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Article

Проект 5-100: взгляд через призму теории институциональной коррупции

Views on the outcomes of the Russian academic excellence project 5-100 are completely polarized. Some universities have improved their performance. Analyzing data published on the o cial website of the project rea rms the optimistic conclusion about its outcomes. On the other hand, none of the universities included in the project has approached the desired positions among the 100 top universities in the world university rankings. Moreover, there are no reasons to believe that the project will reach its goals within the designated period. From this perspective, the project cannot be considered a success. This article discusses the underlying causes of this situation, and the failure of the project’s least successful participants and shows the demand for ine cient institutions in the Russian academic environment. The problem is explained through the theory of institutional corruption. While the imitation of useful activity by universities forms an illusion that the system is moving in the right direction, it is clear that there is a huge gap between the expenditure on and the objectives of the project. This situation is caused by the wrong incentives, the excessive power of bureaucrats responsible for the implementation of the project, and the lack of transparency and public accountability of the universities participating in the project. The project’s expenses, despite their compliance with the legal frameworks do not, in fact, correspond to the indicators attested in the universities’ roadmaps or the public interest. The institutionalization of predatory practices might contribute to university performance in the short run but does not help to achieve socially desirable goals.