Higher education in welfare regimes: Three worlds of post-Soviet transition
Higher education has generally been excluded from the welfare discourse, especially in transition countries. This article addresses existing research gaps by applying the ideas of decommodification and stratification to higher education in post-Soviet countries, within the comparative framework of welfare regime typology. The purpose of this study is to analyse the extent to which higher education relates to welfare state models in such countries. The research demonstrates that institutional settings and outcomes of higher education provision in Estonia, Georgia and Russia are evolving toward patterns of social-democratic, liberal and conservative models, respectively. Although the correspondence is incomplete, we argue that post-Soviet states are more similar to groups of countries representing these welfare regimes than to each other. This study argues against the assumption of a uniform post-Soviet pattern of higher education policy and shows that its structuring is embedded in the wider context of national welfare state models.