ERIC Number: ED341325
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Six Parallel Policy Changes in Higher Education in California and the Soviet Union in the 1980's.
Heckman, Dale M.
This paper discusses the fact that, in the same decade and despite obvious differences, two separate and distinctive systems of higher education (those of California and the Soviet Union) have been urged by their respective policy making bodies, to make major changes in at least six parallel ways; the paper investigates reasons for this timing and parallelism. After identifying the half dozen issues and the stated reasons for each policy change, the first and longer part of the document discusses these changes in terms of internal factors associated with very recent changes (1960s and 1970s) in American higher education, and the extent to which these factors seem present in the Soviet or California institutions. The six changes that are examined are as follows: (1) increased collaboration among academic, research, and industrial units; (2) improved quality and selected characteristics of students graduating from postsecondary institutions; (3) getting ethnic minorities enrolled in proportion to the population; (4) involvement of volunteers in social improvement; (5) obtaining of government certification of institutional quality; and (6) increased international exchange of students. Also presented are the four societal conditions, and their examples, that are commonly correlated with large-scale policy changes in the history of American higher education. In the paper's second part, correlates of internal change in institutions of higher education are examined for their relevance to the California-Soviet comparison. These changes are: openness to external initiatives; changes in faculty composition; fewer faculty members with tenure; and dispersed power and influence among faculty members. It is concluded that despite sharp ideological differences, important parallels do exist between the two societies, and that their anxieties for the future, as reflected in the educational changes both have instituted, transcend their more explicit differences. Contains 28 footnotes. (GLR)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; USSR