Collective or individual enterprise? Who provides academic support to doctoral students at Russian universities?
The article provides a comparative review of principles for the implementation of doctoral programs in education at leading world universities. The analysis is focused on the following aspects of doctoral education: organizational model (1), principles of doctoral candidates’ enrollment (2), educational program and workload (3), principles and mechanisms for tracking doctoral students’ progress (4), principles and procedures for completing educational programs and defending a thesis (5). The key differences of Russian doctoral education are distinguished. The first difference is related to the rigidity of the recruitment rules and procedures: the universities in Russia pay no or little attention to the previous academic achievements of candidates. The second difference refers to the specifics of an educational program, which, as a rule, is not aimed at the development of “soft skills”. Finally, Russian doctoral programs are based on the traditional model of doctoral supervision, when a supervisor is usually the only person who controls the doctoral student progress and helps him or her to work on a thesis. Based on the experience of the world-leading universities, the authors discuss some opportunities to develop doctoral programs in Russia.
This chapter draws on literature from across different countries to paint a general picture of the state of doctoral education, and highlights major themes and common issues in different higher education systems. The review covers, and as such is limited to, literature available in English. Also, as it sets out to scan literature across common themes, the review focuses less on in-depth, country-specific case studies.
The chapter begins by elaborating the centrality of doctoral education, followed by a discussion of its purposes. Labour market conditionsand quality are the next two themes that are discussed. Variations based on different considerations and major trends in contemporary doctoral education are also explored. Finally, common challenges across systems and possible prospects are discussed.
With the new Federal Law on Education introduced in Russia in the late 2012, postgraduate training became the third level of higher education. The framework of PhD education has changed. Before 2013, doctoral education, which was one of the systems that had been inherited from the Soviet period, was officially considered as a track to academia, while now it works in a wider scope of highly qualified personnel training. But does this mean that the days when it was thought that all PhDs should become academics are gone? We have addressed this question to PhD students themselves and are reporting data from a recent survey conducted by Higher School of Economics’ Centre for Institutional Research in several Russian universities this spring. Thirteen Russian universities participated in the survey administrated online. Most of them are considered to be leading institutions of higher education in Russia. Overall 2221 students from different fields filled in the questionnaire (26% representing social sciences, 8% – education, 28% – mathematical and natural sciences, 12% – humanities, 26% – engineering and technological sciences). 51% of the respondents were males, 16% were part-time students. We asked the respondents about their future career plans, their willingness to find a job at their home university or to continue studies abroad. We counted weighted average for all indicators to neutralize the differences in size of the institutions in the sample.
Russian Doctoral Education: Between Teaching and Research
Trends and Issues in Doctoral Education: A Global Perspective serves two simple yet complex purposes—to understand the current realities in doctoral education in key countries and to examine current and proposed reforms. Fourteen country case studies and one regional case study present a range of global practices and focus on key issues facing doctoral education worldwide. Together with the literature review and the analysis of changes in doctoral education around the world over the past three decades by Maresi Nerad, the case studies provide the basis for this concluding discussion of the broader issues and themes suggested by the previous chapters.