2020. no3

Theoretical and Applied Research

Swedish School Results, Student Background, Competition and Efficiency

Christophe André — MSc, Senior Economist, OECD Economics Department.
E-mail: christophe.andre@oecd.org

Jon Pareliussen — MSc, Economist, OECD Economics Department.
E-mail: jon.pareliussen@oecd.org

Hyunjeong Hwang — PhD, Statistician, OECD Economics Department.
E-mail: hyunjeong.hwang@oecd.org

Address: OECD, Economics Department, 2 rue André-Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16, France.

Sweden’s declining results in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) for 15-year olds and other international tests between 2000 and 2012 have raised concern about the efficiency of the Swedish school system, even though results improved recently. Furthermore, inequality in educational outcomes between socio-economic groups have widened. A specificity of the Swedish school system is that it allows free choice between public and private schools. This has triggered a lively debate on the implications of competition for school results and educational inequality. Against this backdrop, this paper presents an econometric analysis of lower secondary school performance in Sweden, using a panel covering most schools in the country over the period 2013–17. We find that for-profit private schools underperform non-profit and public schools on average, although with large heterogeneity. School competition is associated with lower results in schools with a high share of pupils from weaker socio-economic backgrounds, which is consistent with negative peer effects in left-behind schools. Panel Stochastic Frontier Analysis points to a relatively narrow distribution of inefficiency across schools, with relatively few schools performing very poorly after controlling for their resources and the socio-economic background of their pupils. These results call for better targeting resources towards supporting the pupils most in need and steering competition and school choice so that they benefit pupils from all socio-economic groups equally.


Artur Rean — Doctor of Sciences in Psychology, Academician of the Russian Academy of Education, Professor, Head of the Laboratory for Prevention of Antisocial Behavior, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

Address: Bld. 10, 16 Potapovsky Lane, 101000 Moscow, Russian Federation. E-mail: profrean@mail.ru

Alexey Stavtsev — Master of Social Psychology, Research Psychologist, Enlightenment Steps Program, Sobranie Cultural Initiative Supporting and Preservation Fund.

Address: Bld. 3, 43 Bolshaya Polyanka Str., 119180 Moscow, Russian Federation. E-mail: stavtsev.alex@yandex.ru

Data obtained by Russian psychologists and sociologists is used to substantiate the need for school-based interventions to improve school climate and reduce overall peer aggression. Positive psychological interventions (PPIs) for wellbeing have a number of advantages over programs designed to reduce or eliminate negative behavioral manifestations, such as anti-bullying, anti-smoking, depression prevention, or violence prevention programs. In particular, PPIs are universal, flexible, and wide-reaching; they have a strong influence on such important life outcomes as positive emotions, involvement in something that one loves, harmonious social relations, adequate self-esteem, and the feeling of significance. Effectiveness of PPIs is evaluated using international literature as compared with descriptive studies of Russian researchers.

Behavioral and Motivational Patterns of Internet Users: A Logico-Categorial Analysis

Irina Pogozhina — Doctor of Sciences in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology of Education and Pedagogics, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University. Address: 11 Mokhovaya Str., 125009 Moscow, Russian Federation. E-mail: pogozhina@mail.ru

Andrey Podolsky — Doctor of Sciences in Psychology, Professor Emeritus of Lomonosov Moscow State University. Address: 11 Mokhovaya Str., 125009 Moscow, Russian Federation. E-mail: apodolskij@mail.ru

Olga Idobaeva — Doctor of Sciences in Psychology, Associate Professor, Chief Expert, National Intellectual Development Foundation. Address: Bld. 1, 27 Lomonosovsky Ave, 119991 Moscow, Russian Federation. E-mail: oai@list.ru

Tatyana Podolskaya — Doctor of Sciences in Psychology, Professor, Chief Researcher, Institute for Childhood, Family and Education Studies, Russian Academy of Education. Address: 5/16 Makarenko Str., 105062 Moscow, Russian Federation. E-mail: tpodolskaya@list.ru

