Institute of Education

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'The Economist' on IOE’s Vision of Future-proof Education

A European round-up in the May 26 issue of The Economist spotlights what Vladimir Putin’s fourth presidential term will likely bring for Russian education and how the country’s academic progressives, led by the HSE Institute of Education, conceive of L&D policy priorities and reforms.

As President Vladimir Putin started his fourth term early this May, Russia’s development plan is now expected to give more emphasis to issues of socio-economic sustainability and the country’s educational policy is probably set to take an important new turn.  

Russian education has traditionally posted strong performance by a number of indicators. These include, among others, a high proportion of degree holders and sound student scores on international testing frameworks that have been on par with the OECD average. Nevertheless, despite Russia’s high global ranking by formal educational attainment, the country comes 42nd in terms of available applied skills according to the WEF’s Global Human Capital Report 2017.

Experts at the HSE Institute of Education (IOE), a major Russian hub for progressive educational scholarship and policy blueprints, see continual public underfunding and outdated curricula, which now barely factor in the social and labor requirements of modern life, as the key issues that have plagued Russia’s learning & development. “I’m also sad that kids now don’t know ‘Eugene Onegin’ by heart, but I understand those aren’t the skills of the future,” The Economist cites IOE Head, Prof. Isak Froumin. “In some places, our girls still learn sewing,” Dr. Froumin continues. “In China they’re studying AI.”

International experts discussing IOE paper, 12 Solutions for New Education, at the 2018 HSE April International Academic Conference

What IOE reformers have argued for is the need to promote up-to-date, globally competitive education to empower high-payoff human capital as the pivotal linchpin in sparking a new sustained momentum for Russia’s economic growth. The progressivist camp primarily calls for “flexible personalized education, project-based learning and an emphasis on building skills and competencies, rather than rote learning.”   

Delivering on these objectives requires a whole set of measures that would enable an overhaul spanning every industry facet, from comprehensive upgrades to the schooling infrastructure through world-standard training & professional development offerings for teachers and educational leaders.

Earlier this year, IOE and the Russian Center for Strategic Development came up with an analytical paper titled, 12 Solutions for New Education, which sets out the overall groundwork for Russia’s prospective L&D policy updates to steer by.

Read on the Economist Online (subscription access only)

Read the PDF version of The Economist, May 26, 2018