Participation and access in higher education in Russia: continuity and change of a positional advantage
How do we understand and explain who has access to higher education? How do we make sense of persisting and new forms of inequality? How can global, national and institutional policymakers and practitioners make higher education more inclusive? Access to Higher Education: Theoretical perspectives and contemporary challenges seeks to update thinking on these questions, combining new voices and emerging perspectives with established writers in the field.
This pioneering text highlights the contribution of social theory to issues of access to education, with chapters introducing and drawing on the works of key interdisciplinary thinkers including Pierre Bourdieu, Margaret Archer, Amartya Sen and Herbert Simon. It then moves to examines how theoretical perspectives can be applied to the contemporary challenges of forging more equal access, with examples drawn from a wide range of contexts, including the UK, the US, Australia, South Africa and Japan.
Global in scope, this book documents the shared nature of the access challenge in a period when higher education is growing rapidly, but inequalities continue to be stark. It concludes by proposing a new direction for research and a reassertion of the role of the researcher as a social activist for disconnected and disadvantaged groups, equipped with the thinking tools needed to move the agenda forward.
Access to Higher Education is a rigorous text for the global research community, with relevance to policymakers, practitioners and postgraduate students interested in social justice and social policy. It provides those with an academic interest in access and a commitment to enhancing policy with theoretical and practical ideas for moving the access agenda forward in their institutional, regional or national contexts.
Bridging the gap between higher education research and policy making was always a challenge, but the recent calls for more evidence-based policies have opened a window of unprecedented opportunity for researchers to bring more contributions to shaping the future of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). Encouraged by the success of the 2011 first edition, Romania and Armenia have organised a 2nd edition of the Future of Higher Education – Bologna Process Researchers’ Conference (FOHE-BPRC) in November 2014, with the support of the Italian Presidency of the European Union and as part of the official EHEA agenda. Reuniting over 170 researchers from more than 30 countries, the event was a forum to debate the trends and challenges faced by higher education today and look at the future of European cooperation in higher education. The research volumes offer unique insights regarding the state of affairs of European higher education and research, as well as forward-looking policy proposals. More than 50 articles focus on essential themes in higher education: Internationalization of higher education; Financing and governance; Excellence and the diversification of missions; Teaching, learning and student engagement; Equity and the social dimension of higher education; Education, research and innovation; Quality assurance, The impacts of the Bologna Process on the EHEA and beyond and Evidence-based policies in higher education.
We present results of a study of 27 existing international university networks created in different years and comprising 1,119 member organizations from 117 countries. We have analyzed information both posted on their official websites and publicly available online, as well as annual reports on activities of international university networks, their strategic development plans, texts of partnership agreements, interviews with representatives of network partners and coordinators. We have identified and described the key features of international university networks as a form of inter-university partnership: pre-requisites for establishment, geographical location of partners, types of partner organizations, status of partners, entry barriers for new partners, specialization profiles, financing of activities, management of activities, forms of partner cooperation. We have also analyzed engagement of higher education institutions of different countries in the international university networks, particularly membership of the leading Russian universities in such networks and in other international educational associations. It appears that Russian universities are represented insufficiently in the international university networks. Accession is a challenging task that will require universities to apply considerable efforts, both organizational (overcoming entry barriers, negotiating with networks managers and partners, ensuring a certain level of openness in activities of the university, meeting the network requirements, performing the tasks assigned to network members on time) and financial (entry and annual fees, business traveling). Collaboration with foreign universities through network interaction will promote internationalization and quicker innovation of Russian universities, as well as learning of new working techniques and accumulation of resources and knowledge.
The Soviet system of higher education was well developed even in today’s terms. It provided free higher education to a significant part of the young generation. The Soviet government was the first in the world in applying positive discrimination to higher education enrolment to achieve greater social cohesion. The system produced highly qualified personnel for the national economy, especially in such sectors as engineering, health care, and science. At the same time, the higher education system was under tight ideological control and rigidly regulated. All universities operated within strict curriculum standards. The Soviet planning agency regulated supply and demand in higher education. Perestroika that started in the late 1980s changed the system dramatically.
In this paper, we discuss the methods of endowment management existing in the world and their applicability to the Russian university system. The endowment spending research focuses on the following issues: reinvesting endowment income; identifying the size of expendable endowment income; using the endowment body, not onlyincome; choosing endowment spending policy, rule and rate endowments, etc. We provide an overview of endowment fund financial indicators and endowment spending allocationin Russia. Based on the example of the HSE Endowment Fund, we analyze the use of endowment spending rulesand model of financial indicators for 2008–2014. The University’s Endowment Fund endowment spending policies implement the preservation principle, which may be reasonable in a stable economy. However, the viability of the principle is questionable in the crisis, the more so since the endowment is mostly in rubles. Using net asset valuation methods, the HSE Endowment Fund could provide equity betweengenerations with annual distribution of income in favor of the next and current generations.
The paper examines the problem of students' study engagement, which could serve an indicator of a higher educational establishment quality and be a predictor of students' work engagement in the future. A survey was conducted in a Russian research university to identify the degree of students' study engagement and its relation to students' academic characteristics. The findings may be useful for understanding students' aspirations within the academia and assessing the university role in providing favorable conditions for higher education acquisition.
The paper seeks to answer the question if students’ study engagement is related to positive perception of their employability moulded inside the academia. To address this issue, a quantitative survey was conducted, where participants were students from the National Research University, Higher School of Economics. While the existence of the correlation between study engagement and self-perceived employability is empirically proven, the complex nature of employability – not confined to the higher education settings – is revealed. It is argued that positively perceived employability might be a result of engagement in the study. Analysis of students’ aspirations and labor market orientations may help understand the role of university in creating a favorable educational atmosphere and forming the basis for future successful work life. Implications for future research are discussed.