University Admission In Russia: Do the Wealthier Benefit from Standardized Exams?
This paper examines the impact of family income on the results of the newly introduced Unified State Examination (USE) in Russia. We argue that entrants from wealthy households have an advantage in terms of access to higher education, since income positively affects USE scores through a higher level of investment in pre-entry coaching. We have found positive and significant relationships between the level of income and USE results for high school graduates, given equal achievement before coaching. We demonstrate that in general, investment in pre-entry coaching has positive returns, but the most significant type of investment is pre-entry courses. However, such strategy improves USE results only for students from the most affluent households.
This paper analyses the determinants of national student mobility under the unified system of admission in Russia and evaluates the barriers which still limit educational mobility. It is argued that even with the Unified State Examination (USE) and the decreased transaction costs of applying to universities, student interregional national mobility is directed towards more developed regional educational markets and richer regions, but is still limited due to the financial constraints in the absence of the additional student support. Russia is an interesting case, because it consists of regions with highly variable socio-economic development and it represents local higher education markets with different levels of competition between universities, which may influence the decision to move. USE was intended to mitigate against these differences, and for political reasons under USE such differences are not considered the main barriers of access to higher education. However, this study takes into account the importance of the institutional characteristics of regions in student mobility.
Students' internet usage attracts the attention of many researchers in different countries. Differences in internet penetration in diverse countries lead us to ask about the interaction of medium and culture in this process. In this paper we present an analysis based on a sample of 825 students from 18 Russian universities and discuss findings on particularities of students' ICT usage. On the background of the findings of the study, based on data collected in 2008-2009 year during a project "A сross-cultural study of the new learning culture formation in Germany and Russia", we discuss the problem of plagiarism in Russia, the availability of ICT features in Russian universities and an evaluation of the attractiveness of different categories of ICT usage and gender specifics in the use of ICT.
The results of cross-cultural research of implicit theories of innovativeness among students and teachers, representatives of three ethnocultural groups: Russians, the people of the North Caucasus (Chechens and Ingushs) and Tuvinians (N=804) are presented. Intergroup differences in implicit theories of innovativeness are revealed: the ‘individual’ theories of innovativeness prevail among Russians and among the students, the ‘social’ theories of innovativeness are more expressed among respondents from the North Caucasus, Tuva and among the teachers. Using the structural equations modeling the universal model of values impact on implicit theories of innovativeness and attitudes towards innovations is constructed. Values of the Openness to changes and individual theories of innovativeness promote the positive relation to innovations. Results of research have shown that implicit theories of innovativeness differ in different cultures, and values make different impact on the attitudes towards innovations and innovative experience in different cultures.