Postdoctoral programmes have recently become an important step leading from doctoral education to permanent academic careers in the social sciences. This paper investigates the effects of a large and structured postdoctoral programme in the social sciences on a number of academic and non-academic outcomes of fellows. Propensity score matching is employed to match fellows with applicants with similar characteristics who did not receive the fellowship; then the outcomes in the treatment and control groups are compared. The programme has a statistically significant positive effect on the general life satisfaction of former fellows and their publication activity. It is argued that an active and collegial research environment, with training in academic skills during postdoctoral employment, may improve the academic outcomes of postdoctoral fellows.
This paper analyses the current state of student representation in Russia as deeply rooted in the institutional structure of the Soviet higher education system. The study traces the origins of existing institutional arrangements for student representation at the level of university governance and analyses how representation practices have been transformed in post-Soviet Russia. It combines a historical review with a qualitative analysis of the current state of the professional student union (profsoyuz studentov), which is one of the most widespread organisational forms of student representation in Russia. The data were collected through a series of 30 in-depth interviews with student activists and university administrators from four state universities in Tomsk, in addition to an analysis of documents regulating student representation.
This paper examines relations between doctoral students’ employment and graduation outcomes at a research-intensive university in Russia. Since most doctoral students lack financial support, they find employment and work full-time. This study addresses two questions: first, how the employment status is related to graduation outcomes (defending a thesis) and, second, how characteristics of student employment decrease the chances of defence of a thesis. The research is based on a longitudinal dataset of doctoral students that were enrolled in doctoral programmes between 2008 and 2017. The dataset combines survey data collected during the doctoral training and administrative data about the students’ graduation outcomes gathered in 2018. The results show that on-campus employment increases the chances to defend the thesis and off-campus employment is negatively associated with the completion. The findings may help define the groups of students that are at risk of attrition and should be provided with appropriate support.
This paper focuses on the elaboration of institutional research practice, which is an important element of any research university. The study addresses three questions. First, how did institutional research arise, and what is its raison d'être in a research university? Second, how can institutional research contribute to the improvement of the research university? And third, what are the most viable alternatives regarding the structure, staffing, and responsibilities of the institutional research office? To answer these questions, we will draw on the historical and current state of institutional research data from different countries derived from an extensive literature review and several case studies conducted while launching and running the institutional research office at a newly established research university, the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia.
University faculty are frequently tasked with promoting academic honesty among students. However, there is little reliable evidence about whether faculty actions can prevent academic dishonesty. The purpose of this study is to examine whether more severe punishments from faculty can reduce academic dishonesty among students. We analyze nationally representative, longitudinal and matched data on engineering undergraduates and faculty from 33 universities in Russia, and document extremely high and increasing rates of dishonest academic attitudes among students, especially among the higher achieving students. In the first two years of study the proportion of students tolerant to academic dishonesty increases by 5 percentage points. We then show that despite the tide of increasing academic dishonesty among students, more severe punishments from faculty significantly and substantially improve student attitudes towards academic dishonesty. Taken together, the findings emphasize the importance of strengthening the role of faculty in promoting academic honesty among students.
This paper discusses the features of the Soviet higher education system that have been crucial to the formation of the current system and then focus on the main changes that it has endured in the past 20 years. We pay special attention to the current challenges in the sphere of higher education and the counter-measures taken by the government and the academic community.
Critical thinking has been identified as a crucial general skill contributing to academic and career success in the twenty-first century. With the increasing demands of the modern workplace and a global trend of accountability in higher education, educators and employers pay great attention to the development of students' critical thinking skills throughout their training. Therefore, there is an urgent need worldwide for an updated and comprehensive assessment tool of college-level critical thinking. This paper reports on the preliminary validation for the Russian version of the HEIghten® Critical Thinking assessment developed by Educational Testing Service (ETS). Based on a large Russian college student sample (N = 1060), we evaluated the psychometric quality of the items, individual and institution-level reliability, external validity, and student perceptions. Overall, the results suggested good psychometric quality, except that a few items showed low discriminating power and should be further examined with a second wave of data collection. IRT analyses revealed testlet effects and supported the essentially unidimensional structure of the measure. Appropriate correlations with external criteria provided support for the measure's convergent validity. Implications of the preliminary validation study results and the future research agenda, especially the need to collect longitudinal data, are discussed.