Guliev M. A., professor, Doctor of Politology,
«Center of Strategic Initiatives of Black and Caspian Seas Region».
City of Nazran, Ingushetia,Russia.
Samygin S. M. ,professor, Doctor of Sociology.
State Economix University of Rostov (RINH).
City of Rostov-on-Don, Russia.
EDUCATION IN GLOBALISATION.
ANALYSIS OF STATE OF THE RUSSIAN EDUCATION.
The process of globalisation includes nowerdays all the spheres of social life, and education is no exeption. The changes that are caused by the globalisation are ambivalent. Globalisation is often associated, for example, with the loss of cultural specifics of education, “loss of the roots”, weakening of the national identity and national culture. In the same time the attempts to get separated from the global processes can represent an even more considerable threat that can lead to a lag from the logic of the world development. The educational politics in the time of globalisation must combine the principles of openness, effectiveness, competitiveness with the respect to the national cultural achievements.
The trend of development of the modern educational systems towards their openness dates back to 1960s. In this period of time a certain interest appearts to the comparative research in education and educational techniques. One of the factors that stimulated this type of research was the success of Soviet educational model of that time, the main fruit of it being the launching of the sputnik. Unfortunately, the situation in the Russian education has become worse since then.
The TIMSS (TIMSS — TrendsinMathematicsandScienceStudy) appears in 1980s, it is the system of international monitoring of Mathematical education; the comparative quality research of informatic education and reading (PIRLS) was done in 1990s. International research on abilities to apply the knoledge (PISA) was being done since 2000s on regilar basis. Nowedays more than 80 countries take part in such international researches on education and its quality. It assists to the global proliferation of certain educational technologies, education on all the levels more and more orients on global standarts. Russia has also begun to participate in such research.
Another element of modern educational globalisation and introduction of universal standarts is the creation of the international ratings of universities. The fact that Russian indexes are at the moment rather low leads either to the critisizing of the current ratings or to the attempts to give more attention to the outward, formal types of indexes of efectiveness with no cardinal improvement of the educational process. All the same it is impossible to improve the quality of education without improving th quality of the materaial resources of the educational establishments and the materail conditions for the teaching staff, without the formation of the achievement ethics that can form high motivation with the students. The improvement of the education quality is also connected with global caracteristics of the labour market and economical situation. The lack of real demand for high-quality professional specialists determines the lowering motivation of the students who in the majoraty of cases want to get any diploma with the lowest possible cost. So, the educational quality improvement is not an isolated task but an element of the global development of the society.
Globalisation of the universities is closely connected with the globalisation of science. Attaracting the talanted scientissts is becoming one of the tasks of the universities and that encourages a more active scientifis research, growth of the university’s prestige, educational quality improvement. The international cooperation of the researchers is constantly growing. All the same, Russia is more falling behind in this sphere. The majority of Russian scientists don’t cooperate with their foreign collegues and are not actively incuded in the international cooperation. А. Коrtunov remarks that «only 5% of Russian university teachers have permanent international contacts and 21% of them have episodic contacts». This has for the reason not only the lack of foreign languages knoledge but also the lack of time and money for the full-rate scientific communication. Even a trip to a conference is a problem for the maajority of Russian scientists. Scientific and teaching career are not connected with either prestige or material wealth in contemporary Russia. The situation created by unreasoned reforms in Russian universities leads to the trend that the most adapted to the modern conditions scientists including young specialists and post-graduates leave the country. The reasons for that are not the globalisation of education and science but the interior situation in Russian universities and in poorly reasoned politics of reforms.
An important component of the educational globalisation is the participation in Bologna process. Russia has officially entered the process in 2003. Exept several positive sides, the reality of Russian entrance to the global educational field created much problems.
