Russian Education in 2020: a Model of Education for Innovative Economy. Material for Discussion
The article offers a platform for professional and public discussion of a long-term model for Russian education and what it will look like in 2020. The article does not pretend to give an ultimate description of this model, and presents only the most basic ideas. These ideas are meant to be discussed, but they can also serve as the basis for creating a road map for the realization of the new program. The purpose of the authors is to present their vision for Russian education and determine what changes are needed in Russian education so that it can successfully rise to the challenges from: the innovational model of the development of the Russian economy (Russia’s strategic choice); the social demands of the Russian population and the need to consolidate Russian society; the need to compete globally on the markets for innovations, labor and education.
In the context of the historical concepts of the ensla vement and emancipation of social groups (S.M. Solovyov — A.D. Gradovsky), Kabatskov and Leibovich examine the evolution of the social status of the university lecturer in Russia over the past century. They use the term ‘slave’ [nevol’nik] to descri be the dependent position of the assistant professor; the word encapsulates administrative tyranny, the spread of ‘subject’ mentality in university contexts and the curtailment of opportunities for professional self-realization. The authors present the university administration as the main agent of assistant professors’ enslavement — administrators simultaneously represent bureaucratic power and their own social ambitions.
The article considers various factors shaping the educational strategies of potential students from the NIS countries applying to Russian universities. On the basis of interviews conducted in Moscow in 2014 we identify a number of factors that explain the choice of specific Moscow universities by such students. The key factors mentioned by students include: 1) "common history"; 2) opportunities for tuition-free study; 3) family connections; 4) intention to emigrate from their home country. The article considers the sources of information on opportunities for study in Russia. We argue that the mastery of Russian language is not the most important or primary factor driving the choice of a Russian university: students rarely select a specific university, but rather choose a town where they would like to study. The choice of Russia as a place to study is to a significant degree driven by the existing social and/or family ties. Student choices are also shaped by perception of relative prestige (or lack thereof) of a given university, which are largely determined by the Soviet-era inertia, and not the university's place in global rankings or any certainty regarding the quality of education there.
Student attrition in postsecondary education is a significant public policy problem. Nations invest substantial resources in college systems, and when students leave, this investment is lost. To understand the factors that influence student attrition in US and Russian public universities, we use the perspective of academic momentum, defined empirically as measures representing student enrollment and study progress. Using a discrete-time event history analysis of samples of eight US and two Russian universities, we provide support for the central claims of the academic momentum theory that undergraduate students who progress through college more rapidly have a lower likelihood of attrition. However, a more detailed analysis reveals variability in the relationship between several academic momentum measures and student attrition, depending on a university’s selectivity and the student’s chosen academic field and gender.
In response to a growing demand for highly proficient speakers of foreign languages, both from private and government sectors, an added emphasis has been placed on developing communicative skills in the foreign language classroom. While time in a target language culture certainly plays a valuable and needed role, this research demonstrates that innovative curricular design and development in the university foreign language classroom can equal if not exceed uptake that occurs in extended immersion environments. A thorough description of the research design is provided, including the application of lexical items (connectors), listening, reading, written exercises, and videoconference debates involving students from National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Assessment instruments used to measure language uptake among students included pre- and post-written proficiency testing and oral proficiency interviews in one’s respective target language as administered by certified American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) raters. In addition, students completed a background language questionnaire designed to elicit data relative to individual learner motivation.
The authors estimate contribution of different factors in reading skills of 15?year-olds by using four models of multilevel regression analysis. It turned out that the most significant factor is family background — not only at the individual level, but at the school level as well (average school socio-economic status of schoolchildren families effects average reading skills). At the school level the aggregated family characteristics of students affect individual achievements, and this effect surpasses an effect of school resources and localization of schools — those school factors that show a significant contribution to achievement. Attitudes toward reading and learning are significant at the individual level, but at the school level children’s attitudes toward reading and school don’t make an independent contribution to the individual results.
The book is to be used as a supplement to an Upper Intermediate course in General English aiming to develop academic skills of reading and writing around the topics and vocabulary of 5 Units in the course book «Upstream Upper Intermediate» by Bob Obee –Virginia Evans (1, 2, 3, 6 and 9). Each section of the book includes instructions on developing basic reading and writing skills and several tasks to practise the skills.
Institutions affect investment decisions, including investments in human capital. Hence institutions are relevant for the allocation of talent. Good market-supporting institutions attract talent to productive value-creating activities, whereas poor ones raise the appeal of rent-seeking. We propose a theoretical model that predicts that more talented individuals are particularly sensitive in their career choices to the quality of institutions, and test these predictions on a sample of around 95 countries of the world. We find a strong positive association between the quality of institutions and graduation of college and university students in science, and an even stronger negative correlation with graduation in law. Our findings are robust to various specifications of empirical models, including smaller samples of former colonies and transition countries. The quality of human capital makes the distinction between educational choices under strong and weak institutions particularly sharp. We show that the allocation of talent is an important link between institutions and growth.