Ilya Prakhov 1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Barriers Limiting Access to Quality Higher Education in the Context of the USE: Family and School as Constraining Factors

2015. No. 1. P. 88–117 [issue contents]
Ilya Prakhov - Candidate of Sciences in Economics, Research Fellow, International Research Laboratory for Institutional Analysis of Economic Reforms, National Research University—Higher School of Economics. Address: 20 Myasnitskaya str., 101000, Moscow, Russian Federation. E-mail: ipra@inbox.ru

Despite massification of higher education in Russia and standardized entry examinations, candidates may still encounter some obstacles while trying to enter a university. Access to higher education can be limited at different levels: personal (lack of competencies required to enter a specific university), family (social and cultural status of p arents), or institutional (the schooling system). Being affected by these factors, a candidate might only qualify for a non-selective university offering curricula of lower quality. This paper uses the data provided by the Monitoring of Education Markets and Organizations and by the ranking assessing the quality of admission to higher education institutions to evaluate the factors affecting the choice of university based on the level of its selectivity. It appears that opting for a selective higher education institution not only depends on the USE (Unified State Exam) points obtained by the candidate (the major criterion of admission in the Russian Federation) but is also determined by the factors that are not directly associated with the candidate’s skills: father’s education, financial standing of the family, its cultural capital, school characteristics (type of school, specialization in the class), and the amount of financial investments in test preparation courses. All together, these factors challenge the equality of opportunities for candidates and the accessibility of quality higher education for students from low-income families.
Citation: Prakhov I. (2015) Bar'ery dostupa k kachestvennomu vysshemu obrazovaniyu v usloviyakh EGE: sem'ya i shkola kak sderzhivayushchie faktory [Barriers Limiting Access to Quality Higher Education in the Context of the USE: Family and School as Constraining Factors.]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no1, pp. 88-117.