What Country is the Best for Professors?
On October 23rd 2012, the latest in a series of regular seminars ‘Topical research and development in education’ took place at the HSE Institute for Educational Studies. Martin Finkelstein, Professor at Seton Hall University (USA), spoke on ‘How the national context influences professors’ academic achievements and careers: a comparative analysis’.
Maria Yudkevich, Vice Rector of the HSE and Director of the HSE Center for Institutional Studies, introduced Martin Finkelstein as one of the leading US economists studying academic work environments and academic careers. He is one of the participants of the ‘Academic Salaries in 28 Countries across the World’ project, which the Higher School of Economics is also involved in.
The researchers tried to evaluate professors’ salaries and contracts in various academic systems around the world. Not only were official salaries taken into account, but also other benefits, including bonuses for medical aid, money earned from private classes, and bribes from prospective students. According to Maria Yudkevich, in terms of living standards for professors, Russia is second from bottom among the 28 countries researched.
However, during his seminar Martin Finkelstein focused not on data and the conclusions drawn from the study, but on the general conceptual framework of the project, which allowed his team to compare career trajectories in different academic systems. Different countries have different conditions for professors, as well as different academic disciplines and academic institutions. It is possible to compare national academic contexts in two ways: first, through career structure, which includes getting an academic position, career growth and further opportunities, and second, though working conditions and the structure of incentives offered by academic contracts.
The speaker outlined five key models for the organization and structure of academic work: European, North American, Latin American, Russian-Chinese, and hybrid.
At the end of his speech, Martin Finkelstein revealed some of the researchers’ plans for further study. In particular, they plan to carry out a large-scale study comparing the profiles of countries on the basis of selected indicators, to compare these profiles and to try and unite them in clusters. ‘A more precise classification of national contexts will allow us to create multi-variant models, on the basis of which we shall be able to evaluate the shaping influence of these contexts on academic work and professional academic sphere as a whole’, the speaker said.
Participants of the seminar included Evgeniy Knyazev, Director of the HSE Center for University Management, Olga Mashkina, Deputy Dean of the Pedagogical Department at the Lomonosov Moscow State Unviersity, and Tatiana Abanikna, Director of the Center for Applied Economic Studies at HSE Institute for Educational Studies (IES).
Summarizing the seminar, Irina Abankina, Director of the IES, emphasized the importance of efforts to create theoretical models of academic systems: ‘The researchers have managed to outline the key parameters differentiating one model of national academic context from another according to their internal organization’.
Alina Ivanova, specially for the HSE News Service
A university education is a highly sought-after commodity in Russia, yet the quality of universities and their programmes varies significantly. This gives rise to risks of inequality, both in the realm of education and in the labour market, and subsequently impacts the returns on higher education, which are manifested in the salaries earned by graduates. According to a study by Ilya Prakhov, Assistant Professor of the HSE Faculty of Economic Sciences, graduates from Russia’s top-tier universities enjoy a distinct advantage. The paper has been published in the International Journal of Educational Development.
The parties will work to popularise science and conduct educational and research activities, including in the fields of astronomy, cosmonautics, and Earth science. The agreement also covers the implementation of joint practical programmes and internships for students.
HSE University and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) have agreed to cooperate in the development of new technologies, the digital transformation of the economy, and the social development of the country. The agreement was signed by HSE University Rector Nikita Anisimov and ASI Director General Svetlana Chupsheva at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Basic, General, and Home-based: Why Families Choose to Homeschool and What Challenges They Face in Doing So
There are many reasons why families choose to homeschool their children, from wishing to personalise their education to protecting them from bullying to strengthening the family bond. Those who decide to switch to homeschooling can face quite a few challenges, both logistical and psychological, including criticism from family members. IQ.HSE presents a few facts on homeschooling in Russia based on a paper by researchers of the HSE Institute of Education.
Education is in the process of being partly reformatted into an on-demand service, with digital platforms quickly and efficiently matching teachers to students. This can make education more personalised and accessible and open up new professional development and money-making opportunities for teachers. But is an Uber-like model really good for education? The following discussion of uberisation in education is based on a paper by philosopher Timur Khusyainov, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the HSE Campus in Nizhny Novgorod.
HSE University and Sberbank have entered into a cooperation agreement. The document was signed by Herman Gref, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank, and HSE University Rector Nikita Anisimov. The agreement is aimed at the implementation of shared educational, research, career-guidance, awareness-raising, and informational projects.
Attitudes towards education are often inherited, with parents explaining to their children what university education can give them. They offer very pragmatic arguments—that higher education ensures a more successful career, interesting work and a good income. But there are also other arguments that should not be underestimated. At this time when many universities are holding open house, IQ.HSE draws on a study by HSE scholars Tatiana Chirkina and Amina Guseynova to explain the attitudes towards education that parents give their children and which considerations they might have overlooked.
Students can learn difficult material much more efficiently by collaborating than by studying individually. They help each other, share information, and build collective knowledge. However, things are not as simple as they may seem. Cooperation between students is effective for certain activities, but not others. As researchers from the HSE Institute of Education have shown, knowledge is absorbed more effectively through group work, but the same benefits are not found when it comes to the practical application of knowledge.
Women typically earn 18%-20% less than men do with the same education, profession and personal characteristics, researchers from the Higher School of Economics found using data from an employment survey of young personnel. What’s more, this income gap has a cumulative effect, growing wider the longer a woman works. Education, however, significantly compensates for this ‘penalty’. IQ.HSE examined this issue with the help of a study by Margarita Kiryushina and Victor Rudakova.
Teaching is a stressful job, and with schools and universities operating remotely over the last eighteen months, teachers’ worries have increased dramatically. In the latest in a series of articles on distance learning, IQ.HSE reports on research conducted by the HSE University Institute of Education on how teachers have been coping with stress.