This article presents the results of a cross-institutional survey on PhD students’ supervision at Russian universities. It is aimed at answering three questions concerning (1) styles of PhD supervision and their prevalence, (2) the relation between supervision style and PhD students’ satisfaction with their supervisor, and (3) the relation between supervision style and PhD students’ expected time-to-degree. We propose the empirically driven categorization of six supervision styles: superhero, hands-off supervisor, research practice mediator, dialogue partner, mentor, and research advisor. The most problematic category, characterized by providing no help for PhD students, was named “hands-off supervisors.” For this category PhD students reported the lowest level of satisfaction, and the highest expected time-to degree. Nonetheless, the large share of PhD students who are satisfied with hands-off supervisors may evidence a presence of a disengagement compact between PhD students and supervisors in Russian universities. Two categories of supervisors characterized by the highest level of PhD students’ satisfaction and shortest expected time-to-degree were named “superheroes” and “mentors.” These supervisors are reported to perform managerial and expert functions, which emphasizes the critical importance of these functions.
The article provides a comparative review of principles for the implementation of doctoral programs in education at leading world universities. The analysis is focused on the following aspects of doctoral education: organizational model (1), principles of doctoral candidates’ enrollment (2), educational program and workload (3), principles and mechanisms for tracking doctoral students’ progress (4), principles and procedures for completing educational programs and defending a thesis (5). The key differences of Russian doctoral education are distinguished. The first difference is related to the rigidity of the recruitment rules and procedures: the universities in Russia pay no or little attention to the previous academic achievements of candidates. The second difference refers to the specifics of an educational program, which, as a rule, is not aimed at the development of “soft skills”. Finally, Russian doctoral programs are based on the traditional model of doctoral supervision, when a supervisor is usually the only person who controls the doctoral student progress and helps him or her to work on a thesis. Based on the experience of the world-leading universities, the authors discuss some opportunities to develop doctoral programs in Russia.
Most universities all over the world face the problem of the widespread use of cheating practices by students. Despite the considerable efforts of researchers and practitioners to identify the reasons and circumstances that contribute to students` academic dishonesty, as well as to develop methods to combat their dishonest behaviour, the situation has not improved. Therefore, in this article, we attempt to answer the question of why the existing methods for combating academic dishonesty show low efficiency. Moreover, we pay attention to the fact of how students perceive dishonest practices, in which cases they justify and consider them fair, and in which cases they criticize them. Six regimes of criticism and justification, in which students publicly express their attitude towards academic fraud, were identified based on the Sociology of Critical Capacity by L.Boltanski and L.Thevenot. This theory was applied to the analysis of 23 semi-structured interviews with Russian and British students. Moreover, there were proposed possible methods for academic fraud prevention, which also consider the principles of equivalence used by students in their criticism or justification of dishonest practices.
Data obtained in interviews with doctoral students and their academic supervisors as well as in doctoral student surveys conducted across six Russian universities is used to explore the motives for embarking on and pursuing a PhD, and evaluate their incidence. Drawing from Deci and Ryan’s self-determination theory, three basic types of motivation are identified — intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and amotivation — and described in the context of doctoral education. Even though academic labor has been losing its prestige in Russia, intrinsic motivation associated with interest for research, science and education remains the most popular motive for embarking on doctoral study. At the same time, a significant percentage of doctoral students are driven by external non-academic motives, such as specific social benefits or desire to use PhD as an asset in a non-academic career.
The concentration of state resources in the leading universities poses the problem of reproduction of the scientific and pedagogical personnel in regional universities that do not participate in state-funded academic excellence programs. Based on the data from three focus group interviews with heads of doctoral studies offices at regional universities, the article analyzes problems arising in the implementation of the current model of training and certification of doctoral students. Four following groups of problems are identified: 1) the rigidity of requirements for the structure and content of the educational programs, 2) the imperfection of the system of attestation, gaps between attestation activities, 3) the problem of “retention” of doctoral students after the completion of the educational program, 4) the problems of conjugation of the processes of preparing a dissertation and its defense. The authors discuss possible ways to overcome the identified problems through providing universities with greater autonomy in designing the structure and content of the educational programs; synchronization of the procedures of the final state attestation and dissertation defense; creation of mechanisms for supporting successful doctoral graduates at the final stage of their preparation for the defense of a dissertation; development of network forms for implementation of doctoral programs with leading universities and research institutes.
