Regional accessibility of higher education in Russia
Despite the unified system of admission to universities in Russia, applicants can still face unequal access to higher education. This article analyzes the barriers which restrict the inter-regional accessibility of higher education. We propose an analytical model, reflecting the direct and indirect influence of family, schools, and location on the educational strategies of youth, assuming that these factors affect the university enrollment both directly and indirectly through academic achievement. An empirical examination of the model, based on data from the longitudinal study ‘Trajectories in Education and Careers’, shows that students from Moscow are most likely to enroll at university, since they face the lowest barriers. The problem of the accessibility of higher education is more acute for residents of large cities or regional capitals: their likelihood of matriculating is limited by cognitive abilities, socio-economic status, and school characteristics. Residents of small towns or villages are facing the highest barriers and gender inequality.