We assess and compare computer science skills among final-year computer science undergraduates (seniors) in four major economic and political powers that produce approximately half of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics graduates in the world. We find that seniors in the United States substantially outperform seniors in China, India, and Russia by 0.76–0.88 SDs and score comparably with seniors in elite institutions in these countries. Seniors in elite institutions in the United States further outperform seniors in elite institutions in China, India, and Russia by ∼0.85 SDs. The skills advantage of the United States is not because it has a large proportion of high-scoring international students. Finally, males score consistently but only moderately higher (0.16–0.41 SDs) than females within all four countries.
Using newly available data from the Trajectories in Education and Careers Study, the first longitudinal study on a representative sample of high school students in Russia, we examined the importance of investments in human and cultural capital on students’ mathematics and reading standardized examinations, as well as on the likelihood of matriculation into a selective institution of higher education. Studying mathematics and the Russian language on one’s own for more than a year was positively and significantly associated with standardized scores and with an increased likelihood of matriculating into a selective university. A higher number of books at home was also associated with an increased likelihood of matriculating into a selective university. The findings are discussed within the particular institutional context of the Russian educational system.
How much university students learn in their studies is highly debated and important to
understanding the value of higher education. Yet, information on learning gains at this level
are scarce. Our paper contributes to the debate by using unique data for Brazil to estimate
absolute test score gains across various fields of study in higher education and to assess
whether students who attend certain categories of programs (public/private, research/non-
research, highly selective/less selective) make greater relative gains than in others. Our results
suggest that students in STEM fields tend to have higher absolute achievement gains compared
to students in humanities and pedagogical programs, and that in a few fields, such as civil
engineering and history, the relative gains for students in highly selective programs in that field
of study are significantly higher than if they had attended somewhat less selective programs.
However, students attending lowest quintile selective programs in a field of study have
consistently lower gains across a range of study fields than similar students attending programs
just one quintile higher. The results have important implications for the equity effects of higher
This article provides an empirically grounded analysis for two fundamentally different models of mathematics teachers’ beliefs about student diversity in Russian secondary schools: exclusive and inclusive models. Although teachers’ beliefs are considered a central factor for the differentiated approach, teachers’ beliefs could be stereotyped and, consequently, the evaluation of a student’s ability would be systematically shifted and decisions about the possibility of teaching a student would be incorrect. Semi-structured interviews with 30 mathematics teachers allowed us to investigate what criteria teachers claim to employ while classifying students in the classroom and what expectations they have for each group of students. It was found that within the exclusive model, teachers have an image of a “normal” student and use discrete categories for labelling students with reference to the “normality”. Within the inclusive model teachers tend not to match students with discrete categories; rather they prefer to compare a student only with herself or himself. Research findings are discussed in the context of a possible “fixed effect” on a student’s development. However, there is a need for further investigation of a connection between teachers’ belief systems, teaching practices, and student achievement.
University faculty are frequently tasked with promoting academic honesty among students. However, there is little reliable evidence about whether faculty actions can prevent academic dishonesty. The purpose of this study is to examine whether more severe punishments from faculty can reduce academic dishonesty among students. We analyze nationally representative, longitudinal and matched data on engineering undergraduates and faculty from 33 universities in Russia, and document extremely high and increasing rates of dishonest academic attitudes among students, especially among the higher achieving students. In the first two years of study the proportion of students tolerant to academic dishonesty increases by 5 percentage points. We then show that despite the tide of increasing academic dishonesty among students, more severe punishments from faculty significantly and substantially improve student attitudes towards academic dishonesty. Taken together, the findings emphasize the importance of strengthening the role of faculty in promoting academic honesty among students.
The issue presents an analysis of the association between the functional literacy and students' characteristics and educational trajectories. The analysis is conducted on the data of the Russian longitudinal study "Trajectories in education and profession." The differences in socio-economic characteristics, academic self-esteem and performance, as well as the choice of educational trajectories among students with low, medium and high level of functional literacy in PISA-2012 are described. The results show that students with low literacy levels not only have low educational results, but also less realistic forecast their future achievements and trajectories.
In this paper, we study the relationship between family characteristics and the choice of an educational trajectory in high school. We explore three situations of educational choice: the choice between academic and vocational education after grades 9th (middle to high school transition) and 11th (postsecondary) as well as the choice between selective and non-selective university at the postsecondary educational choice. In accordance with R.Budon’s theory we explore primary and secondary effects of family’s socioeconomic status (SES). Primary effects are expressed via association between family’s SES and educational achievements. Secondary effects are expressed via association between students SES and their educational choices directly. The work is based on the data of the longitudinal project "Trajectories in Education and Careers". It was launched in 2011, when respondents studied in the 8th grade, and continues to these days. The dataset provide variables on the wide range of achievement, family’s SES and other important information proxies. For achievement TIMSS mathematics and USE in Russian language were used. The results showed that the primary effects reduce from the 9th to the 11th grades education choice, while the role of secondary effects increase. Even high achieving students from families with a low level of cultural, educational, and social capital chose less selective institutions. Conversely, students from families with high SES, but low academic achievements, will make a choice in favor of higher education. Conclusions are made about the degree of accessibility during transition into the high school and higher education, as well as the probable causes of the manifestation of inequality.
Assessing student learning outcomes has become a global trend in higher education. In this paper we report on the validation of the Chinese HEIghten™ Critical Thinking assessment with anationally representative sample of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science students from 35 institutions in China. Key findings suggest that there was a test delivery mode effect favoring the paper tests over the online tests. In general the psychometric quality of the items was satisfactory for low-stakes, group-level uses but there were a few items with low discrimination which awaits further investigation. The relationships between test scores and various external variables such as college entrance examination scores, university elite status, and student perceptions of the test were as expected. We conclude with speculations for the key findings and discussion of directions for future research.
Researchers have long postulated the existence of a big fish little pond effect (BFLPE) in which a student’s relative academic standing in class or school impacts his or her academic self-concept. Few studies, however, use causal research designs to identify whether the BFLPE exists and whether it is generalizable across a wide variety of contexts. The goal of our study is to provide causal estimates of the BFLPE and examine whether the estimates differ by gender and national context. To fulfill our goal, we analyze cross-national TIMSS 2011 data using a cross-subject student-fixed effects model. Our results provide the strongest evidence to date that a sizeable BFLPE exists in STEM subjects irrespective of gender and national context.
Higher Education in Federal Countries: A Comparative Study is a unique study of higher education in nine federal countries—the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, China and India. In this book, leading international scholars discuss the role of federalism and how it shapes higher education in major nation-state actors on the world stage. The editors develop an overarching comparative analysis of the dynamics of central and regional power in higher education, and the national case studies explain how each federal and federal-like higher education system has evolved and how it functions in what are highly varied contexts.
The book makes a major contribution to higher education studies and defines a new field of comparative analysis. It also provides important insights into comparative governance and the study of federalism and federal arrangements, with their particular historical, political, legal and economic dimensions.
Argues that explaining national declines in test scores is as important as explaining increases.
Interviews with Australian experts on reasons for Australia’s large decline in PISA scores.
Uses microdata from PISA and TIMSS scores to test expert explanations for decline.
Finds that decline is pervasive across Australian states and social class groups.
Finds that there is no clear explanation for the large decrease in Australia’s PISA scores.