Russia: The institutional landscape of Russian higher education
In this chapter we explore the higher education institutional landscape taking the case of the largest post-Soviet higher education system: Russia. In the Post-Soviet period, Russian higher education has tremendously expanded. The dramatic growth of the number of students and institutions has been facilitated by the introduction of tuition fees in public and a new private sector. The shifts in social and economic demand for professional fields affected the disciplinary and organisational structure of higher educational institutions.
The external forces (economic, political, social conditions) and higher education policy have been changing during the last decades. In the first part of transitional period, the state provided limited regulation of the higher education system. In the 2000s, it has returned to its role of the main agent of change of the higher education system design. The diversity of institutional types that evolved in Russian higher education illustrate the consequences of massification and marketization, such as new “broad access” segments and institutional programme drift. Also, the governmental role in shaping institutional diversity can been seen through attempts to increase vertical diversity (excellence initiatives), on the one hand, and to restrain it by closing down bottom tier institutions, on the other.