Academic Revolution Impact On The Development Of Higher Education Institutions In Russia


The article considers both the consequences of the impact of the world and Russian academic revolution on the development of the mass education system in higher educational institutions and possible prospects and methods for transformation in the national higher education system. Right now, there are issues developed concerning the universities, their management not just within the framework of routine administration, but in the governance paradigm of the university development, taking into account the formation of a fundamentally new system of higher education in Russia with an emphasis on the academic revolution. The efficiency parameters of the activities and actions of a university are presented in this article, along with the possibilities of a modern developing university are considered, the threats that hinder the development, as well as the methods of taking them into account in planning, are examined. There given analysis for the weaknesses of the leading universities in Russia. Universities are required to identify themselves to which of the categories they will be assigned, what status it will have, what educational standards to base on, develop a strategy for working with organizational units, and principles of work in a competitive environment between universities, to cope with the imitation of research activities on the basis of the university. The institutional policy of the state has made serious adjustments to the development program of each educational institute by regulating the network of non-state universities, which entails the need to optimize and redistribute human and material resources.

Keywords: Academic revolution, education, higher education institutions in Russia


There are more than 700 institutions in Russia to provide educational services to get higher education. The current system of Russian universities includes universities of various departmental affiliation (federal, support, national research, global, etc.), organizational and legal form. For example, flagship universities are aimed at fulfilling the tasks of the socio-economic development in regions. Universities such as Moscow State University and St. Petersburg State University are large, oldest, and classical, their position is determined by federal law, and they have a fairly large list of academic freedoms and opportunities. After the analysis, it was revealed that 76 out of almost 700 functioning universities (with state accreditation of educational programs) were attributed to special categories of universities, i.e. slightly more than 12%. The rest of the universities, which is about 90% of the total number, are not endowed with status and some categories have not been given for them (Gerasimova et al., 2021; Woltenberg et al., 2021).

One of the distinctive and important characteristics and indicators of universities are their positioning in national and international rankings. The ratings determine the position of the university in the Russian and foreign assessment systems, identify strengths and weaknesses in their development, and determine the points of growth.

It is known that in Russia there is a state program “Scientific and technological development of the Russian Federation” (approved on March 29, 2019, No. 337), one of the main goals of which is to implement the national projects “Science”, the national project “Education: Young professionals (increasing the competitiveness of professional education)”, “New opportunities for everyone “, “Export of education”, “Export of education”, etc. On the basis of these projects implementation in the work of leading educational institutions of higher education and scientific organizations in the regions, scientific and educational centers (SEC) are created, which, regardless of from the characteristics of the university are called upon to solve the problems of accelerated modern development in the educational process of the regions. SEC activities, as a rule, are concentrated on the main points of growth in the development of industry in the regions (Kalykina et al., 2019).

In the context of the modern academic revolution, the classification of universities by categories, affiliations and ratings often makes sense only in the institutional area, i.e. in the educational environment and in the international market of educational services. The concepts of “university”, “institute”, “federal university”, “university in our city”, etc. are the most common categories of classification of universities for applicants and their parents, students, employers in our country. Taking into account modern reality for today, we are concerning about massification in education, there is not enough high-quality secondary education - the modern schoolchild is more inclined to receive income than specialties. The student's participation in the formation of his own training program plays an important role in the democratization of the educational process.

Problem Statement

The evaluation criteria for entering the strategic academic leadership program were the university's contribution to the development in the region and to the technological development of the industry, the quality of training for science and higher education. Each university must submit a development plan for the next ten years (Pushnina et al., 2016; Zargaryan et al., 2014).

To select a university in the context of the academic revolution, it is necessary to monitor the effectiveness of the university's activities, participation in ratings, which demonstrates:

  • achievement of threshold indicators in the main areas of activity;
  • level of preparedness of applicants;
  • steady demand for educational services of the university, including partnerships with foreign universities, to show the development of international activities;
  • scientific research at satisfactory level;
  • financial stability;
  • and other indicators.

The possibilities of a modern developing university include:

  • information technologies development;
  • constant influx of population to large and developing cities in a certain direction;
  • steady demand for educational programs in the field of engineering and technology, management, IT;
  • long-life learning idea.

The threats for the development of a modern university include:

  • difficult demographic situation, characterized by a wave-like number of potential applicants, which has been observed in recent years in Russia and neighboring countries;
  • complication of the competitive environment in education when each university is trying to find its place in the educational system;
  • maintaining the state policy in the field of education, which is aimed at reorienting specializations to engineering areas in a mass scale, in connection with which there are difficulties in the development of universities of a humanitarian orientation.

To strengthen its position, a modern university must develop such criteria as:

  • work experience in the educational services market, both Russian and international;
  • implementation of a multilevel education system;
  • creating and maintaining partnerships and business relationships with strategic partners;
  • continuous development of the brand of the university and advertising on the Russian and international market of educational services;
  • modern developed campus (property complex, educational buildings, educational and hotel complex);
  • developed network of branches;
  • support of permanent qualified personnel;
  • high level of informatization of the university;
  • information transparency;
  • expanding the methods and possibilities of monitoring the satisfaction of the parties interested in educational activities and the competitiveness of the university;
  • updating educational programs, forms and methods of teaching, taking into account modern trends and requests from the economy, government, global trends in education and science in general, the formation of uniqueness in the preparation of educational programs;
  • expansion of continuing education programs;
  • the use of open online courses in the conduct of educational activities;
  • cost optimization through the use of lean manufacturing technologies, etc.

