The article expounds an approach to the assessment of the quality and accessibility of educational services based on polling of interested parties (parents, close relatives, and students themselves). The methodology was tested through representative telephone polling of users of educational services (pre-school, school, vocational and higher education) in the Tver and Novosibirsk Regions. As a result, a substantial discrepancy was established between the basic idea, declared by the developers of the state budget reform, of creating a competitive environment in the field of education and the actual efforts to implement this idea. An overwhelming majority of the population in the two regions either have heard nothing about the transformations being carried out or regard them as part of a commercialization of the market of social services and abrogation of the right to free education in Russia.
The emergence of e-learning transforms behavioural patterns of all participants in the education market. It is necessary to try alternative approaches and marketing tools to design effective online courses and ensure their integration to the educational process. The article analyses the opportunities and constraints on using the key marketing concept of customer satisfaction in terms of e-learning. In marketing, satisfaction is the central indicator of a company’s performance and success, since it serves as a prerequisite for expanding the customer base and building loyalty. The methodological framework embraces the theories of strategic marketing and consumer behaviour. The empirical part of the study includes the qualitative (identification of factors affecting satisfaction) and quantitative stages (method for assessing student satisfaction, including satisfaction indices and building a perceptual map). The methods applied by the authors encompass factor and cluster analysis. With the help of the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI), we indicate that the current level of overall satisfaction with online courses provided by the National Open Education Platform is high (79 %). Based on perceptual maps, as well as factor and cluster analysis, the paper highlights a number of factors that are the most important for student satisfaction and categorizes them into groups. The most significant factor is the course design, and the least significant one is learning outcomes control, which includes the certificate value and the proctoring procedure. The method for assessing student satisfaction with e-learning is of use when designing online courses based on the in-depth understanding of the needs of online platforms’ users.
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.