Problems of Higher Education in Russia

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Problems of higher education in Russia

Problems of higher education in Russia Due to its Soviet legacy (наследие), Russia has gained a reputation for having a well trained population and efficient educational system. The facts on the ground are obviously more ambiguous, however. The veritable “boom” of higher education and the good results of some well-known universities hide the more general fall of average performances and the devaluation of diplomas and deterioration of the quality of higher education. Efforts to reform the system are meeting both structural constraints and corruption practices within the educational community. This makes a genuine assessment of Russian degrees difficult to achieve. In addition, the “privatization” of large sections of the education system has rendered the problem of inequality of access even more acute. 

Russia is in the process of migrating from its traditional tertiary education model, incompatible with existing Western academic degrees, to a modernized degree structure in line with Bologna Process model. (Russia co-signed the Bologna Declaration in 2003.) In October 2007 Russia enacted a law that replaces the traditional five-year model of education with a two-tiered approach: a four-year bachelor (Russian: бакалавр) degree followed by a two-year master's (Russian: магистр) degree. 

The move has been criticized for its merely formal approach: instead of reshaping their curriculum, universities would simply insert a BSc/BA accreditation in the middle of their standard five or six-year programs. The job market is generally unaware of the change and critics predict that a stand-alone BSc/BA diplomas will not be recognized as "real" university education in the foreseeable future, rendering the degree unnecessary and undesirable without further specialization. 

Student mobility among universities has been traditionally discouraged and thus kept at very low level; there are no signs that formal acceptance of Bologna...
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