This work contains an express answer to four questions about what happened in the higher education system at the very beginning of the introduction of quarantine measures: (1) how have universities and the states reacted worldwide? (2) what are the reaction of Russian universities? (3) how do students and teachers perceive the situation? (4) Is there enough infrastructure to implement quarantine measures of remote work and training?
Most of the analytics were collected on an initiative basis, but the most important sections were written on the basis of data collected within the working group of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science to organize educational activities in the context of preventing the spread of COVID-19 infection in the Russian Federation under the leadership of the Department of Youth Policy (in terms of sociological student survey) and the Department of Information Technology in the field of science and higher education (in terms of monitoring infrastructure and opportunities Translation courses in distance learning). Data collection and analysis would not have been possible without cooperation with MIREA, as well as representatives of ITMO University, Ural Federal University, Tomsk State University and support from Mail.ru Group and the Association of Volunteer Centers.
In March 2020, Russian higher education switched to a remote mode due to the threat of the Covid-19 spread. At the same time, discussions around the development of online education in Russia have been ongoing for several years. Based on the data from semi-structured interviews with teaching staff in leading Russian universities, the article discusses issues related to the use of digital technologies and the attitudes towards the digitalization of the educational process. We show that teachers consider students and public policy as key drivers of the educational process digitalization. At the same time, the alarmist view on the active spread of digital technologies is widespread. Teachers who participated in the study did not consider different types of remote and online teaching as an equivalent substitute for traditional offline formats and technologies. This leads to cautious forecasts regarding the future of online and remote education. The results are of particular relevance, since they present the situation in Russian universities on the eve of the forced transition to a remote
mode due to the spread of the Covid-19 virus. These results make it possible to predict the difficulties that universities may face during the transition to a remote mode of operation.
Doctoral education has experienced dramatic changes all over the world in the last three decades. Currently, Russia is at the beginning of a doctoral education transformation to structured programs according to needs of knowledge-based economies. This paper aims to identify national-level barriers to PhD completion in Russian doctoral education. The data from the empirical study in highly selective Russian universities that participate in a special government program were employed. About 40% of all doctoral students participated in the Russian Federation study at these universities. The following problems were revealed and discussed in the research: (1) problems of transition to a structured model of doctoral education, (2) diffusion of doctoral education’s goals, (3) unpreparedness of Russian universities for the massive expansion of PhD education, (4) ineffective mechanisms of doctoral student selection, (5) a lack of funding and a need for doctoral students to have paid work, (6) excessive dependence on supervisors and (7) insufficient study time and skills for meeting the requirement for publications before the date of defence. Some problems correlate with the global challenges, but some are unique to the Russian institutional context. The relevance of the Russian case to understanding the worldwide transformation of the doctorate is discussed.
This paper aims to explore the response-order effects for rating questions presented in item-by-item and grid formats. It was hypothesized that the primacy effect occurs for both formats of questions, and that this effect is dependent on age, education, and type of device used for responding to questions. Two randomized experiments were conducted in 28 pre-course surveys of massive open online course students (N = 22,910). Our findings suggest that the order of response options affects respondents’ perception of the option lists and their responding patterns. The primacy effect is found for the item-by-item question, while there is no evidence for the presence of such an effect for the grid question format. Primacy effect for the item-by-item layout is lower for respondents with higher education degree while there are no interaction effects between ordering and age, gender, and type of device. For a grid question, mixed results were observed.
