International student recruitment in Russia: heavy-handed approach and soft power comeback
The chapter examines how the Russian federal government has been driving international student recruitment with attempts to force the modernization of higher education (HE) and promote soft power interests. We provide an overview of Soviet policies related to international student mobility, scrutinize the cyclic and multi-rational educational transformation that has been taking place since the 1990s, and reflect on the implications for the future. We explain the rationale of HE internationalization in contemporary Russia and show that the government’s reforms have focused on the political rationale inherited from Soviet times, combined with the heavy-handed modernization policy to fit in the context of global competition. This curious combination encourages higher education institutions to fixate on meeting government-led performance indicators, preserving the current structure of student mobility concentrated in a few institutions, and creating constraints for the development of academic excellence in Russian HE.
Russian strategic documents highlight the significance of international cooperation for Russian education and science development. The effectiveness of such cooperation is determined by country's activities and resources that correspond to priorities and possess sufficient potential for achieving purposes. The presented article explores the agreements Russia with other countries and instruments of the international cooperation in the field of Education and Science. The author of the paper examines how bilateral and multilateral international agreements (including documents of international organizations and associations) and instruments contribute to the achievement of strategic objectives such as the improvement of research and education quality, the development of Russian education export. The author uses the database of international agreements formed in July 2013 in the framework of joint project of the International Organizations Research Institute and the National Training Foundation. The results of the analyses show that international agreements in the field of science and education do not fully comply with the country's priorities. In addition, a number of key areas of cooperation need to provide the tools for the development of partnership. It is necessary to create coordination mechanism (national strategy of international cooperation in the field of science and education), which will contribute to the harmonization of goals and actions of the country's international cooperation.
This book provides an overview of the major findings of the comparative research project, Changes in Networks, Higher Education and Knowledge Society (CINHEKS). The main aim of this international comparative research project is the analysis of how Higher education institutions are networked within distinct knowledge societies in two key regions of the world: Europe and the United States of America. This research project was carried out in four European countries (Finland, Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom) and in two different states in the United States of America. In addition, during the course of the research, a team from the Russian Federation joined the CINHEKS study. The analysis is contextually grounded in a comparative policy analysis focused on the main developments and understandings of the ideas surrounding the term knowledge society, in all countries concerned. Empirical elaboration is established via a series of sequential studies, each building, incrementally, on the previous study. These studies include institutional profiles of higher education institutions, institutional case studies, and an international comparative survey that illuminates academics’ social networks. The research findings broaden our understanding of the differences and similarities in how higher education institutions and individual academics are networked within and between societies that understand themselves as knowledge societies. The book introduces a novel analytical synthesis, which asserts contemporary societies have evolved into Networked Knowledge Societies. Methodologically, the book both challenges and raises the bar for previous approaches in comparative higher education, in terms of research design, execution and lays the groundwork for a new generation of international comparative higher education research. (from Springer website)
This article provides a historical background and analysis of Turkey soft power policy, its concept and tools. Turkey’s use of soft power in Eurasian countries is facilitated by its history and position at the intersection between Europe and Asia, as well as ethnic, religious and linguistic communities on its territory. Over the last two decades, complex internal and external factors have transformed its soft power policy and enhanced its influence in the countries where it has geopolitical interests, especially in Caucasus and Central Asia. The main external factor was the formation of new independent states after the collapse of the USSR in 1991. Turkey’s foreign policy approach was transformed by the rise to power of the centre-right conservative Justice and Development Party in 2002. Democratic reforms reduced the military’s influence over foreign policy, strengthened civil society and increased the active participation of actors such as business and civil society organizations in foreign policy. In addition foreign affairs minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s new approach of “Zero Problems with Our Neighbours,” based on the doctrine of strategic depth (Stratejik Derinlik) and using political dialogue, economic interdependence and cultural harmony, reinforced Turkish soft power. Moreover, protests in the Middle East and North Africa led to a consideration of the Turkish state model as an example to be followed. Another important factor was Turkey’s participation in various international institutions.
The efficient use of soft power strategies, tools and activities in language promotion, education and scientific cooperation, business collaboration and development assistance by Turkish diplomats and experts in international relations has resulted in a positive and attractive international image of Turkey. Turkey implements its soft power policy through bilateral and multilateral cooperation. For example, it established the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States (CCTS), the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-Speaking Countries (TURKPA) and the Joint Administration of Turkic Culture and Art (TÜRKSOY) to increase collaboration with target countries.
Despite of the positive outcomes from soft power, Turkey needs a multidimensional strategy to promote its influence abroad that takes into account key foreign policy objectives such as negotiations with the European Union and decreasing tensions with Syria and Cyprus.
We hope that this study will make one more step in the gradual movement towards opening up opportunities for research on the post-Soviet space built on transparent data and keen academic interest. The demand for a thorough grasp of post-Soviet higher education transformations in each former Soviet Republic seemed natural at the start. Basically, we assumed that national higher education systems reflect changes in societies and the economic and political environment. The institutional landscape of higher education, the structure of the system and the set of ‘rules of the game’ can tell us a great deal about the society in which they are rooted.
This paper attempts to ascertain the role of public diplomacy in the East Asian region and focuses on the civilization potentials of Russia and China in the region. Dialogue of civilizations, based not on conflict of cultures, values, but on movement to mutual understanding, collaboration and even to the process of harmonization of civilization, is becoming a major requirement of our time. All efforts to solve difficult international problems by “hard power” are not successfully completed – use of military force provokes a counter response. In the light of this, the role of public diplomacy and foreign-policy propaganda is increasing. Despite the fact that the world’s financial and economic crises dispelled the myth of universality of the Western liberal-economic model, USA still continues to impose her ideology – “the new rules of the world ” – on the world. Under these conditions, Russia and China are facing a challenge – consolidating their positions in the world economy and politics. Nowadays, without doubts, both Russia and China are interested in the integration approach. This study explores the possibility of working out the paradigm of political and diplomatic cooperation between the two countries.
The present world order that restricts the possibilities of individual civilizations causes reaction from East-Asian and other developing countries. China in particular, is taking the lead among developing countries, disputing regional and recently global positions. While China assumes responsibility as a regional leader, Russia has interests in her age-old region – Commonwealth of Independent States.
The EU as a model of soft power has a powerful attraction in the world and even a much more influential one in its near abroad. The EU has an interest in promoting its model as a contribution to good governance, democracy, economic prosperity and security, which are essential pre-requisites to and effective regional cooperation framework. It also has a major interest in continuing to preach the merits of sharing sovereignty as a necessary condition to tackling many of today's global problems such as sustainable development, poverty, the environment, transnational crime, and more recently, the economic crisis. Since its inception, the EU has also become the largest trading block and aid provider in the world which gives even more weight to its international role.
European Union is on the crossroad in its relationship with BRICS. It must not fail to make a good choice. Different scenarios of relationship are feasible. The most probable are discussed in the paper. The author shows that the competition scenario will damage interests of the European Union and its member-states. She strongly lobbies a choice for cooperation scenario, showing it benefits for the both sides and world development. At the same time she urges to overcome existing prejudices, disbelieves and lack of trust.