According to many researchers one of the main challenges in higher education is the growing competition in the global education market. This article analyses the export of Russia’s higher education from the standpoint of two theoretical approaches: the neoliberal one, in which the university attracts foreign students in order to make a profit, and the political economy approach, according to which the state competes with other states and gains political influence through education. By drawing on statistical and sociological survey data, the article shows that currently the export of Russian higher education is primarily pushed by the universities themselves with the purpose of making additional profits. The state provides a limited number of scholarships for foreign students that serve to improve political loyalty with the countries that form part of the CIS. Nevertheless, as the example of one of the leading Russian universities suggests, the active promotion of educational products abroad can push the attractiveness of Russian higher education in countries both within and beyond the CIS.
The issues of public cemeteries maintenance and the funeral services organization were not strongly tackled by the federal authorities in post-Soviet Russia. In the early 90th almost all cemeteries in the country and connected tasks were passed to the municipal authorities. In 1996 the federal law “On burial and funeral business” was adopted. As long as this act was framework and partial one, the problem of detailed regulation development became the issue of regional government. Moreover, the authorities did not elaborate the mechanisms of already existing cemeteries legalization. The land legislation had also played its role in the registration procedures complication. As a consequence of the incompleteness and inconsistency of funeral and land formal field, burials became highly corrupted activity in urban areas and weak, financed on leftovers sphere in rural. There are no comprehensive and based on rich empirical material researches dedicated to the Russian cemeteries condition. The main aim of the article is to reveal the basic bottlenecks (problems) in the studied area. It is done on the basis of local mass media content (published in 2015 articles). According to the investigation, the following difficulties and disfunctions could be identified : 1) the absence of legal registration of cemeteries and land plots under it; 2) the lack of appropriate land to expand the cemetery; 3) the lack of finances for place of burial maintenance; 4) uncertain legal status of specialized services and their acceptable functions; 5) corruption and contractors opportunism; 6) the poor condition of related utility sectors. Some measures can be adopted in order to eliminate existing problems – first of all, the realization of “cemetery amnesty” is offered as a tool of municipal cemeteries legalization.
This paper addresses the problem of nationalism, an important factor affecting social and political processes within the Russian Federation. The particular issue analyzed here is the relationship between ethnic and civic forms of nationalism in the Volga-Urals region of Russia. The institutional design of the Russian Federation may affect this relationship; Russia's ethnic federalism assumes the existence of so-called “titular” and “non-titular” ethnic groups in its autonomous republics. We take the case of ethnic Tatars in the republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan to explore the differences in the levels of their nationalist attitudes, as well as in the factors of their development. In the introductory section, we provide an institutional summary of Russia's current federal design and also highlight various historical factors which could affect it – including the legacy of ideology and practice of solving the “national question” in the Soviet Union. Then we discuss the role of regional separatist movements in the post-Soviet Russian politics, with an emphasis on utility of ethnic and civic nationalism for the elite groups in autonomous republics as an instrument of achieving certain political goals. A whole section of this paper is specifically devoted to an explanation of developments in the Tatar national movement after 1991, the role of political Islam in this process, and the policies of the administration of Tatarstan in their relationships with nationalist activist groups. We choose the social dominance theory as the main theoretical framework of our research as it fits very well to describe the situation of unequal access to social and economic resources based on membership in ethnic group. In our case, this logic is applied to people of the same ethnic origin, Tatars, who are the titular group in Tatarstan and – at the same time – are considered a non-titular population in the neighboring republic of Bashkortostan. Drawing on this theory, we formulate a number of hypotheses with respect to possible predictors of nationalist attitudes among Tatars within the two republics which are then tested by means of quantitative analysis. For the empirical part of our analysis we used the data from our mass surveys carried out in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan in 2005 and 2011; these data have not been yet published. The main method of our statistical analysis is structural equation modeling; it allows testing of relatively complicated analytical models closely reflecting the theoretical picture of hypothesized associations. Our results indicate a rather stable model of Tatar nationalism in the Volga-Urals region which, however, can be divided into an ethnic and a political component. The spread of nationalist attitudes among Tatars in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan is generally moderate but it depends quite substantially on the formulation of the respective question. For instance, more than 70% of our respondents tend to condemn interethnic marriages (which is one of our indicators of ethnic nationalism) whereas only slightly more than 10% of them are ready to fight for their republic's independence (an indicator of political nationalism). At the same time, we did not find one single factor responsible for the support for the nationalist views among the respondents; instead, the magnitude and significance of the explanatory variables in our model differ substantially between the two republics as well as between the two time points. In the concluding part of the paper we claim that the potential for radical developments within the national movement of Tatars in the Volga-Urals region is relatively low.
NEET, or young people aged 15-24 who are Not in Employment, Education or Training deserve their special name in international statistics. They are cut off both from education and the labor market, and will most likely face difficulties with further employment and inclusion into society in general. The present paper analyzes the scale, the dynamics and the socio-demographic features of NEET in Russia using data from Labor Force Survey (LFS) data, 1995–2015, collected by the Federal State Statistics Service. The results indicate that, in the period analyzed, the share of NEET decreased significantly, which came as a result of the active involvement of youth in education. According to LFS, the share of NEET did not respond to any negative macroeconomic shocks, i.e. the crises of 2008–9 and 2015. However, NEET in Russia are consistently dominated by those whose relationship with the labor market is the weakest, i.e. those who are out of the labor force. The vast majority of unemployed NEETs have absolutely no labor market experience. The socio-demographic profile of NEET reveals that the likelihood of falling into this group is negatively associated with the level of education, and positively with the reducing employment opportunities in rural areas. The majority of unemployed NEETs have higher education, which suggests that further educational expansion might force an even greater share of young people into NEET.