Pandemic Effects on Russian Higher Education: Force Majeure Notes
The forced transition to distance learning in March 2020 was a stress test for the Russian higher education system. It affected all aspects of university life and demanded a radical restructuring of internal processes and principles. It also affected external communications with the regulator and other participants in the events, some of whom were not directly related to education, but began to play a decisive role in a pandemic (for example, the Russian Ministry of Health). Students, teachers and researchers were forced to adapt to the new conditions and to master new digital technologies and work methods, often experimenting on themselves, their colleagues and students through trial and error. The administration of universities and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MoSHE) needed to organize and provide infrastructure for this unprecedented "experiment" extremely quickly. Despite all the difficulties and problems, the Russian higher education system as a whole, passed this stress test. However, the pandemic has exposed a number of systemic challenges and problems that go beyond the current moment and are important for the development of higher education in general. One of these challenges is the ineffectiveness of hierarchical management models with declining institutional and academic autonomy. This text discusses this problem and reflects on solutions for restructuring universities in the post-pandemic period.
This volume consists of a collection of essays devoted to study of the most recent educational reform in Russia. Large-scale changes have been effected in finance, structure, governance and curricula. At the same time, there has been a renewed and widespread appreciation for the positive aspects of the Soviet legacy in schooling. The essays presented here compare current educational reform to reforms of the past, analyze it in a broader cultural, political and social context, and study the shifts that have occurred at the different levels of schooling from political decision-making and changes in school administration to the rewriting textbooks and teachers' everyday problems. The authors are Russian educators, who have played a leading role in implementation of the reform, and Western scholars, who have been studying it from its very early stages. Together, they formulate an intricate but cohesive picture, which is in keeping with the complex nature of the reform itself.
The article systematizes the problems of the Russian public procurement system associated with the illegal actions of its participants. Despite the constant reform of the public procurement sector, it is still prone to fraud and corruption. Participants' dishonest behavior is especially evident in the crisis situation associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. After overcoming the consequences of the pandemic, the situation will be improved by strengthening public control by citizens and civil society institutions.
The development of our national High school can be called “permanent reform era”: the content and meaning of these reforms are not always obvious, but results are often deplorable. Author of articles talks about the perception of the faculty in process reforms, especially attention was focused on differences between two generations: “We” and “Me”.
In this paper, we try to unravel some of the unintended and intended academic effects associated with post-Soviet educational reforms by focusing on three cases: Estonia, Latvia and Russia. We have chosen this comparison because a unique ‘natural experiment’ in the three countries allows us to compare the changing academic performance on an international test of a largely similar population in the three countries—Russian origin students attending Russian-medium schools—subjected to three variations of post-Soviet reforms. We find that relative to students in Russia, Russian-medium students in the Baltics made significant gains in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test. In Latvia, these appear to be an unintended effect of somewhat ‘softened’ state language policies, the conditions surrounding minority rights, and the general context of maintaining social cohesion. In Estonia, the (later) relative gains of Russian students appear to an intended effect of locally grown educational (and language) policies and increased, more effective cooperation with Russian medium schools to further improve PISA performance in a relatively high scoring, PISA-focused country.
This is an analysis of social and professional characteristics, as well as value orientations of a modern educational innovator. The survey included participants of the 2014 Contest of Innovations in Education, with the sample of 304 respondents. Value orientations were revealed with the help of a questionnaire based on the Schwartz’s value theory. The results were compared to those of the European Social Survey of the Russian population conducted in 2012. Answers of the Contest participants differed dramatically from those of an average Russian, both in subjective importance of specific value orientations and in the structure of value orientation hierarchy. Innovators appreciated more often the values of self-sufficiency, kindness and universalism, as well as willingness to take risks in their professional life. They were less guided in their actions by the desire to take and to hold power which was not associated with their personal achievements. The survey demonstrated that innovations in education could be offered and implemented not only by experts, i.e. people working in educational institutions of different levels, but also by employees of companies that are not directly related to education, as well as by school and university students. Innovators have a better educational background and participate actively in supplementary education events.
This chapter focuses on the important area of integration of the Greater Eurasia project: defense and security in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The chapter examines in detail the defense and security dimension of Greater Eurasia through the example of military cooperation between China and Russia as the main driver of Greater Eurasia. It is concluded that by 2016, an "average" level of military interaction had been achieved in Russian-Chinese relations, which opens up opportunities for further integration. However, given that relations between the two great powers are built on a solid foundation of national interests and sovereign equality, further military integration of Russia and China is being questioned. The pandemic, in the context of growing contradictions with official Washington, has intensified the more self-confident and assertive behavior of official Beijing in the foreign arena.