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Viktor Koksharov 1, Daniil Sandler 1, Pavel Kuznetsov 1, Aleksandr Klyagin 2, Oleg Leshukov 2
  • 1 Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin, 19 Mira Str., 620002 Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation
  • 2 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

The Pandemic as a Challenge to the Development of University Networks in Russia: Differentiation or Collaboration?

2021. No. 1. P. 52–73 [issue contents]
Viktor Koksharov — Candidate of Sciences in History, Rector, Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin. E-mail: v.a.koksharov@urfu.ru

Daniil Sandler — Candidate of Sciences in Economics, First Vice Rector for Economics and Strategic Development, Head Researcher, Research Laboratory of University Development Problems, Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin. E-mail: d.g.sandler@urfu.ru

Pavel Kuznetsov — Head of the Center for Monitoring of Science and Education, Senior Lecturer, Department of International Economics and Management, Graduate School of Economics and Management, Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin. E-mail: pavel.kuznetcov@urfu.ru

Address: 19 Mira Str., 620002 Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation.

Alexander Klyagin — Leading Expert, Laboratory for University Development, National Research University Higher School of Economics. E-mail: aklyagin@hse.ru

Oleg Leshukov — Head of the Laboratory for University Development, National Research University Higher School of Economics. E-mail: oleshukov@hse.ru (Corresponding author)

Address: Bld. 10, 16 Potapovsky Ln, 101000 Moscow, Russian Federation. 

As an inevitable result of Russia’s higher education policies of the past two decades, new university leaders in and outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg have emerged, and vertical differentiation has increased. Inequality of educational potential has a strong regional dimension, exerting a considerable delayed impact on regional socioeconomic development. Differences in universities’ resources affected their ability to adapt their instructional, research, and administrative processes to change during the pandemic, thus broadening the education and research quality gap in higher education. Some regions may face an increased outflow of youth talent to leading universities or just any colleges based in Moscow and St. Petersburg, which will certainly weaken the socioeconomic growth prospects of Russia’s regions.
The pandemic accelerated the debate over this problem and demonstrated readiness of universities for joint efforts. Groundwork was laid for deploying a policy to create a cooperative network of universities and their stakeholders so as to reduce institutional differentiation and promote exchange of experience and competence among universities.
This paper investigates into the main characteristics of vertical differentiation in Russian higher education that had been in place when the pandemic broke out and determined whether universities succeeded or failed in switching to distance learning. Furthermore, lockdown measures and their economic impact on different types of universities are analyzed. Finally, we discuss possible avenues and specific considerations for expanding cross-institutional collaboration and engaging stakeholders inuniversity development.
Citation: Koksharov V.A., Sandler D.G., Kuznetsov P.D., Klyagin A.V., Leshukov O.V. (2021) Pandemiya kak vyzov razvitiyu seti vuzov v Rossii: differentsiatsiya ili kooperatsiya? [The Pandemic as a Challenge to the Development of University Networks in Russia: Differentiation or Collaboration?]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no1, pp. 52–73.
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