After analyzing the work of many leading universities in Russia, we can conclude that most of them have such weaknesses (Zabolotska et al., 2021):

  • the lack of the possibility of obtaining financial support from the university itself for the development of educational and scientific activities;
  • restrictions on participation in grants due to the non-state status of the university;
  • migration of personnel, caused by different reasons;
  • insufficient level of commercialization of research results;
  • passivity of modern staff development.

Research Questions

Modern universities are trying to use their own unique experience in organizing and managing their university for their development, based on the principles of public-private partnership. Such educational institutions often use, which began in the 90s, strategic partnerships with regions for personnel training and a successful financial model, on the basis of which a modern material and technical base of the university is created, human resources, the development of a network of branches in regions with a shortage of personnel in areas implemented by the university. Large industrial associations and organizations usually work in partnership with the university. As a result, a high employment rate is maintained. The student's position in the educational field was previously passive. And in the future, the student will have to become purposeful, active, ready to take responsibility for his own preparation and development of skills. The University must set a goal to achieve from the student not “soulless repetition of memorized material”, but to open a new world of possibilities and advantages of the ability to independently analyze and express oneself (Kichuk et al., 2021; Sajedi et al., 2020).

Purpose of the Study

For several years Russia has been pursuing a policy of an academic revolution in education. Universities are required to identify themselves to which of the categories they will be assigned, what status they will have, what educational standards to work with, develop a strategy for working with organizational cultures, and the principle of work in a competitive environment between universities, to cope with the imitation of research activities on the basis of the university. Some universities strive to enter the international level. This takes a long time. The institutional policy of the state, by regulating the network of non-state universities, has made serious adjustments to the development program of each university, and now it requires optimization and redistribution of human and material resources. Only universities that are capable of being receptive to change, mobility, and reactive in decision-making will be able to ensure their stability in the educational services market during the academic revolution (Andrienko et al., 2015; Dmitrieva et al., 2016).

Research Methods

In particular, it is necessary to work on optimizing the number of educational programs in the field of education, creating online courses to improve the qualifications of teachers in the field of digital education, increasing their publication activity, including in publications indexed by the international citation databases. It is necessary to intensify the international recruiting of teachers, create an adult education system, plan other activities aimed at improving the quality and accessibility of education.

In the field of scientific research, it is required to organize interaction with leading international and Russian scientific institutions, authorities at all levels, scientific and educational centers to create scientific and scientific and educational consortia, the participation of universities in the organization of an innovative scientific and technological center as an applicant, co-founder of the Fund and the Manager companies. The resources of the center for innovation can be formed as a result of combining the efforts of the federal center, regional and municipal authorities, private business, including the banking sector and the university.

Universities with certain categories develop their knowledge economy through cooperation with higher-status institutions. Universities are building an effective system for the selection of applicants (Olympiads (contest in different fields of study), competitions - more than 100 events annually), scholarship programs for applicants with high scores are developed at the level of the University and the region, lectures are regularly given by leading scientists, international, elite educational programs are being implemented.

Thus, the developing University must quickly identify the main economic and social trends significant for the University:

  • introduction of online education and artificial intelligence into the educational process;
  • competition for applicants and students;
  • increasing the importance of vocational guidance and socialization of students;
  • the importance of fundamental education in the compulsory relationship with the applied field;
  • preservation of the university as an environment for acquiring knowledge, socialization, personality formation, etc.

A developing University needs to introduce a public-private partnership mechanism into the project management and financing system, which implies the creation of:

  • a new generation university campus with the ability to live, study, conduct research for students and teachers;
  • complex of buildings and object designed to accommodate advanced research laboratories, workshops for the production of industrial designs and experimental development.

Ideally, the University needs to address the issue of attracting the best faculty, both from abroad and from local staff. The attraction of foreign specialists and the application of the international experience of the leading Universities of Russia should make a qualitative leap in the field of education, eliminating the shortcomings of the current one.


In connection with the dynamic development of technology, the modern world has radically changed, and even more so, modern education. New technologies are introduced annually, in some areas in education even after several months. If the amount of information was previously measured by the amount of information received in lectures and libraries, which greatly limited the stages of training and development, then with the development of the Internet, the amount of information received has increased significantly.

The knowledge gained by a student during 4-5 years at the university became outdated in practice instantly. In addition, employers' requirements began to change quite quickly. Employers do not need narrowly specialized specialists; they are looking for graduates with critical thinking who can correctly identify problems and solve them outside the box. In this regard, the University needs to take into account the concept of digitalization in education, training students in multidisciplinary specializations.

While modernizing the University it is necessary to understand that the transition to digital education that meets the needs of the country is impossible without investments in modernizing the infrastructure of the University, creating conditions for the development of the creative potential of teachers and students, attracting world-class scientists.


Based on the specifics of the university, it is necessary to determine the main directions for resource investment in the context of improving the requirements for universities by the state. The promoted western model of university development, which implies their differentiation, is constantly revised by the Ministry of Education, and new criteria for assessing the belonging of universities to one category or another are determined at regularly. The goal-setting in the construction of the higher education institutions system in Russia is changing: now it is not only ratings and scientometric indicators that matter, but also national development goals.


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25 September 2021

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Economics, social trends, sustainability, modern society, behavioural sciences, education

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Zargaryan, E. V., Zargaryan, Y. A., & Kapc, I. V. (2021). Academic Revolution Impact On The Development Of Higher Education Institutions In Russia. In I. V. Kovalev, A. A. Voroshilova, & A. S. Budagov (Eds.), Economic and Social Trends for Sustainability of Modern Society (ICEST-II 2021), vol 116. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1110-1116). European Publisher.