The book is a result of the first ever study of the transformations of the higher education institutional landscape in fifteen former USSR countries after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. It explores how the single Soviet model that developed across the vast and diverse territory of the Soviet Union over several decades has evolved into fifteen unique national systems, systems that have responded to national and global developments while still bearing some traces of the past. The book is distinctive as it presents a comprehensive analysis of the reforms and transformations in the region in the last 25 years; and it focuses on institutional landscape through the evolution of the institutional types established and developed in Pre-Soviet, Soviet and Post-Soviet time. It also embraces all fifteen countries of the former USSR, and provides a comparative analysis of transformations of institutional landscape across Post-Soviet systems. It will be highly relevant for students and researchers in the fields of higher education and and sociology, particularly those with an interest in historical and comparative studies.
An increasing number of policymakers in developing countries have made the mass expansion of upper-secondary vocational education and training (VET) a top priority. The goal of this study is to examine whether VET fulfills the objectove of building skills and abilities along multiple dimensions and further identify which school-level factors help vocational students build these skills and abilities. To fulfill this goal, we analyzed representative, longitudinal data that we collected on more than 12,000 students from 118 schools in once province of central China. First, descriptive analysis shows approximately 90% of VET students do not make any gains in vocational or general skills. In addition, negative behaviors (misbehavior in the classroom, anti-social behavior, and other risky behaviors) are highly prevalent among VET students. A nontrivial proportion of student internships also fail to meet minimum government requirements for student safety and well-being. Perhaps as a result of these outcomes, more than 60% of students express dissatisfaction with their VET programs, as evidenced by eitehr self-reports or dropping out. Finally, using a multi-level model, we find that school inputs (such as school size, teacher qualifications, and per pupil expenditure) are not correlated with vocational and general skill at the end of the school year, or student dropout in the academic year.
The article uses the framework of resiliency to examine the strategies of principals in schools working under challenging socio-economic conditions that show higher-than-expected educational results. We collected a unique set of data within the Russian ‘National monitoring of education markets and organisations’ programme. This work continues the study, begun in 2014, of the peculiarities of the functioning conditions, management and educational strategies of different groups of schools (urban, rural, implementing higher-level programmes, private, etc.), where authors supplement the economic indicators of school performance with socio-economic contextual factors. A contextualisation model was applied to distinguish the resilient schools studied and the socio-economic characteristics for each school. The typical strategies of principals of resilient schools are as follows: recruiting more successful students from other schools, the branding of the school, creating a culture of high expectations for staff and students, and a less bureaucratic management style.
Is it possible to compare the results in assessments of mathematics across countries with different curricula, traditions and age of starting school? As part of the iPIPS project, a Russian version of the iPIPS baseline assessment was developed and trial data were available from about 300 Russian children at the start and end of their first year at school. These were matched with parallel data from representative samples of equal numbers of children from England and Scotland. The equating of the scales was explored using Rasch measurement. A unified scale was easiest to create for England and Scotland at the start and end of their first year at school when children only differ by a half a year in age, and live in adjacent countries with a common language. Although fewer items showed invariance across the three countries, it was possible to link iPIPS scores in mathematics from the start and end of the first year at school across Scotland, England and Russia. The findings of this study suggest that, despite the apparent difficulties, meaningful comparisons of mathematics attainment and development can be made. These will allow for substantive interpretations with policy implications.
The objective of this chapter is to present the common legacy basis for the chapters devoted to specific post-Soviet countries.
This article develops the concept of flexibility in HRM practices which can increase a company's potential to respond to substantial variation in the business environment. It reveals the characteristics of flexible HRM practices in Russian companies in an uncertain external and internal environment. Cranet survey data gathered from October 2014 until March 2015 is used for measuring the environmental uncertainty and flexibility of staffing, training and development, pay, employee relations and communication. A comparison of the flexibility indices for the four HRM practices show a higher level of flexibility in training and development practices. The research results confirm a direct positive relationship between the complexity of the environment and the flexibility of HRM practices.
Contemporary compulsory schooling emerged in the nineteenth century for the needs of an industrial age. Compulsory schooling has always relied on the Panoptic schema described by Michel Foucault. In recent decades, the development of surveillance technologies has made Panoptic schemas in schools even stronger. Information technology and the transition to an information society has significantly undermined schools' power structures. Teachers no longer possess a monopoly on knowledge. Students have learned to escape the teachers' gaze and can lead virtual lives through their own smartphones inside and outside formal educational settings. One form of modern peer-to-peer interaction takes place on social networking websites that give users the option to be 'hidden', 'passive' or 'inactive' if they wish. To examine the influence of social networking on education we rely on the Foucault's Panopticon theory. Whilst the traditional Panoptic regime may be crumbling, the social network phenomenon can transform modern learning environments for productive educational engagement. Foucault's framework does not take into account the social networks phenomenon. Therefore, empirical evidence is required to articulate the nuances of the modern-day Panopticon. In this chapter we use interviews with teachers to illustrate the reflection of Panoptic logics and practices onto the social networks in classrooms. We explore the possibility for developing dialogically based and student-led pedagogies through social networking websites. 'I do not know how I should communicate with students online, when they write me a private message and call me by my first name. Should I play by their rules on this space? Or, do I need to use the constructs from school?
The article briefly discusses the question of how we should establish special educational practices that could help students mature. In identifying such practices, the author looks to a number of empirical studies that allow us to understand what significance the concept of “maturation” has for children and teenagers. In conclusion, the author notes that modern educational systems rarely provide students with the opportunity to try on adult roles. To allow this, changes will have to be made and special mechanisms will have to be designed that enable children, teenagers, and college students to show initiative and take responsibility.
