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Breakthrough Solutions to Lead the Way in Modernizing Education

On April 11, the educational portion of the XIX April International Academic Conference featured a presentation and discussion of the paper ‘12 Solutions for New Education,’ which was prepared by the Higher School of Economics and the Centre for Strategic Development.

These 12 solutions make up a greater programme focused on looking at the entire spectrum of changes that are needed, noted HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov. Different scenarios are possible in carrying out these solutions, but the inertia or non-monetary options have been excluded as a matter of principle. The government does, however, have other social obligations, and the education system cannot therefore count on the maximum amount of desired financing. Because of this, of the proposed projects and subprojects it is necessary to select the most important ones and determine what can be given up, Yaroslav Kuzminov added.

Currently, four important areas have been selected based on discussions with the professional community: aligning children’s educational opportunities, reforming high school education, creating the conditions for adults to pursue continuing education, and ensuring equal access to quality professional education.

Yaroslav Kuzminov noted that 60% of families are ready to invest in education, and co-financing mechanisms do not have to touch the laws set forth by the Russian Constitution concerning free education. It is also important to attract money from businesses and use state and private partnerships to solve the problems education faces with infrastructure. Another resource for change is the development of the digital environment, which can be used to achieve results with fewer costs than if traditional forms alone were used.

According to the Head of the HSE Institute of Education Isak Froumin, Russia has a high level of educational attainment, but higher access to education does not lead to an increase in workforce productivity. In OECD countries with higher incomes, 70% of the national wealth consists of the human potential that is capitalised in intellectual products and services. In Russia, however, this figure is only 48%. But education is not hostage to imperfect labour market institutions or a bad business climate; the problem is the insufficient quality of education. For example, we have not yet been adequately successful at giving schoolchildren the tools of the 21st century. According to research conducted by PISA, fewer than 2% of Russian schoolchildren achieve the highest level of the three foundational literacy concepts, whereas 6.5% of South Korean students do.

Another problem is that Russia is incredibly behind competing countries as concerns education financing, Isak Froumin noted. Over the last few years, the level of real financing in education has dropped considerably, and there are simply not enough funds. It is therefore difficult to introduce the necessary methods for improving education. A classic example is notebooks for schoolchildren, notebooks that make the learning process more comfortable. The Russian regions are not prepared to spend budgetary funds on them every year, and parents are not ready to spend their own money since they believe that general education should be completely free.

Russian Presidential Aide and Former Education and Science Minister Andrei Fursenko explained that the authors of the paper aimed to answer two questions – how can education promote the country’s development, and how can education spending be used to guarantee that each person is able to realise his or her potential. The question of how those who work in education will feel is also important, but minor.

During the discussion, Moscow Department of Education Chief Isaak Kalina said it was necessary to factor in not only economic efficiency indicators for attracting additional funds for the education system, but also social and pedagogical ones as well, as done in Moscow. He added that an increase in budgetary spending on education does not need to be dragged out over the course of several years; Moscow’s experience shows that a 1.5-year allocation of larger financing provides a lasting effect.

The President of the Russian publishing house Prosveshchenie Vladimir Uzun noted the importance of creating new ‘digital schools’ in Russia that would become modern centres for education, and he suggested starting by transforming high schools. Businesses are also prepared to participate in this programme, so the money the government invests can be doubled in this case. ‘Financial models and roadmaps have already been prepared, and barriers have been identified that prevent private businesses from investing in education. Concrete steps have been set to help get rid of these [barriers],’ Vladimir Uzun concluded.

The Head of the Talent and Success Foundation Elena Shmeleva said that working with talent is a core factor in the country’s economic success. She believes it is critical for representatives of science and higher education, as well as mentors from the business sector, to teach gifted children. They are the ones who will become the ‘drivers of meaning,’ and it is under this model that the Sirius Educational Centre in Sochi is already operating.


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.