Professional Training In Rural Governance


Municipal rural governance requires the concordance of the staff and human capital to contemporary requirements. A significant element of the mechanism of training, retraining and professional growth of personnel for the rural governance is the system of higher education. The meaning of modern education in the field of training management personnel for rural areas is not only in providing students with theoretical information, but in the formation of competencies, without which the future manager will not be able to work. There are several universities in the Russian Federation that train specialists in the field of state and municipal rural governance. One of them is FSBEI HE “Michurinsk SAU.” Professional training of management personnel for rural areas and for enterprises of the public sector of the municipal level is carried out in the institution. Modern training technologies make it possible to form the required competencies within the curriculum by introducing a set of indispensable specialized disciplines. The experience of Michurinsk State Agrarian University in training management personnel for rural areas is presented in the paper. Its results clearly reflect the demand for the chosen direction both among school entrants and among those wishing to improve the professional level of acting employees of the state and municipal sphere.

Keywords: municipal employees, rural areas, higher education, professional training


Russia is historically an agrarian country. Despite the increased attention of the authorities to the staffing problem, today the village is poorly manned with competent, young and promising specialists with appropriate education (Kuzmin, Krutikova, 2017). One of the most essential positions is the personnel constituent of the agricultural cluster. It should be based on quality education that meets the requirements for the implementation of programs for sustainable and integrated development of rural areas (Trubilin, Gaiduk, 2017).

Problem Statement

The issues of training management personnel for rural areas in Russia have become acute in the last two decades. They are reflected in a fairly extensive regulatory framework, in particular, in the Strategy for Sustainable Development of Rural Areas of the Russian Federation until 2030 (hereinafter referred to as the Strategy), other programs and projects of various levels developed in accordance with it. Special attention in the documents is paid to increasing the efficiency of local self-government by improving the system of training, retraining, advanced training of personnel (Order of the Government of the Russian Federation of February 2, 2015 No. 151-r). The main vectors are shown in Figure 01.

Figure 1: Main directions of strengthening and development of the management personnel potential of rural settlements in accordance with the Strategy
Main directions of strengthening and development of the management personnel potential of rural settlements in accordance with the Strategy
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The organization of training, professional retraining and advanced training of municipal employees is subordinated to the optimal realization of indicated areas and includes a system of measures to create new, redesign and improve existing special educational institutions and their units for the development and implementation of curricula and programs (Nikitin, Ivanova, 2020).

Currently, such interesting projects as “Personnel for the Village” and “Village. Development Territory” are under working and discussion. According to the developers, they will create a talent pool of managers for rural areas.

Research Questions

Research questions cover the challenges of rural management training and include:

1)Study of the regulatory framework in the field of staffing the development of rural areas;

2)Theoretical and methodological foundations of training bachelors and masters in the areas of the management spectrum in the higher education system;

3)Analysis of the experience of Michurinsk State University in training management personnel for rural areas.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the paper is to study the problems of personnel training in the field of rural management.

Research Methods

Methods of logical and comparative analysis using a review of information and statistical data were used as general scientific methods in the study.


Michurinsk State Agrarian University became one of the first universities to embark on a comprehensive implementation of the directions set by the Strategy. Since 2018, Michurinsk State Agrarian University has been issuing bachelors and masters in the direction of “State and municipal management” according to programs adapted to the need for training management personnel for rural areas. The given programs, compiled on the basis of the Federal State Educational Standard of Higher Education, have the following training profiles “State and municipal management of rural areas” and “State and municipal management of sustainable development of rural areas.” The disciplines of the optional part, chosen by the educational institution, which implement the basic educational program, were introduced into the curriculum in accordance with the selected profile. The list of disciplines that deepen and implement the profile in the direction of “State and municipal management” at Michurinsk Agrarian University are presented in Figure 02.

Figure 2: Specialized disciplines implementing the profile
Specialized disciplines implementing the profile
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The indicated disciplines complement the blocks of the basic and variable parts of the educational program in such a way as to form the required managerial competencies for rural areas (Karamnova, 2021).

Table 01 presents the contingent of students formed according to the enrollment and graduation in the direction of “State and municipal management.”

Table 1 - Number of students enrolled in 1 course and completed training
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Table 1 shows that the largest number of graduates was observed in 2019 (the total number of graduates - 161 people, 15% - in intramural education and 85% - in extramural education). In the same year, the number of graduate masters prevailed (39 people, 20% - in intramural education and 80% - in extramural). The ratio of enrolled in the 1st year and graduates characterizes the coefficient of the contingent safety. An increased coefficient of the contingent safety is annually observed among bachelors of extramural education. This is due to the fact that in 2018, 2019 and 2020, students were transferred from other educational institutions (Moscow, Smolensk) to graduate students in the direction of “State and municipal management.” A low retention rate was among intramural students of master’s degree in 2019 and 2020 (0.57 and 0.70, respectively).

