Vocational training in Russia: Ways and means of catch-up modernization and innovative modernization

  • Dmitry Didenko Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Bld. 5, 24/35 Krzhizhanovskogo St., Moscow, 117218, Russian Federation
  • Grigory Klyucharyov Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Bld. 5, 24/35 Krzhizhanovskogo St., Moscow, 117218, Russian Federation
Keywords: human capital, vocational education, modernization types, industrial society, postindustrial society


Dmitry Didenko, Ph.D. in History, research fellow at the Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russian Federation.  Email: ddidenko@bloomberg.net
Address: Bld. 5, 24/35 Krzhizhanovskogo St., Moscow, 117218, Russian Federation.

Grigory Klyucharyov, Ph.D. in Philosophy, Professor, Head of the Department of Socioeconomic Studies, Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russian Federation.  Email: kliucharevga@mail.ru
Address: Bld. 5, 24/35 Krzhizhanovskogo St., Moscow, 117218, Russian Federation.

Large-scale opinion polls of experts conducted in 2009–2011 are used to identify trends in modernizing the existing Russian higher education system. It is shown that higher vocational school currently concentrates its functions and resources on training students for a catch-up socioeconomic development. 90% of higher education institutions counting for about 80% of the student body run a model of catch-up education.

The authors reveal specific features of innovative and catch-up vocational education, analyze their proportions in Russian higher education, enumerate major trends of modernization initiatives launched by innovative universities, and examine the intermediate result of implementing an innovative strategy of vocational education development.

An empirical analysis of data has shown that the innovative model is committed to lifelong learning and promotes active expansion of learning space. Meanwhile, activities of educational institutions are not limited to formal teaching but receive socioeconomic implications instead.

The learning process is based on forms and methods typical of the catch-up model, which gives specific importance to employer-sponsored education as the most reliable guarantee of fulfillment of obligations by graduates and sponsoring businesses.

In universities of both models, there is a huge gap between education content and real labor market demands. The innovative model has proved to provide a higher graduate employment rate than the catch-up one. The authors confirm that Russian universities implement very few supplementary education programs and have a weak relationship with the labor market and real businesses.


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How to Cite
Didenko, Dmitry, and Grigory Klyucharyov. 2013. “Vocational Training in Russia: Ways and Means of Catch-up Modernization and Innovative Modernization”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 1 (October), 183-204. https://doi.org/10.17323/1814-9545-2013-1-183-204.
Education Statistics and Sociology