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ERIC Number: EJ787856
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-1056-4934
Reform and Adaptation in Russian Higher Education: An Institutional Perspective
Morgan, Anthony W.; Kulikova, Nadezhda V.
European Education, v39 n3 p39-61 Fall 2007
After the political upheavals of the early 1990s, Russian higher education was thrown into turmoil as federal spending for higher education was cut drastically and payments to institutions were delayed. Since all sectors of the economy were affected by these changes, political leaders were focusing first on more volatile sectors, leaving higher education to wait for its case to be heard and hopefully get some relief. While several national reform strategies have been announced, overall national strategies have experienced difficulty in moving to implementation. In the meantime, institutions have had to adapt immediately to rapidly declining government resources in order to survive. Therefore much of the story of higher education reform in Russia has evolved out of survival strategies at the institutional level rather than the typical historical pattern of waiting for a plan to be formulated in Moscow. Most university administrators and academic staff were ill prepared to deal with the necessity of institutionally led change, having been conditioned to awaiting direction in a heretofore highly centralized higher education system. Financial exigencies forced rapid and dramatic changes at the institutional level within a context of the gradual relaxing of central controls. Institutions were also still operating within the very powerful constraints of long-held academic and bureaucratic norms about program quality, faculty, and students. These cultural norms, most strongly held in the classical universities, greatly influenced the pace and depth of change. Overall reform in Russian higher education is, however, most appropriately described as entrepreneurial survival by individual institutions or as Shattock characterizes it, "transformed not by state action, but paradoxically, by state inaction". This article therefore focuses on change and adaptation at the institutional level. The authors draw from selected national data, but primarily from several published case studies, including those published by the authors based on field work done in Russia. After discussing some important dimensions of the national context, they focus on selected issues to illustrate adaptation at the institutional level. These issues include changing patterns and strategies for diversifying revenue; changing patterns of enrollment, academic programs, and faculty employment; and the emergence of new organizational structures. The authors conclude with sections on the changing demographics of Russia, how these changes are influencing Russian universities, and finally what they view as central policy issues in further reforms. (Contains 4 tables and 3 notes.)
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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