Students’ Social Media: Formation Factors and Influence on Studies

  • Ekaterina Krekhovets HSE University
  • Oleg Poldin HSE University
Keywords: higher education, social media, academic achievements, co-education effects


Ekaterina Krekhovets - Postgraduate Student, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Economics, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Branch in Nizhny Novgorod. Address: 25/12 Bolshaya Pecherskaya str., Nizhny Novgorod, 603155, Russian Federation. E-mail:

Oleg Poldin - Research Fellow, International Laboratory for Institutional Analysis of Economic Reforms, National Research University Higher School of Economics. Address: 24 Myasnitskaya str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation. E-mail:

The article is an introduction to a range of problems of an empirical analysis of social media of higher education institutions’ students. In the first part of the article basic definitions are given, and key statistical characteristics of social media are described — such as network density, a network degree, the degree distribution, a walk, a distance, a diameter, a clustering coefficient, centrality. Then two approaches to social media modelling are described and examples of some particular models are given. Models where a network is considered to be a multidimensional dependent variable (random graph exponential models, stochastic actor-oriented models and so on) explain the associations by agents’ characteristics and network statistics. Models where networks are independent variables (for example, spatial regression models) explain results of an actor’s activity by network properties, results and characteristics of other actors. In the second part of the article a review of empirical studies of students’ so­cial media is given. One of key factors that determine initiation of friendly ties between students is proximity of their characteristics. Students strive for interacting with peers who are somehow like themselves: of one ethnic group, with similar social and economic characteristics and interests. A geographic prox­imity of students’ places of residence, their neighbourhood in a hostel also enhance the likelihood of initiation of friendly ties. Another line of research is con­nected to the analysis of how students’ social media influence their academic progress and behaviour in an academic setting. Empirical studies show that a student setting with a high training level — friends, neighbours in the hostel, fellow students — contribute to a better average score of the student. Influence of other students’ characteristics, behaviour and academic progress on academic progress of the student is referred to as a co-education effect or a setting effect. There are empirical confirmations that the co-education effect has a stronger influence on students’ education process than a social integration, personal achievements or a personal motivation. The student setting influenc­es not only the academic progress but also what courses are selected to study, sports achievements and a general feeling of life satisfaction. Although stu­dents’ social media are predominantly formed under the influence of endoge­nous factors, an appropriate university policy can to some extent contribute to development of friendships between students, and their significance is determined by an influence of co-education effects on students’ academic progress.


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How to Cite
Krekhovets, Ekaterina, and Oleg Poldin. 2014. “Students’ Social Media: Formation Factors and Influence on Studies”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 4 (February), 127-44.
Theoretical and Applied Research