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The fact of the matter is, during the pilot phase of 2001-08, there was a +1 grade rule in place. That is to say, having scored 2 at the USE, a school leaver would automatically earn 3 and, consequently, his high school diploma and eligibility for enrollment in university. In 2009, naturally, that rule was terminated, which meant that some 25-30% of school leavers were no longer entitled to the said diploma and the right to university enrollment. That could have resulted in a spike of social tension, the populations negative sentiments toward USE (as Russians are keen to have their children receive university education and the USE would have blocked their aspiration) and the teacher communitys discontent, as infuriated parents would turn to schools first. Besides, universities would have lost quite a fraction of fresh students, which would have battered their financial standing. All the above led to what has already been noted, that is, requirements to USE were loosened up considerably.

In 2011, it became impossible to raise the 3 (C grade) threshold in mathematics and the Russian language (Table. 12), as it would have insulted both the population and schools which had already relaxed and come to appreciate the concept of USE, as they sensed it would not affect families long-range plans and teachers performance metrics. However, having discontinued to be a social stimulus, USE was no longer an objective arbiter to select those who could enroll in university and screening out those who could not.

Table 12 evidences that in 2009-2011 minimum test grades remained practically unchanged (with the ones for mathematics and literature being slightly up, while those for informatics, ICT and chemistry- a bit down). It was announced that the 2012 minimum test grades for the Russian language and mathematics were going to stay unchanged.

The drop in the quality of the USE grades resulted in popular demands to introduce cutoff grades, meaning that should a university aspirant score lower than, for instance 60-65 in a given subject, he/she shall not be eligible for a budget sponsored tuition, but solely for the fee-based one.

In 2009-10, the NRU HSE ranked universities in terms of their enrollees USE grades, which allowed identification of directions of training with relatively high and relatively low USE grades of students admitted for budget-sponsored tuition.

Rosobrnadzor did not supply information about re-calculation of the USE grades into the traditional 5-grade scale.

Section Social Sphere Table Minimal USE Grades in 2009-2011 across All the USE Subjects Max pri- Min Min Min Tasks of Tasks Tasks Code Subject mary grade in grade in grade in bloc A of bloc B of bloc C grade 2009 2010 1 Russian 30 8 1 60 37 36 2 Mathematics 0 12 6 30 21 21 3 Physics 25 5 6 50 32 34 34* 4 Chemistry 30 10 5 66 33 33 5 Informatics and ICT 18 10 4 40 36 41 6 Biology 36 8 6 69 35 36 7 History 27 15 7 67 30 31 31* 8 Social science 24 6 9 59 39 39 9 Geography 28 14 7 61 34 35 10 English 28 16 2 80 20 20 11 German 28 16 2 80 20 20 12 French 28 16 2 80 20 20 13 Spanish 28 16 2 80 20 20 14 Literature 0 12 5 39 30 29 * stands for non-available, which is why the column for 2011 contains the 2010 scores.

Source: http://www1.ege.edu.ru/min-points, 2011 Rosobrnadzor.

In the event of introduction of cut-off grades for budget-sponsored tuition at the level of 60-65, most students enrolling in engineering and agricultural specialties will have to pay for their tuition, while those admitted to socio-economic and humanitarian specialties will study at the expense of budget funds. As engineering and agricultural specialties prove far more funding-intensive vis--vis socio-economic and humanitarian ones, such a pattern of assignment of budget funds can hardly be labeled as an efficient one. Plus, the economys transition toward the innovation development requires highly qualified cadres of both engineering specialties and directions of training and not only socio-economic ones (though there is a significant need for enhancement of the quality of training of managerial, economic and legal cadres). Today, engineering specialists and directions of training appear critical for the state, and, accordingly, they cannot be assigned practically in full to the fee-based sector of education.

5.3.5. The Tier Level of the Tertiary Education System The experiment on introduction in Russia of a two-tier cadres training system was launched in 1992. In 2003, Russias joining the Bologna Process gave a new impulse to the transition toward the two-tier, Bachelor Master, system, instead of the 5-year training of specialists. In 2005, an Act was adopted on transition to the tier-based system of TVT (with training of specialists retained by some specialties). According to the Act, the transition was scheduled for 2009. A long transitional period was determined by the need to develop new tertiary education standards (the 3rdgeneration ones) and transition to them, as well as the need for universities to devise new curricula.

In 20002009, the number of fresh BAs, specialists and MAs was as follows (see Table 13).

RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks Table Graduates from TVT Educational Institutions in 200020091, by Degree Awarded 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 All educational institutions of tertiary professional education Specialists graduated, Thos. 635.1 720.2 840.4 976.9 1076.6 1151.7 1255.0 1335.5 1358.5 1442.With incomplete high vocational 2.3 2.1 2.9 4.3 4.1 4.3 6.0 8.6 9.3 10.training Growth rates in their number 91.3 138.1 148.3 95.3 104.9 139.5 143.3 108.1 108.(y-o-y), as % Their specific weight in the aggregate 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.number of graduates, as % Bachelors 71.0 68.8 76.8 80.3 77.9 84.6 87.5 98.9 98.5 124.Growth rates in their number 96.9 111.6 104.6 97.0 108.6 103.4 113.0 99.6 125.(y-o-y), as % Their specific weight in the aggregate 11.2 9.6 9.1 8.2 7.2 7.3 7.0 7.4 7.3 8.number of graduates, as % Specialists with high vocational train- 553.4 639.9 751.4 882.7 983.9 1051.7 1149.1 1213.1 1233.8 1287.ing Growth rates in their number 115.6 117.4 117.5 111.5 106.9 109.3 105.6 101.7 104.(y-o-y), as % Their specific weight in the aggregate 87.1 88.9 89.4 90.4 91.4 91.3 91.6 90.8 90.8 89.number of graduates, as % Masters 8.4 9.4 9.3 9.6 10.7 11.1 12.5 14.9 16.8 20.Growth rates in their number 111.9 98.9 103.2 111.5 103.7 112.6 119.2 112.8 122.(y-o-y), as % Their specific weight in the aggregate 1.3 1.3 1.1 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.number of graduates, as % Public and municipal institutions of high professional training Specialists graduated, Thos. 578.9 647.8 753.1 860.2 930.4 978.4 1055.9 1108.9 1125.3 1166.With incomplete high vocational 0.7 1.3 2.5 3.0 3.1 3.5 5.0 6.6 7.7 7.training Growth rates in classes of incomplete 185.7 192.3 120.0 103.3 112.9 142.9 132.0 116.7 100.high vocational training (y-o-y), as % Specific weight of individuals with 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.incomplete high vocational training in the aggregate number of graduates, as % Bachelors 48.8 45.4 50.8 52.6 51.3 53.3 55.8 57.5 56.9 63.Growth rates in their number 93.0 111.9 103.5 97.5 103.9 104.7 103.0 99.0 111.(y-o-y), as % Their specific weight in the aggregate 8.4 7.0 6.7 6.1 5.5 5.4 5.3 5.2 5.1 5.number of graduates, as % Specialists with high vocational train- 521.2 591.9 690.6 795.0 865.5 910.6 982.8 1030.3 1044.3 1076.ing Growth rates in their number 113.6 116.7 115.1 108.9 105.2 107.9 104.8 101.4 103.(y-o-y), as % Their specific weight in the aggregate 90.0 91.4 91.7 92.4 93.0 93.1 93.1 92.9 92.8 92.number of graduates, as % Masters 8.2 9.2 9.2 9.6 10.5 11.0 12.4 14.6 16.4 19.Growth rates in their number 112.2 100.0 104.3 109.4 104.8 112.7 117.7 112.3 120.(y-o-y), as % Their specific weight in the aggregate 1.4 1.4 1.2 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.5 1.number of graduates, as % Non-public institutions of high professional training Specialists graduated, Thos. 56.2 72.4 87.3 116.7 146.2 173.3 199.1 226.6 233.2 275.With incomplete high vocational 1.6 0.8 0.4 1.3 1.0 0.8 1.0 2.0 1.6 2.training Growth rates in their number (y-o-y), 50.0 50.0 325.0 76.9 80.0 125.0 200.0 80.0 150.as % The most recent official data available.

Section Social Sphere contd 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Their specific weight in the aggregate 2.8 1.1 0.5 1.1 0.7 0.5 0.5 0.9 0.7 0.number of graduates, as % Bachelors 22.2 23.4 26.0 27.7 26.6 31.3 31.7 41.5 41.7 60.Growth rates in their number 105.4 111.1 106.5 96.0 117.7 101.3 130.9 100.5 145.(y-o-y), as % Their specific weight in the aggregate 39.5 32.3 29.8 23.7 18.2 18.1 15.9 18.3 17.9 22.number of graduates, as % Specialists with high vocational train- 32.2 48.0 60.8 87.7 118.4 141.1 166.3 182.8 189.5 211.ing Growth rates in their number 149.1 126.7 144.2 135.0 119.2 117.9 109.9 103.7 111.(y-o-y), as % Their specific weight in the aggregate 57.3 66.3 69.6 75.1 81.0 81.4 83.5 80.7 81.3 76.number of graduates, as % Masters 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.5 0.Growth rates in their number 100.0 50.0 0.0 - 50.0 100.0 300.0 166.7 140.(y-o-y), as % Their specific weight in the aggregate 0.4 0.3 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.number of graduates, as % Source: calculated by the 2010 Rosstat data.

