Reforms in Higher Education in Russia: The Transition to a Market Model

Monday, 16 July 2018: 15:38
Oral Presentation
Elena A. IVANOVA, St. Petersburg Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation
The pressure on universities to increase external sources of funding research became the global trend. This trend is consistent with the basic principle of a modern market economy - the demand of increasing the efficiency of all actors and to reduce government deficits.

In the last 20 years Russian higher education took several reforms. After 1992 many technical institutes have expanded the number of faculties and have become state universities. They were allowed to introduce tuition fees. In 2003 the special foundations, financing the first stage of innovations, were founded, including national and regional venture capital funds. The innovation activity of the universities was stimulated. In 2009 the government introduced status “research university” and began to support research universities with special mega-grants. To receive this status universities prepare projects for their research development. The amount of funds received by the university from external sources is among the indicators that are taken into account during the competition.

A detailed analysis of the problems that arise after the reforms, shows the positive and negative effects of each reform on the research activities of universities. The positive results of the reform are: the expansion of research in the universities, the emergence of new laboratories and scientific equipment update, inviting well-known scientists to carry out joint research projects. But still the main source of funding for research in universities is the state budget. There are significant restrictions on the receipt of funds for research from other sources. Limited income of the population in Russia does not allow to raise tuition fees. The economic crisis and the reluctance of the innovative entrepreneurs restrict the flow of funds from the business sector. There is also a contradiction between the development of innovation activity and basic research.