This article investigates the current state of faculty research activity within Tajik higher education institutions (HEIs), where the level of research productivity has substantially decreased in the past three decades. As part of a larger ethnographic study on professional lives of Tajik faculty members, we investigated and found enormous challenges to conducting research and becoming active researchers reported by our respondents. We analyze and discuss how such issues may challenge the development of higher education in the country.
This paper applies a comparative approach to analyze several dimensions of ‘Global Sociology’ from a normative stance based on a critical review of related discourses in sociological communities. The author reveals three major problems in intra-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and extra-academic dimensions, manifested not only in ‘factual’ (objective) characteristics but also in ‘ideological’ visions typical of academic communities and connected with a negative stance towards global neoliberalism and its various agents: first, rigid vertical stratification of the international academic field, primarily, in terms of academic publishing and working conditions; second, negative tendencies in the status positions of sociology compared to other sciences, especially economics; and third, little cooperation with policy-makers and corporate practitioners combined with an orientation to supporting various discriminated groups against dominating powers associated with neoliberalism.
Homophily - tendency for people to form social connections with similar others - is one of the key topics in social network analysis. It indicates to what extent people tend to be similar to their friends and in what dimensions. For the long time homophily was just an index of the social similarity, but for the recent years the interest for the homophily formation, dynamics and multidimensionality increased. In this paper we investigate the homophily in such social constructed behavior as food consumption and academic achievements. The study of body mass index in social network context reveals the presence of homophily, which means that persons with similar constitution are more likely to be interconnected with each other. Interestingly, that healthy food consumption has no impact on social network formation, but there is homophily based on fast food consumption. Thus, ‘bad habits’ are stronger forces for the social ties formation. This results show that social constructed behavior is an important component on the process of social network formation.
Despite the differences in political, social, economic, and cultural histories, Brazil, Russia, India, and China share the common characteristics. The BRIC countries are very large in terms of population, territory, and economy. Each country has great economic and political influence in the regions, as well as dominance in education sphere (Altbach et al. 2013). They are emerging markets as their economies have been rapidly growing for the last decades while remaining lower middle income or upper middle income countries (World Bank 2016). The experience of these countries is critical for understanding the higher education system dynamics in large countries with limited resources.
The Republic of Moldova has a long history of shifting borders, and a short history as an independent state. Higher education only expanded during the Soviet era, which saw 9 public higher education institutions come into existence between 1926 and 1988. On the one hand, ample state funding for higher education allowed an unprecedented growth in access to higher education, a well-developed technical and material base, and internationally comparable educational standards. On the other hand, high level of centralization of the Soviet educational system made it static and unable to adequately respond to the changing needs of a dynamic labor market. Strict educational centralization led to bureaucratization of management, authoritarianism, excessive uniformity, lack of understanding of local conditions, stifling of ‘bottom-up’ initiative, and lack of academic mobility. At the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, participation in higher education was still the third lowest among all Soviet republics.
Russia (Russian Federation) has the largest territory in the world and extends over 11 time zones. As a federal state, Russia has 85 regions. Over 146 million people (FSSS 2016) are unevenly distributed throughout the country. About 77% of the population lives in the more urbanized European part of the country, whereas the Asian part of the country occupies more than 76% of the total area. The youth population is declining. Although there are around 180 different ethnic groups in Russia, most of the populations (78%) are ethnic Russians (Statdata 2017).
The Russian economy is based heavily on natural resources. As of 2015, it was the 13th largest economy in the world by nominal GDP (World Bank 2017a) and the sixth largest by purchasing power parity (World Bank 2017b).
The Constitution of the Russian Federation guarantees the right to free higher education on a competitive basis for those obtaining it for the first time. General and vocational education is free and available to all.
The social and economic landscape has been rapidly changing in Russia during the last quarter of a century. After the collapse of the USSR in 1991, Russia experienced many changes, including: • The movement to an electoral democracy and a market economy • The rejection of a planned human resources policy relating to the main economic sectors • The decline or elimination of a number of key industries (OECD 2007)
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.
De Groof J. and Willems K., Law and Higher Education in the Flemish Community, in Cheol Shin J. and Nuno Teixeira P. (eds.), Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions, Springer, 2017. (Forthcoming).
The identification and support of talented students is one of the priorities of educational policy in the Russian Federation. There is currently a wide range of regulatory legal acts aimed at organizing work and support for students who have demonstrated outstanding ability. This article considers both direct support for talented students such as scholarships, and indirect measures: improving educators’ professional skills, developing model programs for general education, creating information portals to support talented students, etc.
Doctoral education has experienced dramatic changes all over the world in the last three decades. Currently, Russia is at the beginning of a doctoral education transformation to structured programs according to needs of knowledge-based economies. This paper aims to identify national-level barriers to PhD completion in Russian doctoral education. The data from the empirical study in highly selective Russian universities that participate in a special government program were employed. About 40% of all doctoral students participated in the Russian Federation study at these universities. The following problems were revealed and discussed in the research: (1) problems of transition to a structured model of doctoral education, (2) diffusion of doctoral education’s goals, (3) unpreparedness of Russian universities for the massive expansion of PhD education, (4) ineffective mechanisms of doctoral student selection, (5) a lack of funding and a need for doctoral students to have paid work, (6) excessive dependence on supervisors and (7) insufficient study time and skills for meeting the requirement for publications before the date of defence. Some problems correlate with the global challenges, but some are unique to the Russian institutional context. The relevance of the Russian case to understanding the worldwide transformation of the doctorate is discussed.