Structures, Political Cultures and Social Practices
Corruption Networks in the Sphere of Higher Education: An Example from Russian Mass Universities
The radical transformation of all social institutions in post-Soviet Russia can most clearly be seen in the changes that have taken place in the higher education sphere. The former socialist model of higher education was completely based on state financing. Universities were a part of the general system of a planned economy where all parameters of their activities were defined according to the state priorities and were dictated “from above”. The Ministry of Education determined which specialties were necessary at each university, how many students would be trained in what fields and in which establishments they would go to work after their studies. In practice it meant that all students received not only a free-of-charge education but also obligatory employment after graduation.
The transition to the market economy for higher education in the 1990s began with the sharp reduction of state financing norms per student. At the same time universities had an opportunity to define the directions of their educational activity independently: to open new specialties, to assign additional services to the student population, to enrol students who were ready to pay for their education in the areas that had been limited by the budget. In a short time, such independence resulted in an educational boom, and higher education took on a mass character.
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