The ongoing digitalization is giving rise to new sciences, such as psychoinformatics which studies the links between digital footprint and individual psychological characteristics. According to top-level researchers, the most important problems to be solved in the nearest future are to assess the impact of the new forms of self-perception, self-reflection and self-presentation on social communication; find strategies to facilitate the flow state, i.e. full immersion in whatever someone is doing, in the increasingly fragmented reality; explore the mechanisms of the digital worlds affecting human brain development and the ways of reducing the negative impact of digital technology on human brain; coordinate the design of digital worlds with the society’s emotional and cultural heritage in order to ensure a comfortable existence; and develop social communication rules for digital environments.
Internet use behaviors can be prosocial or antisocial, depending on whether the existing social norms are accepted or rejected. Users engaging in the two types of online behavior differ in their online communication strategies and manifest specific cognitive, motivational and emotional characteristics.
The goal of this study was to review international findings in order to identify and analyze the logico-categorial characteristics of online antisocial behavior associated with specific motivational patterns of Internet users.
As a result, internal and external determinants of online antisocial behavior have been identified. Significant correlations have been found between pathologic Internet use and user’s communicative, emotional, motivational, and cognitive psychological characteristics. A promising direction for building online behavior models and designing initiatives to tackle online antisocial behavior may be to explore the links between users’ behavior on websites of different purpose and content with their personal psychological characteristics.


Sofia Dokuka — Candidate of Sciences in Sociology, Associate Professor, Research Fellow at the Institute of Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics. E-mail: sdokuka@hse.ru

Maria Yudkevich — Candidate of Sciences in Economics, Vice Rector, Director of the Center for Institutional Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics. E-mail: yudkevich@hse.ru

Address: 20 Myasnitskaya Str., 101000 Moscow, Russian Federation.

The influence of individual characteristics on social structures is a key issue in sociological research. This study examines the evolution of social networks among freshmen at a Russian university to determine the role of generalized trust in social integration. It is demonstrated that trustful individuals are more likely to enter into relationships with people with whom they have no mutual friends and to expand their social networks. Empirical evidence is consistent with the theoretical prediction of sociologists, James S. Colman and Eric M. Uslaner in particular, that interpersonal trust has an impact on the whole social structure, which means it determines how societies function.


Evgeniia Shmeleva — Research Fellow, Center of Sociology of Higher Education, Institute of Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics. E-mail: eshmeleva@hse.ru

Isak Froumin — Academic Supervisor, Institute of Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics. E-mail: ifroumin@hse.ru

Address: 20 Myasnitskaya Str., 101000 Moscow, Russian Federation.

STEM education has been a priority in present-day Russia, nearly half of all the government-funded places in higher education being provided in science and engineering majors. At the same time, attrition rates have been the highest in this domain. The present study aims to estimate the attrition rates in computer science and engineering education at the beginning of and midway through instruction and to determine the factors associated with college dropouts. Our research uses the results of a survey of over 4,000 computer science and engineering students from 34 Russian colleges, composing a representative national sample, and administrative data on student withdrawal. Vince Tinto’s student departure theory is used to analyze the determinants of student attrition during the first three semesters. According to Tinto’s theory, social and academic integration are critically important to the retention and success of students in the chosen university. Our findings confirm the key role of academic integration (specifically class attendance and active engagement with teacher) in preventing dropouts but refute the hypothesis of social integration significance. Students with low USE scores in mathematics and those mismatched with their selected major are at higher risk of dropping out. No evidence has been found to prove the hypothesis of dropout rates being higher in more selective institutions. Recommendations for universities for reducing college attrition rates are discussed in the final part of the paper.


Alexander Myasnikov — Candidate of Sciences in Economics, Associate Professor, Academic Department of Political Economy and History of Economic Science, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics; Associate Professor, Department of Theoretical Economics, Faculty of Economic Sciences, National Research University Higher School of Economics. E-mail: amyasnikov@hse.ru

Svetlana Seregina — Doctor of Sciences in Economics, Professor, Department of Theoretical Economics, Faculty of Economic Sciences, National Research University Higher School of Economics. E-mail: sseregina@hse.ru

Address: 20 Myasnitskaya Str., 101000 Moscow, Russian Federation.

