. The next year, we obtained information about the choices students made after completing compulsory education: staying in high school vs. obtaining vocational training. Two years later, we again assessed the students’ educational and life outcomes. We run two regression models. The first model was a model with PE and CI as predictors only. In the second model, SES, gender, cognitive ability scores and educational aspirations were added as covariates. To test the mediation hypotheses, we also run regression models for possible mediators (educational aspirations and achievement) as outcomes. The results showed that perseverance was a better predictor than interests, although the effects of perseverance on long-term educational outcomes were more often indirect. Consistency of interests did not predict educational trajectories or achievement. Accordingly, we failed to find any consistent patterns in perseverance and interests with long-term educational outcomes. These findings are discussed in terms of the nature of the grit construct and the validity of the Grit scale.
This paper analyses the link between the efficiency of regional higher education systems and the rates of regional economic development between 2012 and 2015 in Russia. The efficiency scores are calculated at the institutional level using Two-stage Semi-parametric data envelopment analysis. Then, the scores are aggregated at the regional level. We formulate an economic growth model that considers the efficiency of regional higher education systems as one of the explanatory variables. As an econometric method, we employ a robust GMM estimator. The findings highlight a positive, and statistically significant effect of higher education institutions efficiency on the regional economic growth. We also found negative spillover effects.
This issue of Higher Education in Russia and Beyond is devoted to the analysis of the labor market for university graduates. This topic is central for the analyzing the relevance of higher education to the needs and requirements of the labor market. The relevance of this topic is emphasized by the fact that the higher education systems in many post-Soviet countries have experienced significant massification, which was accompanied by the underfinancing of the education sector. Massified and underfinanced systems of higher education may lead to strong differentiation in the returns to higher education and the employability of graduates, a decrease of the graduate wage premium, and the problems of overeducation and job-education mismatches.
This research explores the interrelations of higher education and welfare state models in the USSR of the 1960-1980s and Russia of the 2000-2020s. We first address the extent to which the provision of higher education aligns with the key imperatives of welfare redistribution: eligibility, state-market balance, and equality. Second, we schematize the values – instrumental, positional, intrinsic – of higher education that influenced well-being in the Soviet Union and Russia. We argue that the provision of higher education in these two state regimes complies with the political economy of two welfare models, suggesting a continuity across socialist and corporatist traditions. In the USSR, higher education was a part of a hybrid comprehensive-corporatist welfare model. Formally a universal right, it can be conceptualized as a state asset and a privilege attached to the class, entailing high intrinsic value. Higher education provision in Russia aligns with the conservative pattern while preserving traits of the socialist past and liberal transition. State commitment in the provision of public higher education and moderate marketization frame the hybrid nature of higher education as a social right and commodity with high instrumental and positional values.
The ecological problem is particularly acute in emerging markets due to the lack of attention to environmental protection against the background of ensuring stable high rates of economic growth. Climate change in Russia is significantly higher than the world average. The paper is an attempt to determine the economic losses of the regions of Russia from the mortality of the population of working age. The unit for data collection was Russian cities with a population of over 50,000 people. Climate change refers to air temperature fluctuations in extreme ranges (colder than –30°C, and hotter than +25°C) from 1997 to 2017. The data on mortality are collected by groups of patients most sensitive to sharp climate fluctuations: cardiovascular diseases, coronary heart disease, and respiratory diseases. Losses of the gross regional product from mortality of the population at working age (from 14 to 60 years) for 82 constituent entities of the Russian Federation are estimated. There are regions where there is a statistically steady increase in the number of days with extreme temperatures per year in the last 20 years of meteorological observations. Based on the analysis of an array of publications in peer-reviewed journals of the Scopus and WoS databases devoted to studies of the effects of temperature anomalies on a person’s life, the authors of this article have identified the most important directions for developing regional development strategies with regard to improving the quality of life and sustainable growth objectives.
The consequences of demographic revolutions influence the number of potential university applicants and higher education accessibility in Russia. An analysis of current demographic trends, at a time when the number of universities is shrinking, shows a threat of decreasing access to higher education, coupled with high regional differentiation in the availability of education, likely to worsen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and current economic crisis.
In most countries implementing structural transformations in their higher education systems, a key goal of policymakers is to tie the amount of public funding to university performance. The present article analyses the Russian performance-based funding (PBF) reform to provide a quasi-experimental assessment of its effects on university performance. To evaluate the causal effect of PBF on university performance, we define the treatment and control groups by distinguishing universities on the basis of changes in their performance-based allocations and estimate the causal effect of the redistribution of public funds between universities as a result of PBF. Results indicate that the performance of universities is indeed affected by the extra funding generated by the reform, although heterogeneity is also at play. In the short term, the new policy has had an impact on the average national exam scores of enrollees showing that it has had encouraged universities to be more selective.
We provide a framework for integrating sociological and political-historical approaches to the worldwide expansion of higher education in the twentieth century. Doing so enables scholars and policymakers to better identify variation across place and time in how the provision of higher education has been rendered culturally meaningful and politically feasible. We identify three conceptions of state commitment to higher education: as a national asset, a citizen right, and a commodity. The conceptions are not mutually exclusive and can simultaneously animate national cultures and politics. We also suggest a novel periodization of global higher education history from 1945 to the present. Our work serves as an introduction to the seven other articles in this special issue, which consider the twentieth-century evolution of higher education politics and policies in Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and USSR/Russia.
The paper examines the influence of non-cognitive skills of employees on the voluntary turnover during their first year at an organization. In contrast to the variables describing job satisfaction and commitment to the organization, the use of personal traits as determinants behind the decision to change companies is poorly studied in the literature. The article aims to identify indicators pointing to the tendency of an employee to voluntarily change the company. The theoretical basis of the study embraces James Heckman’s concept of non-cognitive skills and the conceptual provisions of personality psychology. In the paper, the method of economic modelling was used. The information base includes the results of the empirical assessment of 243 applicants for employment in JSC “Sheremetyevo International Airport” in 2019 and data on their dismissal during the first year of work. The database was supplemented with information on the company’s internal accounting and Rosstat statistics. The use of the probit model of binary choice allowed us to establish that, along with the relative salary and the specificity of employees’ expertise, their intention to quit is affected by non-cognitive skills such as capability to assess their own performance, the locus of control and the type of thinking. A rational way to deal with crises and a high level of self-perception of the effectiveness and significance of work reduce the probability of voluntary turnover before the first year. In addition, a high position and good salary strengthen an employee’s intention to stay in the company. Based on the research results, the paper offers recommendations to HR managers to retain highly qualified employees.
In October 2021, the II International Scientific and Practical Conference “Big Data in Education: Evidence-based development of education” was held. A round table on the problems of data architecture and data analytics in education was held at the event. We bring to your attention fragments of reports of some participants.