soviet legacies and the transformation of the research university in russia today
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“Soviet Legacies and the Transformation of the Research University in Russia Today”. Mark S. Johnson Department of Educational Policy Studies School of Education [email protected] Field research through program evaluations and engagement?.

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soviet legacies and the transformation of the research university in russia today

“Soviet Legacies and the Transformation of the Research University in Russia Today”

Mark S. Johnson

Department of Educational Policy Studies

School of Education

[email protected]

field research through program evaluations and engagement
Field research through program evaluations and engagement?
  • Active in new exchange programs with U.S. Embassy and other organizations, 1991-1997;
  • Evaluation of United States Information Agency (USIA) Freedom Support Act Programs (1998);
  • Evaluation of Open Society Institute Undergraduate Exchange Program (2001);
  • Numerous evaluations of U.S.-Russian and CIS university partnerships and exchanges;
  • Ford Foundation-sponsored study of prospects for service learning in Russian higher education;
field research through program evaluations and engagement1
Field research through program evaluations and engagement?
  • American Council of Learned Societies Humanities Fellowship Program (in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, 2002-2005);
  • Member of CASE (Centers for Advanced Study and Education) Program Board, 2003 to present; evaluation of nine CASE centers (2007-2008), for reform of social sciences in Russian regional universities, http://www.ino-center.ru/mion/
  • Team evaluation of BRHE (Basic Research in Higher Education) Program (2008-2009) for reform of the natural and physical sciences in Russian universities;
key research questions and comparative analytical frameworks
Key research questions and comparative analytical frameworks?
  • IS higher education “globalization’s muse”? National higher education systems as the one truly indispensable key to “full participation in the knowledge society. Research universities, in particular, serve as an unparalleled source of knowledge production and artful innovation, a foundation for modern science, an unequaled generator of talent, and a nearly required path for socio-economic mobility in the postmodern world” (Douglass, King and Feller, eds., 2009);
  • CAN Russia build “world-class universities”?
if this is true how do global trends in higher education apply to russia
If this is true, how do global trends in higher education apply to Russia?
  • World culture theory and neo-institutionalism (Krucken and Meier, 2006; Frank and Gabler, 2006, etc.) would suggest a very high – and increasing -- degree of institutional isomorphism and alignment with global policy trends;
  • Key global policy trends: decentralization yet combined with “heteronomy” (loss of autonomy by universities) as they are subjected to new financial pressures, new “market” demands and the competitive imperatives of the “new public management” and federal grant processes;
key global policy trends in higher education and university development
Key global policy trends in higher education and university development:
  • “Massification” and rapid diversification of higher and other postsecondary institutions (public, non-profit, for-profit) and rising enrollments (in Russia, from about 500 to about 1,000 HEIs);
  • Decentralization requires new focus on “quality assurance” and rise of various ranking systems; and rise of new mechanisms for accountability (through consumer oversight, state oversight, competitive grant processes, transparency?);
  • Privatization (both emergence of private institutions and fees in public universities);
key global policy trends in higher education and university development1
Key global policy trends in higher education and university development:
  • Emergence of “entrepreneurial” universities (both public and private) and commercialization of degree programs, certificates, and research (BRHE technology transfer centers, EURECA)?
  • Transformational impact of new information and communication technologies on teaching and learning (Soros Internet Centers, TACIS, etc.)?
  • Increasing alignment of curricula and academic programs (business, management, economics, law, social sciences) with global practices and standards (now Bologna Process and “tuning”)?
key global policy trends in higher education and university development2
Key global policy trends in higher education and university development:
  • Increasing mobility globally for researchers, faculty and students? (From one-way brain drain in the 1990s to necessary “brain circulation” and efforts to recruit émigré academic elites)?
  • Emergence of new approaches to youth service, service learning, and civic engagement; as part of an emerging global movement to reinvigorate the “social responsibility” of the university?
  • Related to this, rethinking the university itself as a “site of citizenship,” and encouraging student participation in governance (Bologna Process)?
why has russia embraced some of these global trends but resisted others
Why has Russia embraced some of these global trends but resisted others?
  • Enduring legacies of Soviet higher education:
  • Diversification by branch ministries, with predictable parallelism and narrow vocational-technical profiles; harsh effects of “transition”;
  • Degree programs were linked rigidly to state economic planning, with weak mechanisms to “realign” higher education with labor markets;
  • Persistence of “traditional” approaches to curricula and instruction; and barriers to student mobility between HEIs and degree programs;
why has russia embraced some of these global trends but resisted others1
Why has Russia embraced some of these global trends but resisted others?
  • Persistent effects of Soviet-era isolation (closed cities, military and industrial research institutes, lack of foreign language skills of many senior researchers and faculty members, lack of international experience of many HEI staff);
  • Brain drain of most “globally-minded” (and globally competitive) researchers and students;
  • Enduring division between research mission of Academy of Sciences structures (in sciences, agriculture, medicine, pedagogy) and the educational and training mission of universities;
so what is to be done attempted experiments and reforms in the 1990s
So, what is to be done? Attempted experiments and reforms in the 1990s
  • Emergence of private higher education institutions (mixed results and corruption)?
  • Real successes: New Economics School http://fir.nes.ru/SiteCollectionDocuments/NES_Annual_Report_2008-2009_eng.pdf
  • European University of St. Petersburg?
  • Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences (Academy of the National Economy)?
  • In public sector, mix of state-funded student admissions and fee-paying “contract” students;
what is to be done reassertion of state policy role in 2001 and after
What is to be done? Reassertion of state policy role in 2001 and after
  • Pressure on “degree mills” and greater federal oversight and coordination of budgets, academic standards, and degree programs;
  • Entry into Bologna Process of European higher education integration (2003) deployed as tool to pressure higher education leaders to reform;
  • Use of competitive grant processes and “new public management” to spur reform, especially through “innovative university grants” (2006+);
  • Cooperation with OECD, EU, and other groups;
what is to be done reassertion of state policy role in 2001 and after1
What is to be done? Reassertion of state policy role in 2001 and after
  • Efforts to build on successes of CASE, BRHE and other international programs (grant-funded research, interdisciplinary research centers, technology transfer programs, joint governance);
  • Efforts to shift to voucher-style funding system (GIFO) in order to spur competition and student mobility within the university system fails (year?);
  • Efforts to spur greater consistency, student mobility, and social equity in admissions process (through the EGE or Unified State Exam) implemented by 2008, despite criticisms;
what is to be done potentially transformational recent policy changes
What is to be done? Potentially transformational recent policy changes:
  • Establishment of new Russian and CIS university ranking systems through ReiTOR