According to the Rossstats preliminary information, in 2010, the proportion of Masters accounted for 1.65 and in 20111.75%.

The data in Table 13 show that the number of awarded BA and MA degrees in absolute terms was rising at public and non-public universities alike, though their proportion in the overall number of graduates has thus far remained insignificant.

Sociological surveys demonstrate that employers have not yet perceived of BAs as fullfledge employees. Rather, they think of them as sophomores and half-baked specialists1.

Overall, as employers in Russia strive to accumulate a symbolic capital, they prefer MAs and even PhDs over specialists. We think this is yet another proof of employers still being pretty unsure of the quality of specialists training by domestic universities, which is why the number of years spent at the university and the degree awarded illustrate the prospective employees industry, passion for studies, and ability to pass through filters set by the formal educational institutions.

That said, it should be noted that employers do not display the same degree of respect to advanced training or professional retraining certificates, except in the cases the employer himself has initiated the said kinds of training.

It appears that as long as BAs fall short of flooding the market, employers would not change their mind. This is true for both academic and applied BAs, which is why the hopes associated with creation of the institution of applied BA presently seem overly exaggerated2.

5.3.6. Strategy-2020 in Education While updating Strategy-2020 in the educational sphere, there were two expert groups to tackle the issue, that is, Group No. 7 and Group No. 8. The former Group dealt with professional education, while the latter with school education.

One of the Groups key proposals was to ensure an effective contract for professors. The current version of the bill On education in Russian Federation contains a provision holding that the average salary of pedagogical staff may not be lower than the one across a given re Studies by TSENO, 2004; ISEPN, 2007; ISEPN, 2011.

See, for example, presentation by Y. Kuzminov at a workshop on the Strategy on 12.03.2011 or his address in Ekaterinburg on 23 April 2011.

RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks gional economy. Presently, the average salary in the educational sector accounts for 65% of the one across the economy.

But the Expert Group on professional education believes that a university professors wages (all his incomes combined) should make up 200% of the above benchmark (in 2011, according to Rosstats preliminary data, it was 93.5%), the one of a general or polytechnic college professor 150% (some 68%), and a schoolteachers 115% (some 6264%).

It is suggested that in this case the faculty should abandon moonlighting and focus on research and tuition instead. It goes without saying the facultys wages should be differentiated, with some making under the said 200% and others - more than that. Experts from Group No.

7 argue that the move should encourage the best faculty members to get the job, while the worst ones to reside.

This Expert Group also nurtures the idea to introduce an applied Bachelors program in Russia. It is proposed to incorporate this new form of education into a new version of the bill On education in Russian Federation, as the present one does not bear any reference to it.

According to the Expert Groups report, once introduced, the applied Bachelors program should help solve the problem of qualified employees, as the current primary and even secondary vocational training systems have recently lost their popularity with the youngsters. In 2010, nearly 20% of leavers from PVT institutions and over 70% of those who finished SVT ones enrolled in universities. The concept of the applied Bachelors program should be as follows: having studied for two years by a regular, academic Bachelors program, the student realizes that he is keen to promptly enter the labor market. He consequently signs up for a year-long vocational training, earns a diploma and gets a job. Meanwhile, he retains the possibility to return to the university, complete his budget-sponsored Bachelors program and enroll in Masters program.

The expert group also accentuated another problem, that is, pseudo-education. Presently, a great number of universities deliver that at the expense of budget funds. More than a half of third-graders now work 22 and more hours a week, ie. de facto being full-timers, thus not being able to normally attend to classes. The experts believe that in this case it would be appropriate to have students sign up for an applied Bachelors program, get to the labor market and, if he/she wishes so, return to the university to complete the academic training.

It seems that in addition to purely legal questions that may arise with respect to the status of a student and a graduate from an applied Bachelors program, which, in principle, can be resolved, as the draft Act On education in Russian Federation is still at the stage of discussion and, therefore, can be amended, if need be, there emerge equally serious challenges of economic and psychological nature.

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