For example, «nowerdays there exist mismatches in the structure of degrees in different countries of the world. … Russian scientific degree structure is the following: Bachelor, Master, Graduate; in the USA and in the UK: Bachelor, Master; Germany’s traditional qualificationa are: Sertified Specialist and Master of Humanitarian Sciences. Although in recent years there is a change in the direction of unification of qualifications frameworks in the counties that have entered the Bologna Process. But the new qualifications prescribed by the Declaration do not replace a long-standing and proven qualifications. modern Russian qualification structure lacks the necessary continuity between the different educational levels, a full concept Baccalaureate has not yet been developed. (…) bachelor’s program becomes the intermediate stage in the higher education , and loses its independent educational status. Since the sectors of the economy do not determine the status of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in terms of qualification, the motivational aspect in these forms of learning is also lost».More than that, one of the main goals of the Bologna Process – the increasing of educational mobility of students – is not realised in Russia. «The Credit System» has become only a formality that does not provide a common educational space even within Russia, not to mention the transformation of Russia into a part of the international educational space. So, the introduction of the Bologna System without taking into account the specifics of Russian society and the current educational model had many formal and bureaucratic and often negative consequences for the Russian education but in fact did not lead to its real international integration. Although Russia takes part in the Bologna Process and some international research programs, it has almost no effect on the search for new strategies and technologies of education. The problem here is not that external forces hinder Russia to engage actively in the international dialogue. Today in Russia there are practically no social actors that could become parties to this dialogue – no influential association of scientists, no association of universities. The only important subject is the state itself, but the education development strategy should be in the hands of those involved in education itself. The weakness of the Russian civil society and the weakness of the Russian economy is manifested in the field of education – it is almost entirely dependent on the state, that makes impossible the cereation of the separate action strategies. The dependence on the state generates the bureaucratization of the educational and research activities, the vulnerability of the voluntarist and uninformed decisions from above, the inability to respond quickly to the challenges of the changing and dynamic external environment of educational institutions.Globalization of education is connected with the formation of the global education market. А.L. Аrefiev noticed: «The total number of foreign citizens using a variety of educational services is growing every year and currenty has reached 5 million people according to our calculations, and the capacity of the international education market (total fee for all types of training , the cost of transport services, accommodation, meals , etc.) is up to $100 billion. Only the citizens of China, India, Japan and South Korea pay annually for their education abroad for more than 10 billion dollars, substantial sums to increase international academic mobility of pupils and students as well as teachers and researchers are spent by the US and the European Union».The development of a global education market determines the significance of the international ratings, as universities, occupying high positions in the rankings, primarily attract students and researchers. Western universities are the leaders at the global education market, but the position of the Chinese universities strengthened in recent years. International cooperation of the universities is developing, as well as the establishment of branches of the leading universities in other countries. «The internationalization of higher education implies not only the mobility of students, giving the process of education an international dimension, but also those cases where the universities “go across borders” and offer their services in countries that do not have sufficient capacity to meet the growing demand for higher education. Export of education services (programs) and the establishment of branches in other countries are the reaction of universities to the process of globalization. The exporters of educational services , as a rule, are the universities of Europe, the USA, Australia. Importers are countries in Africa, Asia and some European countries , i.e. those regions that can not independently provide the necessary level of supply of educational services». Attracting foreign students is often associated not only with the activities of the universities themselves, but also with the states interested in the development of education and science and in attracting talented people. For instance, the legislation simplifying the naturalization of foreign citizens who have been trained in Germany was adopted in Germany in 2007. Since 2006 people who were educated in Canada and Scotland, were given the right to work for two years in these countries in their professional sphere. Since 2007 this practice appeared in England.
Russian universities are also subjects of the global education market. This issue is given attention at the highest level. In 2002, Russia adopted the Concept of the state policy in the field of training of national personnel for foreign countries in the Russian educational institutions. In 2006, the President of the Russian Federation called for support of innovative development of the Russian education system in the President’s address to the Federal Assembly. In this regard, the value of establishing international relations for the Russian universities is increasing as well as the importance of the integration of Russian universities into the global educational space. The problems of education were included in the agenda of the G8 summit in July 2006 on Russia’s suggestion.
