Higher Learning, Better Goods? In Search of Higher Education Social Effects and Civic Mission of Universities in Russia
A report by Ivan Pavlyutkin at the LCSR regular seminar
On March 14, 2013, Ivan Pavlyutkin (senior research fellow at the Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology at HSE) presented preliminary results of his ongoing project “Higher Learning, Better Goods? In Search of Higher Education Social Effects and Civic Mission of Universities in Russia" at the regular LCSR seminar.
As usual, broad-access higher education stimulates economic growth; reduces crime rates; increases social capital and safety levels in a given country. In comparison with many developed and developing countries Russia is a unique country where two contradictory trends can be observed over the past twenty years. On the one hand, there is an increase in the number of students and population with higher education, on the other hand, the level of social welfare decreases. The aim of this research project is to explore social effects of higher education institutes and educational programs in Russia with the use of perspective of human capital, social capital, and value studies.
During the seminar Ivan shared the results of the pilot study, conducted in 2011 in one of the Russian orthodox university. The sample consisted of 760 full-time students and 850 graduates. The questionnaire included questions about values (family, work, health) and practices (social services, healthcare). The answers were later compared with the results of some Russian nationwide surveys. The analysis revealed significant differences in values and practices between students and graduates and other Russian population. During discussion following the presentation it was suggested to conduct a panel study in order to follow the process of change in beliefs throughout years spent at university and after graduation. It was also proposed to collect data via university web sites.
by Ruslan Almukhametov