Accessibility of higher education: socio-economic aspect
Fertility, mortality and migration are constantly changing the population dynamics in Russia. Various historical events (economic crises, the collapse of the USSR, etc.) had a huge impact on the age and sex pyramid of the population. The consequences of the demographic crisis also influenced the number of potential university enrollments. An analysis of demographic trends in the Russian higher education (HE) system made it possible to identify several patterns.
It is assumed that a perfect balance between student academic achievement and university quality is beneficial both for students and higher education institutions (HEIs). Matching theory predicts the existence of perfect matching between the two groups in the absence of transaction costs associated with university enrollment. However, in this study we show cases of mismatch situations in Russia under the Unified State Exam (USE) – the standardized student admission mechanism. This research studies the reasons for this phenomenon for minimal transaction costs and the emergence of unequal access to HEIs. Based on data on Moscow high school graduates who entered university, the determinants of the mismatch between the quality of universities and applicant abilities are assessed. It is shown that although in most cases favorable matching results are established, the individual student achievement results themselves are subject to the influence of school and family characteristics. Thus, inequality of access can be formed at stages preceding HEI enrollment.
the article is devoted to the issue of provision of regional systems of higher education with public funding per students, how much the current system of distribution of public funding corresponds to demographic trends and the forecast of the number of potential students. The forecast of the population at the age group of 17-21 years showed that starting from 2019, the Russian higher education system will be subject of increased pressure from applicants. This is caused by the expiration of “demographic hole” of the 1990s. The current guarantee of financial support for higher education at the expense of public funds (at least 800 students for every 10,000 people from the age group of 17-30 years old) can be carried out until 2024 without increasing the volume of public funding. However, the implementation of this standard is provided only by reducing the age cohort of 25-30 years. The ratio of the predicted values of the number of potential applicants and the importance of demand for regional higher education systems allowed us to identify the donor regions, the deficit regions and the recipient regions. An analysis of the current distribution of public funded places between regions of Russia made it possible to identify territorial imbalances that negatively affect the ability of school graduates to receive higher education free of charge in their home region.