But Russia’s entry into the global educational market is not yet very successful. The international relations of Russian universities established in the Soviet period when the USSR provided active assistance to developing countries that did not have their own educational systems of good quality were to some extent preserved. From 1949 to 1991 more than 500 thousand students from 150 countries have been educated in higher educational institutions of the USSR, 70% of them have been educated in the universitites of the RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic). More than 75 % of students were citizens of Asian, African and Latin American countries (mainly – allies of the USSR ), and about a quarter – the citizens of Eastern European States. The Soviet system of education in that period was considered one of the best in the world. There was a well-established system of teaching foreign students and the interaction of Soviet and foreign universities and teachers in the USSR, but after the collapse of the USSR, it practically ceased to exist. The period of Perestroika the end of the 80 ‘s – early 90- ies was marked by the rise of interest in Russian language and culture, but this interest was extinguished rather quickly for obvious reasons. Currently, the links inherited from the Soviet period are considerably reduced. New patterns of international cooperation are being formed, but this is clearly not enough for Russia to take its rightful place on the global education market. The overall decline in the quality of education in Russia had its impact on the quality of training of foreign students that did not enhance the competitiveness of Russian education either. The countries of origin of foreign students have also changed in comparison with the Soviet period, the majority of them being now the citizens of CIS countries, former Soviet republics. For instance, in the 2003 – 2004 foreign students in Russian universities cam from the countries as follows: 69, 6 % – Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belorussia, 0, 9% – the Baltic states, 24, 6% – other CIS countries, 5,6% – countries outside CIS and the Baltic region. The gradual weakening of the ties within the CIS and the reorientation of the CIS countries from Russia to other states will lead to a decrease in the number of students as well. But the factors that can attract foreign students from abroad, in Russian universities, perhaps with the exception of some of the leading universities (Moscow State University, Higher School of Economics, National Economics School and a number of others) are not numerous. In 2005-2006 86,875 foreign citizens were trained in Russian universities. Most foreign students were trained in medical schools (14 206), universities of the Ministry of Transport and railways (2700), high schools of the Ministry of Culture and Mass Communications (2100). Around 5000 were trained in educational institutions subordinated to the Government of the Russian Federation. About 4 thousand trained in private universities of Russia.
The international education market is divided into several segments and not all of them are associated with universities. A significant part belongs to school education, which in Russian conditions is almost entirely focused on the domestic market. The study of foreign languages is also of great importance. For example, «in Ireland the number of foreigners studying English (114 thousand persons) surpasses the number of “academic” foreign students (19 thousand persons) more than 5.5 times, in the UK the number of students on short-term foreign language courses (556 thous.) surpasses almost twice the number of foreign students who are engaged in various academic programs (344 thous.) and it is almost 10 times the number of school puples coming from foreign countries». In Russia, this segment is almost not represented, that is associated not only with organizational issues, but also with the fall in popularity of the Russian language in the world, due to the reduction of economic and cultural influence of Russia.
The strengthening of Russian political and economic positions in global world as well as of the country’s attractiveness for foreign professionals and investors could raise the prestige of the Russian language and stimulate the development of appropriate education segment in the Russian society. Thus, the growth of China’s influence led to an increased interest in the Chinese language: in 2005 86.7 thousand foreign students studied Chinese language in China, which is very significant, because the Chinese themselves prefer to learn English, recognizing the leading role of the English language and in the economy and in science.
Russian education is baing gradually integrated into the global educational space. The entry into the Bologna process and maintaining and developing international contacts of Russian universities are the evidence of this. However, at the moment Russia has rather a peripheral position in the global market. The phenomenon of ‘brain drain’ is a growing concern in many respects and is associated with a lag of the Russian educational system and Russian science as an organized system from international standards. The status of the Russian education system should not be considered in isolation from the situation in the Russian state and society as a whole. Economic problems and cultural crisis directly affect the education system, creating difficulties for its successful development. Only the transition of Russian society on track of modernization and innovative development is able to provide the necessary incentives for a successful reform of the Russian education system.
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