The theme of this article could have a different headline, for example, The Humanistic Crisis of Humanities Education. The interest in it is symptomatic. What is the reason for this? At first glance everything seems all right. In the past fifteen years the volume of humanities education has not diminished. Not a single department of humanities disciplines in the social sciences has been abolished. These disciplines have migrated from the Soviet era to the post-Soviet era under different names. New centers and major institutions focusing exclusively on the humanities have come into being, such as the Institute of European Cultures at the Russian State University of the Humanities, the Institute for Historical Theoretical Research in the Humanities at the Higher School of Economics State University, the journals Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie and Logos. An outwardly convincing appearance of progress in the humanities can be perceived in bookstores and the thematic plans of publishing houses. At times it seems as if all of the most important works of world culture have been translated into Russian and frequently reissued. Nonetheless, there are indications that all is not well in humanities education. What is the root of the problem?
The article analyses the applicability of the Liberal Arts model to Russian higher education. The overview of the main features of the Liberal Arts education is provided both from administrative and pedagogical perspectives. The article focuses on the challenges Russian higher education may face if the features of the model are thoughlessly copied and the local context is not taken into consideration.
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.