Quality of Enrolment in Technical Universities has Grown Considerably
On September 3, 2015, Dmitry Livanov, Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov, and Alexander Biserov, Deputy Head of Rosobrnadzor (Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Science and Education) presented the annual monitoring of the quality of enrolment in the state-funded places of Russian universities in 2015 at Rossiya Segodnya IIA (International Information Agency). Among the top ten universities in terms of enrolment quality, HSE took third place and HSE campus in St. Petersburg took eighth.
This monitoring takes place annually, and has been carried out by an HSE research team since 2009. It is based on data from universities’ websites, but his year it also used data from the Russian Ministry of Education and Science Department of State Policy in Higher Education. The Social Navigator project of Rossiya Segodnya IIA is the study’s partner. The monitoring includes data on 442 higher education institutions, which enroll students mostly on the basis of Unified State Examination (USE) results.
The quality of enrolment is evaluated by the average USE grade among accepted applicants, and uses students enrolled in the first year of undergraduate full-time programmes. A group of leading universities with average marks of over 70 (‘green zone’), and a group of underachieving ones (‘red zone’, with marks under 56) were highlighted.
Competition is growing, and accessibility remains
According to Dmitry Livanov, 324,200 state-funded places were allocated this year for undergraduate students, which is slightly higher than last year. The number of state-funded places in such areas as natural sciences, medicine, and engineering has grown. 56% of high school graduates were enrolled in state-funded places at universities, which means that higher education remains accessible.
The average competition in Russia was 9 applicants per place, which is higher than last year. Demand for programmes in foreign languages, international relations, economics, and medicine has remained traditionally high. A growing interest in engineering, technical, and pedagogical areas has been detected. In these areas, the competition is about 7.5 applicants per place, which is higher than previously.
As compared with ast year, MGIMO (94.7 grades) and MIPT (93.8) kept their positions in the top ten universities with state-funded enrolment over 300 students and continue to hold first and second places accordingly. Saint Petersburg State Medical University lost its position to the Higher School of Economics (91.5) and fell from third place to ninth. Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University didn’t make the top ten. The average USE grade in the St. Petersburg State University (88.1) is still higher than in Lomonosov Moscow State University (87.1), but now they are in fourth and fifth places accordingly. National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (86.3) moved from seventh position to sixth, and the HSE campus in St. Petersburg (84.6) managed to enter the top ten and take eighth place. Plekhanov Russian University of Economics dropped out of the top ten, and the Financial University (83) entered it. Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration moved from tenth place to seventh (85.6).
HSE in state-funded enrolment quality monitoring, 2015
Includes universities with state-funded enrolment over 300 places
|No||University||Average USE grade, 2015||Average USE grade, 2014||USE grade of the lowest achieving student, 2015||USE grade of the lowest achieving student enrolled by USE results, 2015||Number of students enrolled in state-funded places, 2015|
|1||Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO)||94.7||93.8||75.7||81.3||436|
|2||Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT)||93.8||92.7||72.3||84.3||890|
|3||National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow||91.5||91.4||59.2||72.8||1989|
|4||St. Petersburg State University||88.1||88||56||56||2340|
|5||Lomonosov Moscow State University||87.1||86.3||40.3||59.8||3848|
|6||National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, Moscow||86.3||84.8||61||80||475|
|7||Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow||85.6||86||56||69||611|
|8||National Research University Higher School of Economics, campus in St. Petersburg||84.6||82.8||64.7||71.8||529|
|9||Pavlov First Saint Petersburg State Medical University||83.2||87.8||52.3||77.3||610|
|10||Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation||83||87.3||40||70.7||1034|
Preliminary data as of September 3, 2015.
Prepared according to the data collected by an HSE research team from university websites and data provided by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science Department of State Policy in Higher Education.
School contest winners, who were enrolled without entrance exams, were assigned maximum USE grades (100 per each subject accounted), in line with Ministry of Education and Science recommendations.
Agricultural education is falling behind
Technical universities have considerably increased the quality of their enrolment. Twenty-four universities are in the ‘green zone’, which is eight more than last year. MIS&S, St. Petersburg University of Technology and Design, and Bauman Moscow State Technical University grew considerably. The ‘red zone’ shrunk; it lost nine universities and added only four.
The top three teacher training universities remained the same: Moscow State Pedagogical University, Moscow City Teacher Training University, and Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia. Several universities in regions outside the two main cities improved their positions, the ‘red zone’ shrunk, and some universities improved their grades within this group.
When speaking about agricultural education institutions, one university – St. Petersburg Academy of Veterinary Medicine – entered the ‘green zone’ (for the first time over the monitoring period), and two universities left the ‘red zone’. ‘Universities that train professionals for agriculture showed low attractiveness’, Dmitry Livanov emphasized, ‘Their average grade was 53’.
Generally, the grade for medical universities has fallen slightly, although this is probably an adjustment following the boom in previous years.
What can be done with poor achieving institutions?
Speaking about what is going to happen with universities that found themselves in the ‘red zone’, HSE rector said that it largely depends on the conditions where the specific institution works. Universities in North Caucasus and Russian Far East, where the best graduates prefer to leave for Central Russia, have to work with those who stay.
In terms of universities in big cities, they are supposed to meet higher requirements. The Russian Ministry of Education and Science distributes state-funded places as part of a competition, and one of the factors here is the quality of students. If a university is in the ‘red zone’ in some areas of studies, most probably it won’t get state-funded places in these areas and would probably look at merging with a stronger institution. Or, for example, a university can leave the ‘red zone’ if it doesn’t request 100 state-funded places, but significantly less.
Dmitry Livanov emphasized that the higher education system not only trains professionals, but provides socialization for young people. That’s why a branched network of universities in various regions should remain, and the differences in the quality of education are inevitable. At the same time, the minister believes, it’s necessary to improve the situation at high schools, to apply long-distance technologies in education, and to increase demands on prospective higher education students.
On October 29th, 2014, Alexander Klimov, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Russia, Alexander Biserov, Deputy Head of Rosobrnadzor (Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Science and Education), and HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov, presented the annual monitoring of the quality of enrolment in Russian higher education institutions. The project was carried out by the Higher School of Economics and the Ministry of Education and Science in partnership with Rossiya Segodnya, an international news agency, and the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation. Below are some conclusions of the study.