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Higher Education in Russia in the Twenty-first Century: Searching for Excellence

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Globalization with its technological and economical challenges, a need to build a knowledge based economy require the development of human capital, advanced research interrelated with the system of tertiary education. The national framework of centralization, prevailing role of the government, historical division between teaching at universities and research in academies of sciences, joining Bologna process, demographic decline from the unique setting and shape a national way to the excellence. This article discusses some issues of the reform of Russian higher education: transition to the two-cycle degree system in the context of entry into the European higher education area; massification and access to higher education under increasing social inequalities and changing demographics; a pressure of intensification of research at universities along with institutional differentiation based on a selection of a group of leading institutions (national research universities and federal universities). The analysis suggests that Russia does not provide a relevant policy response to the emerging challenges so far and still lacks a systemic approach to the transformation in higher education and research.

Keywords: Bologna declaration; Russia; education reform; excellence; globalization; higher education; knowledge based economy; two-cycle degree system

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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  • World Studies in Education is a bi-annual, refereed, international journal offering a global overview of significant international and comparative education research. Its focus is on educational reforms and policy affecting institutions in the global economy.

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