• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Converting Russia’s Educational Potential into Capital

At ‘Crossroads and Prospects for the Development of Russian Education’, a special session held as part of the XVIII April Conference, experts discussed the section related to education from a recent report on the strategy of Russia’s development by the Centre for Strategic Research. Since investments in education have an effect after 15-20 years, participants analyzed development prospects up to 2035.

The main goal of the strategy is to accelerate economic growth as a way to ensure public well-being. Problem areas, including education, are discussed in the context of this goal, said HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov.

Today, Russia is losing about 10-12% of GDP, as the education system does not provide people with a full set of required competencies, about 25% of students do not comprehend core concepts in mathematics, natural and social sciences, or the humanities. Their employment and career prospects are deteriorating, they find it difficult to adapt to work and earn little. However, the situation is not hopeless: the experience of several countries shows that significant reductions can be made in the number of unsuccessful students, believes Kuzminov. For instance, Finland succeeded in reducing this number to 5-7%.

Our advantages

Isak Frumin, Academic Supervisor of HSE Institute of Education, says that ‘we live in an educating society’ — there is a good foundation for future development in Russian education.  Universal access to preschool education for children aged 3 to 7 years is guaranteed, and the number of schools requiring major repairs has decreased. Furthermore, Russia has also made a breakthrough in the PISA — an international study of education quality — with the country’s results in reading and mathematics being comparable with the average results across the OECD. The difference in the average salary of university graduates with all the others in Russia is one of the largest in Europe. Previously only Moscow State University was in the top 100 in global subject rakings, but now a dozen more universities have also joined the list.

At the same time, Russia is not rich. As Yaroslav Kuzminov stresses, we are ahead of other countries in our income group in terms of education development, since this resource can be compared with oil in recent years. The main problem now is how to turn this potential into capital, said Froumin. Current education financing does not provide the conditions for development. Russia lags behind all the countries it competes with by percentage of GDP on education, and expenditures on education in the consolidated budget have reduced since 2013.

Our problems

The share of the students who cannot cope with general education programmes continue their studies in technical colleges where the quality of education that gives them functional literacy is very low; these colleges have no support programmes for these students, as is the case in Finland, for example. No one has tried to solve this problem in Russia. While general education has been purposefully improved in schools, almost half of the students obtain it in colleges. Differences in the education outcomes in families with different social statuses are increasing, as children from certain social classes concentrate in certain schools. Poverty and low social mobility, which are dangerous for the country’s social stability, are increasing.

The so called ‘new literacy’ (financial, medical, legal), which wasn’t necessary 20-30 years ago, hasn’t yet been formed in schools, colleges and universities. The formation of key competencies of the 21st century (teamwork, problem solving, project activities, etc.) is not a target function of general and higher education. Motivation and interest in learning are falling, despite the fact that motivated study is a main driver of success and a prerequisite for initiative among the population. Continuing education in Russia is not mandatory, and the level of skills upgrading among the adult population in Russia is three times lower than in competitor countries. Graduates are not only unprepared to make innovations, but they are also unable to quickly assess and develop innovations by others.

Thus, considering the advantages of Russian education and the elimination of the problems identified, we will have to understand how to enhance the contribution that education makes to economic growth and technological modernization, how to apply it to ensuring social mobility and stability, and to enhancing Russia’s global influence.

See also:

25th Yasin (April) International Academic Conference Now Accepting Proposals

Reports on new research results will be presented and discussed as part of the conference’s sections. These reports will be selected based on reviews of proposals. As always, the conference programme features expert discussions of the most pressing economic, social, internal and external issues in the format of roundtables and associated events.

Academic Council: HSE University’s Contribution to Achieving National Goals and Development Priorities to Increase

HSE University’s Development Programme until 2030 will be improved in order to increase the university’s contribution to achieving national goals and implementing the priorities of the country’s scientific and technological development. This decision was made by the university’s Academic Council on April 26. The meeting also addressed the principles for the development of HSE University’s external communications, one of which is the creation of a high-quality information field around the university.

Keeping Up with the Neighbours: Envy as a Driver of Economic Growth

Classical economic theory assumes that economic agents are entirely self-interested and rational in their pursuit of material well-being, and that they are not affected by external factors. As a result, externalities are not considered in any way when constructing economic models. Nevertheless, some sociologists argue for a revision of modern economic theory to incorporate the ethical dimensions of economic agents' behaviour. Kirill Borissov, Professor of the Faculty of Economics at the European University in St Petersburg, spoke at the XXIV Yasin (April) International Academic Conference and shared his observations from creating his own economic model incorporating the factor of envy.  

Structural Transformation and Drivers of Sustainable Growth in Russian Economy Discussed at HSE University

The Russian economy has demonstrated high resilience to unprecedented external pressure and has managed to largely adapt to new conditions. As early as this year, it can go from recession to growth. The issue of where to find drivers and resources for this was discussed at a plenary session titled ‘Russian Economy under Sanctions: From Adaptation to Sustainable Growth’ at the XXIV Yasin (April) International Academic Conference held at HSE University as part of the Decade of Science and Technology. Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Maksim Reshetnikov took part in the discussion.

‘People Want to Receive Only Useful Content’

Experts say that interest in news has sharply increased among the Russian audience. At the same time, part of the audience deliberately avoids it. What kind of content is in demand and will people continue to watch TV? These and other issues were discussed at the plenary session ‘ Info-hygiene and Information Elitism: How to Consume Media Properly’ at the XXIV Yasin (April) International Academic Conference.

'The Emerging Trends in Africa Will Shape the World Order, and We Need to Be Prepared for That'

Africa has the potential to become a new economic giant. Today, African countries are interested in comprehensive cooperation and strengthening their positions in the global arena, and they look forward to receiving assistance from Russia and China in developing their technology, economy, and social sphere. Effective engagement with Africa requires training a greater number of professional African studies specialists. The XXIV Yasin (April) International Academic Conference at HSE University featured a plenary session on 'Africa in a Changing World'.

Learning a Foreign Language Can Delay the Onset of Dementia

Dementia, a debilitating form of cognitive impairment, can be preventable. According to Professor Jubin Abutalebi of the University Vita Salute San Raffaele, Italy, and the Arctic University of Tromsoe, Norway, the easiest way to prevent cognitive decline after the age of 60 is to learn and practice foreign languages – the more languages, the better, suggests Professor Abutalebi in his presentation 'Preventing dementia through bilingualism' at the XXIV Yasin (April) International Academic Conference.

‘The BRICS Strategic Partnership Offers the World Creative, Unifying, Forward-Looking Initiatives’

Today, BRICS has become an influential factor in modern international relations and is perceived as one of the pillars of a more just world order. This association is not based on one party’s dominance, but instead, is built on a sound balance of interests. The role of the association was discussed by the participants of the plenary session ‘BRICS Development Strategy: Equal Opportunities in an Unequal World’at the XXIV Yasin (April) International Academic Conference.

Sanctions Create New Opportunities for Russian Companies

Like any crisis, the sanctions of 2022, besides problems, have created new opportunities for Russian companies. This is the conclusion that HSE University’s experts have come to. Their study results are presented in the report ‘Adaptation of Russian Industrial Companies to Sanctions: First Steps and Expectations’, prepared by HSE University for the XXIV Yasin (April) International Academic Conference.

Search Query: How to Study Migration with Google Trends

Experts have calculated that the number of international students in Russia has grown six times over the last decade, and researchers say that many of those who are studying today would like to stay in the country. This, alongside issues such as why Google Trends are worth looking into, were covered at the HSE XXIV Yasin International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development section on demography and labour markets.