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ERIC Number: EJ787853
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-1056-4934
Policy Shifts in Higher Education in the Russian Federation: Autonomy, Standards, and Quality
Zajda, Joseph; Zajda, Rea
European Education, v39 n3 p16-38 Fall 2007
Prior to 1991, all higher education institutions in the Soviet Union were state institutions. There were some 900 higher educational institutions in 1990, including only 70 major universities, still referred to as VUZy, from the Russian "vysshee uchebnoe zavedenie". This acronym is popularly used to refer to all types of higher education institutions, and they included universities, polytechnic institutes, academies, and specialized institutes (e.g., teacher training colleges). Until the decentralization of educational administration began in 1990, the entire higher education sector was under state control. Higher education institutions were controlled by provisions of the 1961 Statute on the Higher Education Establishments of the USSR, together with the Regulations for Higher Education Establishments. The Ministry of Higher and Specialized Secondary Education was responsible for administering higher education. In April 1988, the USSR State Committee for Public Education was formed, amalgamating the former Ministries of Education and Higher and Specialized Secondary Education. Access to higher education institutions has always been by competitive examination ["konkurs"], which included good grades in the secondary school certificate. As there was no central coordination body for admissions, applications had to be made directly to the faculty concerned. Admissions were based on academic merit, although under the Soviet system character references from Communist Party organizations played a role. Students had to take the competitive entrance examination required by all VUZy. There were always more applicants than there were places available, still the case in 2007. Admission to some institutions and faculties continues to be highly competitive. Both oral and written examinations in three or four core subjects were set by the individual institutions. Students with an excellent academic school record, especially those who received a gold medal for academic excellence in the final year of secondary schooling, are admitted without competitive examination. As part of developing a unified national system for evaluating and assessing educational quality, the All-Russian Center for Testing Young Candidates for University and College Admission was established. The new policy shifts in the higher education sector in Russia during the past decade (1996-2007) focus on the following four aspects--autonomy, academic standards and quality, privatization, and standardization of curricula. (Contains 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Russia