The literature on the consequences of academic inbreeding shows ambiguous results: some papers show that inbreeding positively influences research productivity measured by the quantity and quality of publications, while others demonstrate the opposite effect. There are contradictory results both in the studies of different countries and within countries. This variety of results makes it impossible to transfer the findings from one academic system to another, and in Russia this problem has been under-explored. This paper focuses on the relationship between inbreeding and publication activity among Russian faculty. The research was conducted using data from the ‘Monitoring of Educational Markets and Organizations’ survey. The results show that there is no significant effect of academic inbreeding on publication productivity: no substantial and robust differences in publication activity between inbreds and non-inbreds have been found. The paper finishes with a discussion of possible explanations inherent in the Russian academic system.
Faculty are the main asset of a university and determine its success. The attitudes of faculty toward their institution play an especially important role in the academic profession. This study examines the specific antecedents of affective, normative and continuance commitment of faculty to their university. This study is an online survey of 317 faculty of Russian higher education institutions. The results of the regression analysis showed that being an undergraduate inbred (i.e. working at the university from which one graduated) predicted affective and normative commitment toward the university, while having a post at another higher education institution predicted only affective commitment. Faculty who work at several universities have lower levels of emotional attachment to the primary university.
Higher education is valued as one of the main sources of civic participation and social benefit. In spite of the significant growth in the number of students over the last 20 years, Russia is still considered to be a country with a low level of civic engagement. Our study aims to respond to this contradictory standing and to explain the causes of student civic engagement. The survey conducted in 10 state universities has shown a difference in civic engagement index values among students from 4 educational programmes. The results of linear regression models have shown that, in addition to the ‘pure teaching effect’, such factors as religiosity and social capital influence student civic engagement.
This paper examines the prevalence and the costs of pre-entry coaching programs before and after the introduction of the Unified State Examination in Russia. The efficiency of private tutoring under the new standardized university admission procedures is estimated. It is argued that the main types of pre-entry coaching are still in demand, however the popularity of pre-entry courses at particular universities has declined, and the prevalence of classes with tutors who are not related to university has risen. A few years after the introduction of the Unified State Examination, the level of investment in private tutoring in real terms has barely changed; the returns from such an investment are still positive but moderate.
University mergers are a common practice in higher education systems around the world. Merger-related aspects such as the transformation of organizational and administrative structures, the impact on the internal funding allocation mechanisms, or changes in academic strategies and profiles, are well researched. However, the role of students in university mergers and their understanding of these processes are hardly investigated. The aim of this study was to identify how students are affected by merger processes. Through the conceptual framework, integrating university organizational identity theory and studies of the human side of mergers and acquisitions, this article encompasses six institutional cases in Russian higher education. These cases were selected to illustrate different scenarios of university mergers and accordingly to analyze the variety of student experience in changing universities. The project’s data included the results of document analysis, analysis of the merged universities’ representation in the public space, interviews and focus-groups with university administrators and with students who studied during the process of university merger. It highlights such perceived effects of mergers as anxiety and perceived unfairness due to post-merger changes, activization of we-they opposition between the students of merged universities, loss or transformation of organizational identity, and clash of university cultures.