Based on the survey and data of semi-structured interviews with faculty in one of the leading research universities in Russia the article reveals key sources of work related stress for academics in Russia. Increasing requirements for academic performance, a large amount of administrative burden and disruption of work-life balance are among them. We argue that stress in Academia is determined by global trends caused by neo-managerial reforms of science and higher education, as well as by participation of universities in the race of international rankings. We also show that continuous character of academic work is associated with fuzzy boundaries between work and leisure, which make academic profession relatively stressful by itself. According to the study, the risk groups in terms of stress are young employees, and those who engage largely in administrative work. At the end of the article, we discuss the concept of stress in the field of academic work and raise the question about the ratio between the positive effects of stress and the risks of the negative impact it may have on the Academia.
The story I want to contest goes like this: Facebook and Twitter just made the old virus of paranoid consciousness airborne, and opened a path to its weaponization. While the disease is not new, its epidemiology is different this time; it spreads faster than we can stop it.
However, the real culprit is not social media, not the Russians, and not the recession. The problem is much deeper; it concerns the human mind and its experiences with transcendence. I will use Boris Groys’ work to argue that this rising paranoia is an unintended consequence of secularization–first of art, and then of the entirety of public life. I will then use the work of Thomas Luckmann to argue that education may provide inoculation against paranoid thinking, but not by expanding critical thinking or other rationalist curricula. Education must learn how to organize and structure the common human experience of transcendence over the everyday world. Education must pivot toward formation and away from narrowly understood learning.
The article investigates the accessibility of mobile and networking technologies to schoolchildren of different ages living in various areas and how they use these technologies. The author considers the potential ways in which modern technologies can be used in education. The potential benefits of such technologies are particularly promising for rural schools. The article comments on the modern trend to create a seamless educational environment on the basis of e-learning.
The article reviews the results of changing the survey mode from PAPI (paper and pencil interviewing) to CAPI (computer assisted personal interviewing) in some panel household surveys in different countries. Based on a number of experimental and non-experimental studies within the panel household surveys, we explored the effect of using CAPI on data collection process as a whole and data quality, in particularly. We showed that CAPI has a number of advantages over PAPI. Using of CAPI leads to the reduction of the fieldwork duration. In addition, CAPI is positively perceived by respondents and interviewers, does not have a negative effect on response rates and panel attrition rates. Moreover, it reduces missing data. At the same time, some studies suggest that using CAPI may lead to the increase of measurement error in sensitive and open-ended questions. Researchers should also take into consideration some technical and practical issues related to programming, training and selection of interviewers, as well as the choice of hardware and software used in CAPI.
The article attempts to analyze the current situation in training scientific and pedagogical personnel, as well as certain reasons for the low indicators of candidate-of-sciences theses defended in recent years. There are analyzed the state and dynamics of the system of postgraduate training in the post-Soviet period, including changes that came into force in 2013 and 2014 – those of assigning an educational status to postgraduate studies and of increasing requirements imposed on applicants of academic degrees. It is discussed how these changes fit the global context of postgraduate education development, whether they can be considered an explanation for the decrease of theses defences. The article proves that the negative trends observed today in the sphere of scientific and pedagogical personnel training are determined by the processes occurring in higher education and science in the post-Soviet period and by the problems arisen as a result of these processes. The empirical base of the research is a survey of 1,866 graduate students in 11 Russian universities participating in Project 5–100, as well as semi-structured interviews with 20 graduate students and 11 university staff responsible for the implementation of graduate programmes. The key problems of the Russian postgraduate studies identified on the basis of the empirical study are the following: (1) poor quality of enrollment; (2) poor quality of scientific advisory; (3) insufficient financial support of postgraduates. The article suggests possible steps to overcome these problems.
This book investigates the interrelationship between educational reforms and pedagogical and technological innovations, as well as the implications of this relationship for the quality of human capital. By analyzing recent educational reforms in Russia and the US, the authors shed new light on how these reforms may help or hinder innovations, such as the introduction of computer technologies into classrooms, new methods of teacher evaluation, constructivist teaching methods, and governance in public schools.
Taking labor economics as a useful lens for conceptualizing the diffusion of innovation, in the first part of the book the authors analyze book how certain power arrangements can block educational innovations in schools. In the second part they examine recent educational reforms in the US and Russia. The final part presents a vision of the next generation of educational reforms, which may enable innovation diffusion, rather than hamper it.