Opinions of Russian economics professors are highly polarized as to how much mathematics should be used in teaching undergraduate economics. A number of faculty members believe that the use of math should be kept to an absolute minimum, with perhaps only the most basic plots and equations being included in the syllabus. In our study based on a survey of 160 Russian faculty members teaching economics, we analyze the factors behind faculty’s beliefs about the adequacy of students’ math skills and whether more or less math should be used in introductory economics courses. Our findings show that most economics professors in Russia consider their students’ math skills to be insufficient, for various reasons, while agreeing that math helps learners to get a better grasp of certain aspects of economics. Meanwhile, they find the existing amount of math in introductory economics courses optimal. It appears that professors’ views are significantly affected by their own perceptions of the role of mathematics in economics. In addition, there are some differences in opinions on a number of issues between professors in Moscow versus other regions of Russia.

Education Statistics and Sociology


Galina Cherednichenko — Doctor of Sciences (Sociology), Chief Researcher, Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Address: Bld. 5, 24/35 Krzhizhanovskogo Str., 117218 Moscow, Russian Federation. E-mail: galcher2211@gmail.com

The results of a 2019 sociological survey conducted on a nationwide structured sample of extramural students (2019) and graduates (2000–2018) of Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) are used to construct the social portrait of extramural students and graduates and identify the types of their educational strategies as well as the motives that led them to extramural studies. We compare the expected and experienced effects of education on graduates’ positions in the labor market and analyze their movements within the socio-occupational hierarchy as a result of obtaining that education.
Extramural students differ from full-timers in that they feature a more democratic socioeconomic composition, possess a different amount of educational resources at the enrollment stage, and have specific needs, the most important one being that of entering the labor market and/or compensating for reduced competitiveness. A large proportion of extramural students already have a vocational school diploma, which reflects the growing popularity of the bypass strategy to access higher education among certain social groups, which allows them to slip past the obligatory high-stakes testing. Educational capital of HEIs candidates (corresponding to four types of educational trajectories of extramural students) correlates with their socioeconomic backgrounds. The advantages and disadvantages of educational start extend into the next stage of education. Similarly, the socio-occupational statuses’ differentiation of extramural freshmen are further translated into different degrees of success in converting qualifications into degree-matching statuses.


Mark Agranovich — Candidate of Sciences in Economics, Director of the Research Center for Education Monitoring and Statistics, Federal Institute for the Development of Education, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA).

Address: Bld. 9 Chernyakhovskogo Str., 125319 Moscow, Russian Federation. E-mail: agranovich-ml@ranepa.ru

The recent years have seen a growing interest in comparative assessment of regional education systems, driven by the opportunity to set new research goals and the education policy needs. Studies in this field predominantly focus on comparing the learning outcomes and equality of access to education across regions. This paper investigates the relationship between regional educational indicators and success of secondary graduates in afterschool life, the latter being measured as a percentage of the total number of people in the corresponding age group who are not in education, employment or training (NEET). Correlation analysis controls for the influence of external socioeconomic factors, such as gross regional product per capita and urbanization level, on educational indicators.
Correlation and regression analyses are applied to educational indicators, socioeconomic indicators, and NEET across the regions of Russia. NEET shows a statistically significant relationship with the indicators describing participation in education, organization of learning process, learning environments, resources and funding involved, and the teaching staff structure. A no less important finding is the evidence of no relationship between success of secondary graduates in afterschool life and a number of educational indicators playing an essential role in Russia’s current education policy. Data presented in this study may serve the basis for developing regional education policies; it should not be used for evaluating, let alone ranking, regional education systems.



Editorial for the "Discussion" section.


Alexander Bikbov — Candidate of Sciences in Sociology, visiting professor at École des Hautes Études en sciences sociales (Paris).

Address: 54 bd Raspail, 75006 Paris, France. E-mail: abikbov@gmail.com


Vitaly Kurennoy – Candidate of Sciences in Philosophy, Professor, School of Philosophy and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Humanities, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

Address: Bld. 1, 21/4 Staraya Basmannaya Str., 105066 Moscow, Russian Federation. E-mail: vkurennoj@hse.ru



Lyudmila Zakharova — Department of Psychology of Management, Faculty of Social Sciences, National Research University Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod. E-mail: zlnnnov@mail.ru

Lyudmila Shilova — Candidate of Sciences in Pedagogy, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology of Management, Faculty of Social Sciences, National Research University Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod. E-mail: shinila@yadex.ru

Zahra Gadbedji — postgraduate student, Department of Psychology of Management, Faculty of Social Sciences, National Research University Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod.
E-mail: z.ghadbeigi@gmail.com

Liuchuan Zhu — Master’s degree student, Department of Psychology of Management, Faculty of Social Sciences, National Research University Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod.
E-mail: 1204003453@qq.com

Address: 23 Gagarina Ave, 603022 Nizhny Novgorod, Russian Federation.

