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Steering higher education towards the needs of the modern labour market in Russia : the use of policy instruments

Savushkina, Maria (2008) Steering higher education towards the needs of the modern labour market in Russia : the use of policy instruments.

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Abstract:The shift from planned to market economy in Russia affected all systems, including the higher education. The former linear steering mechanisms (government – higher education institutions) have been changed and a new player (private employer) has been introduced to the market. The former higher education system provided a tight link with an employer, since all graduates were assigned to specific jobs depending on the field of their studies. The organizational change requires new policy instruments to be developed, thus sound and balanced governmental steering can ensure that the needs of the growing market economy are fulfilled. The central research question is state as follows: What are the policy instruments in Russian higher education that are developed by policy makers to meet the needs of the modern market economy in Russia? The problem is tackled by using Clark's (1983) triangle of coordination which describes higher education systems as being managed with three forces: state authority, market and academic oligarchy. Such an approach allows us to see the interaction between the state and the market in the current higher education system. Furthermore, we use Hood's (1983) classification of policy instruments (nodality (information); treasure (money); authority (legal official power); and organization) to examine the mechanisms by which government influences society. The findings of our research indicate a new place of the higher education system in Russia on the state – market continuum. It is now moving away from strict governmental control and regulation; the actors manifest greater dependence on market exchange. More importantly, the use of policy instruments to monitor the complex environments has now been diversified. The needs of the modern employers so far have been poorly voiced, though the state facilitates a number of efforts to regulate the actions and incorporate employer’s requirements into the higher education policy. The labour market indicates that certain policy changes are required to meet its raising needs. Concluding our research we draw on our findings and evaluate the policy instruments that might improve the developments of the HE system and restrict or encourage market interactions, strengthen consumers' sovereignty and provide for better steering of the higher education policy towards the needs of the labour market in Russia. We also note that Russia is now establishing itself on the path of knowledge-based economy and the trends that are typical for the majority of OECD countries are becoming dominant.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
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