Table 2 - Structure of graduates in the direction of “State and municipal management” (bachelor and master’s degrees).
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Table 02 presents the structure of graduates who received bachelor and master's degrees in the direction of “State and municipal management.” In accordance with it, there was no priority in obtaining higher education in the chosen direction among men and women. The majority (from 3 to 36%) of graduates by nationality are Russian. In 2019, one foreigner received a bachelor degree, in 2020 - four foreigners (4 and 27% of the graduation of intramural education, respectively). In the structure of graduates, young people under the age of 25 prevail in intramural education (up to 100%), the largest share of this group (55%) was observed in 2020 among students of extramural education. Every year, residents of the Tambov region (up to 79%), Lipetsk, Ryazan, as well as Moscow and the Moscow region are present in the structure of graduates. There were also graduates from other regions, for example, the Republic of Tyva, the Smolensk region, St. Petersburg. There are fewer graduates from rural areas than from urban areas, their ratio ranges from 42 to 58% up to 8 to 92%.

According to the results of graduate qualification works (Table 03), most of the graduates received “good” and “excellent” marks. The average score ranged from 4.1 among students of extramural education in 2018 up to 4.7 - students of intramural education in 2019. The number of diplomas completed at the request of enterprises is low (4-9%), the share of graduates who received diplomas with honors is high among graduates of intramural education (from 24 to 37%), among students of extramural education - from 8 to 15% (most are masters). By the decision of the Academic Council of Michurinsk State Agrarian University, only bachelors passed the final qualifying exam. Their results are close to graduate qualification works; the average score is not less than 4.1.

Table 3 - Results of graduate qualification works and the State exam.
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In 2021, the training of bachelors and masters in the direction of the State and municipal management at Michurinsk SAU will be carried out according to the new standard of 2020. The standard defines universal and general professional competencies; professional competencies are determined by the educational organization independently. The Ministry of Labor approved the Standard Qualification Requirements for municipal service positions, corresponding to the categories, groups, type and status of municipal education. Making adjustments and further implementation of curricula for the preparation of students in the direction of “State and municipal management” is performed in accordance with them.

Professional training of management personnel for rural areas should be significantly modified in the framework of the basic principles implementation of the competence-based approach (Elovskaia, Cherniaeva, 2019). Firstly, education must be reoriented from a theoretical constituent to the development of practical abilities, which entails an increase in the number of practical classes, seminars, trainings and business games, and the development of a stage system (Guseva, 2018, Pareshina, 2011). Professional education of future management personnel should be close to the actual practice of the management institution functioning, which differs from theory in many respects. We believe that practical training for future managers should be aimed at developing students' initiative and creativity, expanding communication skills and leadership qualities (Manaenkova, 2021). It is significant to deeply study the foundations of modern information and communication technologies, the role of which in management should not be underestimated. The above principles are to be considered in the formation of curricula. It is essential to ensure the continuation of the educational process for training management personnel to rural areas. The ideal model for training management personnel is a model in which managers improve their professional knowledge and skills, and develop the required competencies in all professional activities in addition to the vocational educational base in the “bachelor – master” system.

It is indispensable to draw special attention to the didactic competencies of teachers, the development level of their key components for the implementation of the given tasks in practice. The model of a teacher's professional competence acts as a unity of his or her theoretical and practical readiness. The ability of a teacher is to transform the content of the educational process, in particular pedagogical tasks; the ability to create and set in motion a logically complete educational system; the ability to build an educational process aimed at developing basic professional competencies, the result of which is the condition for self-determination, self-realization and self-development of a person, the ability to manifest in a property, in a personal relation to the professional activity of graduates (Rudneva et al., 2019).

In our opinion, for more effective training of personnel in the field of rural management, it is an urgent task to strengthen ties between educational institutions and agricultural enterprises, municipal, regional and federal authorities, both direct participants in the management of rural areas and coordinators of activities for integrated rural development. Close interaction should be expressed not only in the formal passage of industrial, technological and other types of practices, but also in the joint organization of various scientific and practical conferences, round tables, attracting students to organizing event tourism in the countryside, participation of future graduates in meetings of representative rural authorities from municipal districts.


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31 March 2022

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Guseva, M., Krutikova, V., Pareshina, I., & Nesterova, O. (2022). Professional Training In Rural Governance. In I. Savchenko (Ed.), Freedom and Responsibility in Pivotal Times, vol 125. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 713-720). European Publisher.