How to Stop the Growing Tide of Student Dishonesty in Russia?
Сборник докладов по проблемам современного образования и научных исследований в области рекламы и PR
Academic dishonesty among university students is a major problem for higher education and has negative economic impacts in a lot of countries including Russia. While exploring why students choose dishonest ways of obtaining good grades instead of getting involved in the learning process and acquiring as much knowledge and experience at the university as possible, most researchers focus on academic dishonest practices, ignoring the reasons for and factors of honest learning behavior. We regard student engagement as the opposite of academic dishonesty and propose a conceptual model of how academic honesty at the university influences various aspects of student engagement in learning. We conduct an empirical study to test the hypothesis on the correlation between characteristics of honesty at the university and parameters of student engagement suggested as part of the conceptual model. We use the data collected by the Monitoring of Student Characteristics and Trajectories carried out in universities included in the Russian Association of Leading Universities in Economics and Management. Having analyzed the data on management and economics students in eight Russian universities, we conclude that the suggested hypothesis has been largely confirmed, and the proposed conceptual model may serve a productive basis for empirical research on the correlation between academic environment parameters and student learning behavior.
Drawing on the discourse analysis of the higher education policy documents from 1950s to 2013 and interviews in two Russian universities, the chapter addresses the transformations in the purposes of higher education. The findings show that the main dichotomy in regard of the purposes of higher education unfolds between economic instrumentalism (vocational training) and social instrumentalism (personal development). In the Soviet documents, higher education was considered both as an instrument of national socio-economic development (through vocational training) and an instrument of individual growth. The latter role was predominant as education was an essential part of the broader social project of constructing a “new Soviet man”. In the transition period of mid-1980s - mid 1990s the policy discourse reflects an attempt to depart from economic instrumentalism and focus on the humanistic and social nature of education. Later documents present the transition to the economic instrumentalism emphasizing the economic role and economic rationales in higher education policy, which reflects the nature of the recent neoliberal reforms in the country. However, at the institutional level, social reality is more complex: there are significant tensions between economic purposes of higher education, utilitarianism, interiorized by administrators and faculty since the Soviet time, and social mission of higher education they face every day. Revealing the continuities in the discourse over several decades, the chapter shows that the predominance of economic discourse leads to the distortion of the educational mission of higher education, and in the environment impoverished by economic rationales, the importance of the social purposes of higher education has been rising.