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Daniil Alexandrov 1,2, Ksenia Tenisheva 1,2, Svetlana Savelyeva 1,2
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 16 Soyuza Pechatnikov Str., Saint Petersburg, 190008, Russian Federation
  • 2 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

No-Risk Mobility: Through College to University

2015. No. 3. P. 66–91 [issue contents]

Daniil Alexandrov - Candidate of Sciences in Biology, Head, Sociology of Education and Science Laboratory, National Research University—Higher School of Economics (St. Petersburg). E-mail: dalexandrov@hse.ru

Ksenia Tenisheva - Research Assistant, Sociology of Education and Science Laboratory, National Research University—Higher School of Economics (St. Petersburg). E-mail: tenishewa.soc@gmail.com

Svetlana Savelyeva - Deputy Head, Sociology of Education and Science Laboratory, National Research University—Higher School of Economics (St. Petersburg). E-mail: ssavelieva@hse.ru

Address: 55/2 Sedova str., 192174, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation.

The vocational college system is regarded as a social mobility channel providing the highest profit with minimal risk. We analyze the specific features and trends of the institutional context that has developed in Russia over the last 15 years, which promote development of such channel. We discriminate between three types of colleges that have emerged after reorganization of this education level in Russia. Colleges of the three types differ in their legal status and in the way they interact with universities. We describe a social group using the “through college to university” educational trajectory. Its members fall in between those reproducing the qualified worker status and those reproducing the highly qualified professional status. Such people usually perform averagely at school. Having surveyed nine-graders in Saint Petersburg and in one of the districts in Leningrad region, we analyze the motives for choosing the “through college to university” educational trajectory and the ideas students with their parents had about benefits, costs, and risks of this pathway. It appears that geographical location plays a key role in choosing this trajectory. Opting for an alternative educational pathway is less typical of rural students dealing with much more structural constrains than their urban counterparts. Unlike in large cities, only more informed and higher-status groups make this choice in the countryside. A comparison of college systems in several countries allows to conclude that colleges in Russia represent an upward social mobility channel, just like in USA and unlike in Germany, where colleges ensure social reproduction.

DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2015-3-66-91

Citation: Alexandrov D., Tenisheva K., Savelyeva S. (2015) Mobil'nost' bez riskov: obrazovatel'nyy put' «v universitet cherez kolledzh» [

No-Risk Mobility: Through College to University]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no3, pp. 66-91.

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