Hello everyone. Rather than two posts in one day, today’s single post combines two quite different topics. Read on…
The first topic is about higher education in contemporary Russia. I’ve just come across the work of Daria Luchinskaya, a PhD student at the University of Warwick, who has some really interesting points to make about the modernisation of the system. Some of these are handily summarised in this article on University World News.
Having done a little research myself into the post-Soviet higher education system, I agree that Luchinskaya has covered the key points facing the Russian system:
- state funding levels
- rise (and future demise?) of private higher education providers
- the pressures of internationalisation, such as aligning the education system to the Bologna process, and staff and student mobility
- making the system more competitive e.g. through the creation of federal and national research universities
It would be interesting to see what Luchinskaya has to say about how the current system and its challenges are interepeted in Russia, both by students and by other ‘stakeholders’. For example, I have read that employers are sceptical about students coming out of university with Bologna-friendly degrees, wondering how a three year Bachelor’s degree could be equal to the former system of four or five years of undergraduate study.
The second ‘prong’ of the post is about communications. Can I ask for your help?
Could you pass on details of the blog to others that you think would be interested, and encourage them to sign up for email updates? I’ve just joined academia.edu in a bid to enhance my own network, but your assistance would be very much appreciated.
And please, please leave some comments! Some people have been kind enough to email/text me about the blog, but it would be great to get some discussion going here.
That’s all for today. Thanks for reading.
Hello, and welcome to my blog!
All the advice I’ve read about starting a blog says you should focus on one area you’re particularly interested in. Well, I’ve got a lot of quite different interests so I’ve chosen to focus on two areas, which do sometimes overlap:
1. Central Asia and the post-Soviet world
One of the categories I’ve created for this blog is ‘bureaucratic madness’, which should give you a flavour of the way I see a lot of the post-Soviet world. Having personally experienced plenty of volokita (Russian for ‘red tape’) over the years, I now enjoy admiring the craziness from the comparatively genteel bureaucracy of the UK, where I currently live.
As well as observing inane laws and practices, I have a more serious interest in the development of the post-Soviet space, particularly in Central Asia, so I’ll plan to report on more sobering news and stories too.
2. Higher education
I’ve worked in this field for over a decade and completed an MBA in Higher Education Management in 2011, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that I take a keen interest in policy and developments in higher education.
I plan to post stories and comments on the things that get me most excited/worked up. I expect that this will be mainly UK-based but I also follow international systems, particularly in developing countries.
My main geographic focus internationally is, yes, you guessed it, Central Asian higher education. There is almost nothing written about this field so one of my aims in life (with my academic hat on) is to research this area and get more people around the world thinking about it.
I’ve already got a few stories to post about, so I’ll end the intro post here and move on. Enjoy the blog and do please let me know if you have suggestions or ideas for future posts or themes.