This study examines the problems of getting vocational students prepared to work for a modern innovative enterprise and ensure their organizational socialization within the changing technological paradigm. Research methodology was based on the organizational culture framework proposed by Kim S. Cameron and Robert E. Quinn. A survey was conducted to find out how vocational students and teachers in Russia, China and Iran perceived the organizational culture of vocational schools, businesses envisaged as the most probable employers, and businesses that had been the most effective under the existing conditions. Organizational structure of vocational schools was found to be related to the socioeconomic situation in the country. The most harmonious examples were observed in Chinese vocational schools, where students were convinced that they would be working for effective companies. Students and teachers in China are united in their assessments and want everything to stay as it is. In the long run, such attitudes may cause stagnation rather than development. Russian students believe that their vocational schools have a clan culture and would like to strengthen the clan quadrant at the expense of the hierarchical one. They tend to overestimate the innovative component and disregard it largely, being convinced that they will most probably work for an ineffective organization. Teachers see the hierarchical culture as dominant in the existing situation and want to weaken it along with a market culture and strengthen a clan-type culture instead as much as possible. Such attitudes will naturally result in a lower quality of human capital. Vocational teachers in Russia have a quite clear understanding of effective organizational cultures, yet they exert no relevant socializing influence on students and even agree with them on giving priority to clan values. In Iran, vocational students assess the culture of effective businesses more adequately than teachers, while the latter seek to preserve the unquestioned dominance of hierarchical values and minimize the innovative ones, which prevents prospective organizational socialization in vocational education. Limitations of the study are discussed, and approaches to developing organizational socialization programs are worked out.


Fedor Dudyrev — Candidate of Sciences in History, Director of the Center for Vocational Education and Skills Development, Institute of Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics. E-mail: fdudyrev@hse.ru

Olga Maksimenkova — Candidate of Sciences in Information Systems and Processes, Junior Researcher, International Laboratory for Intelligent Systems and Structural Analysis, Faculty of Computer Science, National Research University Higher School of Economics. E-mail: omaksimenkova@hse.ru

Address: 20 Myasnitskaya Str., 101000 Moscow, Russian Federation.

This article provides a review of literature on using training simulators in vocational education and training and explores the vocational pedagogy approaches to describing training simulators as a tool for vocational skill development. We examine simulators applied in medical, engineering and teacher training education, present a general taxonomy of practice-oriented training models, and analyze the role of simulators as specific learning media. This review can be useful for developing and implementing initiatives within the Human Resources and Education component of the Digital Economy National Program (in particular, integrating simulators in vocational and higher education).

Reflections on…


Rimantas Želvys — Prof. habil. dr., Institute of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Philosophy, Vilnius University.

Address: Universiteto str. 9, Vilnius 01513, Lithuania. E-mail: rimantas.zelvys@fsf.vu.lt

The paper focuses on some aspects of reforming higher education in a post-socialist country. The study is based on a case analysis of transformations in Lithuanian higher education and addresses the overarching research question — why post-socialist countries, which three decades ago had similar or almost identical educations systems, moved along different trajectories of change instead of initially predicted further convergence. Changes in a period of transition moved some countries closer to the predominant Western system of higher education, while some other former Soviet republics maintained many elements of the previous model or chose alternative paths of development. We assume that globalization of education still remains the driving force for many educational changes in post-socialist area. However, the Soviet legacy and other country-specific factors modify the rationale and the contents of the reforms which implies different final results. The level of socio-economic development is another extremely important factor which determines the quality and scope of education reforms. In comparative research we encounter the phenomena which is called glocalization — global developments in a specific area mix with local culture produce the specific outcomes. The study reveals that the global trends of standardization, marketization, accountability and cost-effectiveness to a certain extent correspond with the Soviet tradition of unification, lack of trust and punitive nature of controlling institutions. In Lithuanian case the Western ideas of reforming higher education were accepted selectively and stimulated reforms, which in general followed the common post-socialist pattern of „path dependency“ but at the same time produced some interesting country-specific outcomes.