Simon Marginson1
  • 1 Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, United Kingdom

Russian science and higher education in a more global era

2014. No. 4. P. 8–35 [issue contents]
Simon Marginson - Professor of International Higher Education, Institute of Education, University of London. Address: 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, United Kingdom. E-mail: s.marginson@ioe.ac.uk

Since the end of the Soviet period much has changed, though in higher education and science, the world outside Russia may have changed more than the world within. In the Internet era all national research systems have become partly subsumed in the one English-language global science system, while still retaining distinct national identities. Most innovations in technology and product development are now sourced wholly or partly from global sources. It is essential to become very good at accessing global science, which means producing global science, and collaborating with others. Russian science remains surprisingly decoupled from world science. Global publication and citation rates at the leading universities are ver y low compared to their counterparts abroad. Between 1995 and 2012, international co-authorship of journal papers increased by 168 per cent at world level, and multiplied by ten times in China, but internationally joint papers rose by only 35 per cent in Russia. The lack of internationalization of Russian universities and science, coupled with the continued running down of the Soviet legacy, contributes to the country’s weak performance in research rankings, both  objectively (real research paper output is falling, and Russia has been left well behind by dynamic developments in China and the rest of East Asia, and to a lesser extent by Brazil and India) and also subjectively (there are substantial national research strengths in areas like engineering, manufacturing,  engineering and strategic industries but the work is mostly done in Russian and not published in global journals, so it is invisible). Achieving five universities in the world top 100, the national policy goal, is a long way off. It has taken China and Singapore two decades to build world-class systems and policy makers in Russia need a long view. There is real scope for rapid improvement however. Currently low levels of internationalization are a strategic opportunity. When cross-border cooperation, publishing, and benchmarking are stepped up significantly, as in the East Asian science systems, major gains can be made in Russia.
Citation: Marginson S. (2014) Rossiyskie nauka i vysshee obrazovanie v usloviyakh globalizatsii [Russian science and higher education in a more global era]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no4, pp. 8-35.