http://www.globaluniversitiesranking.org/images/banners/top-100(ru).pdf, to act as “policy signal”;

  • Designation of Moscow State U and St. Petersburg State U as “national institutions with special status” and dedicated budget funding;
  • Creation of second tier of “national research universities” (12, 11 in science and technology, and Higher School of Economics, with key role for HSE in higher education policy research):
russian national research universities http mon gov ru pro niu
Russian national research universitieshttp://mon.gov.ru/pro/niu/
  • Kazan State Technical University;
  • Moscow Aviation Institute (State University of Aerospace Technologies);
  • Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology;
  • Moscow Bauman State Technical University;
  • Nizhnii Novgorod State University;
  • Novosibirsk State University;
  • Perm State Technical University;
  • Samara State Aerospace University;
russian national research universities
Russian national research universities:
  • St. Petersburg State Mining Institute;
  • St. Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics;
  • Tomsk Polytechnic University;
  • National Research Nuclear University (formerly MIFI, Moscow Engineering-Physics Institute);
  • National University of Science and Technology (formerly Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys);
  • Higher School of Economics State University.
russian federal universities
Russian federal universities:
  • Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk;
  • Southern Federal University, Rostov;
  • Northern Federal University, Arkhangelsk;
  • Volga Federal University (?), Kazan;
  • Urals Federal University, Ekaterinburg;
  • Northeastern Federal University, Yakutia;
  • Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok;
  • Possibly Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad
mission of new federal universities
Mission of new federal universities?
  • Formed through “consolidation” of diversified institutions (classical state universities, medical, technical, and/or pedagogical institutions);
  • Focused on regional development and new links with local industry and labor markets;
  • Explicit statutory language to focus institutional mission on “social responsibility” (?);
  • Conference in Ekaterinburg (January 2010);
  • To be systematically linked to regional networks and exchanges through SCO, APEC, etc.?
enduring problems and potential crises
Enduring problems and potential crises:
  • Is it too late for Russia to become globally competitive, for example vis-à-vis China (much less vis-à-vis leading U.S. or European HEIs)?
  • Can leading Russian universities fully integrate either with Bologna or rankings such as ARWU?
  • Corruption and lack of transparency, chronically weak public and media role in higher education oversight and policy formation?
  • Implications of systemic “triage” for lower-tier institutions and regions without a leading HEI?
enduring problems and potential crises1
Enduring problems and potential crises:
  • Enduring problems of affordability and social equity (failure to develop student loan systems)?
  • Some prospects for coordination and dominant share within higher education market in “near abroad” as well as parts of Eurasia, yet also resistance to immigration and multiculturalism?
  • Looming “demographic gap,” with number of secondary school graduates roughly equal to number of available slots in higher education?!
  • Enduring issues of quality in academic programs
is russia aligning with the global model of higher education why or why not
Is Russia aligning with the global model of higher education? Why or why not?
  • Yes, in some ways – but often strategically and for complex domestic political and economic reasons; exceedingly complex processes of “externalization” and borrowing and lending;
  • No, in other ways – some trends deflected or actively resisted, also for complex institutional, domestic, national, and regional/local reasons;
  • Overall, more a complex dynamic of national and institutional responses to global policy trends, as well as “strategic regionalization,” rather than simply unproblematic globalization.
is russia aligning with the global model of higher education why or why not1
Is Russia aligning with the global model of higher education? Why or why not?
  • “However the importance of national, uniquely Russian factors for change (in higher education) is gradually falling, as trends typical for the majority of OECD countries are becoming dominant” (Meshkova, Larionova, et al., OECD-Higher School of Economics, 2007);
  • Purposeful rhetorical and political strategy – to deploy “external” competition, global conceptual frameworks and “modernization” to drive domestic and institutional changes forward;
is russia aligning with the global model of higher education why or why not2
Is Russia aligning with the global model of higher education? Why or why not?
  • Yet – to what end? Overall shift in 2000s justified as moving “from the competitiveness of education to the competitiveness of Russia,” with RF as new science and technology hub (in addition to energy) between Europe and Asia;
  • Shaped domestically by a new configuration of power shared between federal state, regional authorities, industry, and university leaders;
  • Yet – who is left out of this new national strategy and configuration of power? With what potential consequences for the success of HE reform…?
relevant courses and projects in educational policy studies eps creeca
Relevant courses and projects in Educational Policy Studies (EPS)/CREECA?
  • Spring 2010: EPS 600: U.S. International Education Policy and Public Diplomacy (with comparative case studies of “soft power,” such as the Russian World Foundation);
  • Fall 2010 (pending approval): EPS 780: Global Studies in Higher Education;
  • Spring 2011 (pending approval): EPS 600: Education in Russia and Eurasia;
  • Follow-up to Civil Society Summit (Moscow, July 2009), with possible role for UW-Madison…?
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