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­The analysis of the strategies of faculty and students on higher education market

Priority areas of development: economics
2016

Goal of research

To study the stimuli and behavior of economic agents on higher education market with particular focus on academics, students and who had finished their tertiary education studies.

Methodology

In order to solve research problems, we use theoretical and empirical (statistical) methods of data analysis, in particular instruments and methods of neoclassical and neoinstitutional economic theory, human capital theory, game-theoretic models. In empirical research statistical methods and methods of econometrics are widely used for the analysis of data collected through vast surveys.

Empirical base of research

The research relies heavily on data of the international project Changing Academic Profession, data of multi-panel longitudinal study Trajectories in Education and Careers, bibliometric data extracted from the citation indexing database Web of Science.

Results of research

An analysis of 11 higher education institutions from 11 countries (Australia, Chile, China, Germany, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the Unighted States) revealed a global influence of international academic rankings on national educational policies, strategy and behavior of higher education institutions, and academic life in general. A wide spectrum of contextual factors on the basis of the analysis of the documents and interviews with academics and administrative workers was studies extensively, which allowed it to account for specific traits of countries and academic systems.

Results of an analysis of the most productive researchers that publish articles in leading international journals in psychology showed that there are several types of authors that differ by publication patterns. Some write articles with their closes colleagues from their institution, while others write in co-authorship with a limited number of partners from abroad; the third type of authors are those who write in very big multinational collaborations. Only a few (6 authors) are stable in time, which means that published articles in leading international journals in psychology all over the considered period: 2008-2015.

The research also showed that there is no significant connection between academic inbreeding and publication activity for academics in Russia. Inbreeds and non-inbreeds do not differ in terms of publication success and number of publication. These results are stable throughout disciplines and types of publications. However, this lack of significant difference in a number of publications may not mean a lack of difference in their quality.

There was conducted a search for main tendencies in changes of an administrative part of employees. It was revealed that under a pressure of external and internal factors, from the beginning of the previous century total number of all kinds of higher education institutions’ employees increased, but the speed of these changes was different for them. In general, expenses on an administrative side of employees grew faster than on an academic, although, for instance in USA “administrative” costs in national research universities are reducing since 2008.  More to this, consistency of administrative workforce changed: a number of underqualified employees reduced, formal requirements for new-coming employees became harsher, there appeared a tendency to hire externally, professional organizations for administrative workers started to emerge. This professionalization, however, did not happen consistently. The analysis we carried out allows us to come to a conclusion that trends for development of administrative workforce are controversial, and the changes we studied must be researched further.

There was conducted a comparison of different managing structures in universities. It showed that if the head of a higher education institution wants to delegate a right to make decisions, and he or she cannot assess preferences of professors and pass the right to some professor, coordinated management of multiple people will get the best results in comparison to any other structure. If it is impossible to delegate decision-making to the whole collective, it is best to delegate it to a committee. One-man management with or without rotation of the right will lead to one of the worst outcomes possible.

There was conducted an analysis on the basis of the Trajectories in Education and Careers longitudinal project. It showed that there are the following factors that might influence university applicants’ decision to move: individual characteristics (sex, Unified State Examination scores), family background characteristics (financial status of a family, parents’ education level), regional characteristics (average household income for a home region of an applicant, living wage), regional characteristics of an education system (Herfindahl–Hirschman Index), and distance. Thus, even after the introduction of the Unified State Examination that equalized admission chances for all applicants and lowered transaction costs of application processes there can be observed strong social and economic barriers tightening mobility of university applicants in Russia.

Finally, there was conducted an analysis of a survey of Moscow students. It was revealed that Unified State Examination scores make up a very strong predictor of income expectations for students. Furthermore, students’ expectations on higher education payoff is positively correlated to a degree of higher education institution’s selectivity. Students of private universities in Russia expect their salary after graduation to be much less in comparison to students of state universities. Social and cultural capital of a family (parents’ education, number of books at a house students grew up in) can have an indirect influence on a formation of salary expectations through indicators of academic progress. Students from wealthy families expect a higher salary after graduation than students from low-income families. Male students expect a better higher education payoff than female students in relation to both absolute and relative values. Those students who work expect a higher salary after graduation than those who do not work, but estimate a lower higher education payoff in relative terms.

Level of implementation, recommendations on implementation or outcomes of the implementation of the results

The results of the research project can be used by higher education institutions for forming strategies, in management, in refining employment policy, and for stimulating research activity of academic workers. More to this, the research results can be used in developing and implementing educational policy for financial support of applicants.

Publications:


Панова А. А. Административный штат в современных вузах: анализ международного опыта // Университетское управление: практика и анализ. 2015. Т. 100. № 6. C. 129-138. 
Yudkevich M. M., Pavlyutkin I. The Ranking Game on the Russian Battlefield: The Case of the Higher School of Economics, in: The Global Academic Rankings Game. Changing Institutional Policy, Practice, and Academic Life. New York : Routledge, 2016. С. 171-196. 
Horta H., Yudkevich M. M. The role of academic inbreeding in developing higher education systems: Challenges and possible solutions // Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 2016. No. 113, Part B. P. 363-372. doi
Prakhov I., Bocharova M. Socio-Economic Predictors of Student Mobility / National Research University Higher School of Economics. Series WP BRP 34/EDU/2016 "Higher School of Economics Research Paper". 2016. 
Yudkevich M. M., Taradina L. Russia: Ranking Fever: Do We Know the Remedy?, in: Global Rankings and the Geopolitics of Higher Education. Understanding the influence and impact of rankings on higher education, policy and society.: Routledge, 2017. 
Prakhov I. Determinants of Expected Return on Higher Education in Moscow // Вопросы образования. 2017. No. 1. P. 25-57. 
Olga G., Lovakov A. Academic Inbreeding and Research Productivity of Russian Faculty Members / Высшая школа экономики. Series EDU "Education". 2016. No. WP BRP 32/EDU/2016.