Krzhizhanovskogo Street, 24/35, korpus 5, 117218, Moscow, Russia
Tel.: +7 (499) 128-85-19
Fax: +7 (495) 719-07-40
Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The academic environment is going through the same differentiation that exists (and keeps growing) in Russian society at large: in an attempt to meet the population’s demands, some higher education institutions provide an education (which implies future employment, a sustainably high social status, an interesting job, etc.), while others only issue diplomas (since they could help get a higher wage and lower the chance of unemployment). Having a university diploma is one of the most commonplace aspirations among young people in Russia. According to statistics and research insights, only those Russians who have a higher education receive a higher wage; furthermore, people with university diploma experience the lowest unemployment. Universities that provide a high-quality education are oriented towards cooperating with international partners. Making education more integrated into the international community is the subject of some of the most active discussions in the Russian education and academic community. On the one hand, employers reaffirm that international integration is highly significant. They are becoming increasingly insistent on university graduates having professional qualities that would allow them to work in a global environment and contribute to international projects. If a university is involved in international activities, this has a positive impact on the region where it is located: this region becomes more actively engaged in global cooperation, gaining access to new scientific discoveries, innovative materials, and state-of-the-art technologies, as well as new capabilities for cross-cultural communication. On the other hand, there are some universities that, rather than provide a high-quality education, automatically give their students a diploma after a few years. Nevertheless, many school graduates and their parents are interested in an education of this type, because prospective employers do not hire applicants without a higher education diploma. Young people without a high-quality education cannot help but notice between the few chances they get in life and the opportunities open before those who have another path ahead of them. The dramatic lack of balance between expectations and reality warps their values and social attitudes. Knowing that it will be impossible to gain the desired social status and to meet the imposed standards inevitably leads to a permanent dissatisfaction with life. A person gets disillusioned, starts distrusting social institutions and values, and becomes more predisposed to deviant behavior; this makes such people, especially young people, the perfect target for various manipulations, particularly for political purposes.
education, higher education, a diploma, a pseudo-education, university.
1. Zarabotnaya plata v Rossii: evolyutsiya i differentsiatsiya[Salary in Russia: Evolution and Differentiation]. Ed. by V. E. Gimpel’son and R. I. Kapelyushnikov. Moscow, Izdat. Dom GU–VShE, 2007, pp. 343–402 (in Russ.).