a directive, it also does not include any preferences. The terms “research university” and “elite university” are synonyms. The concept of “elite university” was based on the notion of a close integration of education and research, including the use of research in education of students. The specifics of elite / research universities in the USA practically do not differ from the criteria of research universities in other countries of the world, and include the following:
• A broad range of specializations, including hard science, social and humanitarian sciences;
• Intensive orientation towards scientific R & D activities, primarily, fundamental research;
• Orientation towards modern scientific avenues and innovative activities;
• Availability of a system allowing to receive Ph. D. degree, often the number of postgraduates working on their master and doctor theses exceeds the number of students;
• High professional level of educators;
• Invitation of leading experts from other countries on temporary basis;
• Receptivity of the world practices and flexibility with respect to new avenues of research and education methods;
• Enrollment of students on the contest basis;
• Formation of a specific intellectual environment and specific science, technological, and economic space often filled by objects of innovative infrastructure;
• Corporate ethics based on democratic values and academic liberties.
The new Ministry of Education and Science also started to promote the concept of “research universities”.
In this case the concept primarily includes the creation of new integrated structures basing on cooperation between universities and scientific institutes, as well as state scientific centers. It is envisaged that this integration should be carried out on the voluntary basis and the new structures can be formed both on the basis of universities, and research institutions and state scientific centers. In legal terms, the concept of “research university” is absent in Russia, therefore the creation of integrated structures in the form of research universities will require a considerable revision of the legislation currently in force. At the moment it is planned that the first integrated structures will be formed already this year, for instance, there is launched a pilot project on the base of the Novosibirsk state university. It should become the center of integration of a number of leading educational and research institutions16.
At the same time, the use of terms “leading” and “research” university resulted in considerable confusion.
At present it is unclear if the intent to create research university presupposes the abandonment of the so much criticized concept of leading higher education establishments, and if the latter concept continues to exist, to what extent these two concepts are overlapping For instance, will a research university at the same time (automatically) granted the status of the leading higher education institution At present there are no clear criteria and even concept of research university, therefore it is difficult to answer these questions.
At the same time, in the scientific and educational community the notion of research university is similar to its foreign concept. For instance, representatives of rectors believe that the specific features of a research university should include orientation towards education of postgraduate students, expanded set of subjects, work with senior school pupils and selection of future entrants, inseparable integration of science and education, availability of modern equipment, developed links to the industry, and participation in commercialization of technologies, cooperation with other organizations, primarily the Russian Academy of Science, developed infrastructure (campus), and the infrastructure of work with alumni and donors17. However, at the moment both representatives of the Russian Academy of Science and higher education establishment are more oriented to closer cooperation than creation of integrated structures.
It would be feasible to review the research and education centers created in a number of Russian higher education institutions (16 centers in the field of hard sciences and 9 in the field of humanities) with the support of the Carnegie corporation and the McArthur foundation as a model for development of research universities. The experience accumulated by these centers includes different approaches to the development of research and education process, support of students, postgraduates, and young scientists, cooperation with A. Fursenko: Gosudarstvo dolzhno sozdat sistemu finansirovaniya proyektov // Novye tekhnologii, No. 17, April 28, 2004.
Compiled basing on the materials of the Russian – US conference “Research Universities” organized by the RF Ministry of Education, Russian Academy of Science, and the American Foundation for Civilian Research and Development.
– M., April 4 – 6, 2004.
Russian an foreign organizations may be extended to the universities where such centers were established. It also seems that in case cooperative structures develop, joint scientific programs, joint scientific councils, parity financing, joint participation in international projects should become their important elements.
Although the creation of the Ministry of Education and Science somewhat shifted the focus from the scientific-industrial, innovative activities to scientific-educational types of activities, it is important to note that the issues of innovative development were also included in the sphere of responsibility of the new Ministry18.
Therefore, there is hope that support of innovative and financial infrastructure, small innovative businesses will continue. Many problems are still encountered in this sphere, and in the first six months of this year one of them, concerning the conditions of activities of the extra-budgetary funds aimed at the support of R & D and the Russian Fund of Technological Development, has aggravated.
Extra-budgetary departmental funds were formed by ministries, departments, concerns, corporations, and associations at the expense of contributions made by enterprises (1.5 per cent of the self-cost of their products). In its turn, the Russian Fund of Technological Development was formed at the expense of these departmental funds (25 per cent). After article 25 of the second part of the RF Tax Code entered into force (as amended), extra-budgetary R & D funds should be formed at the expense of voluntary contributions of gross profits (0.5 per cent). The changes in the procedures governing contribution of financial resources in the R & D extra-budgetary funds resulted in fact in a twofold decline in contributions to the RFTD. As a result, in 2004 the RFTD had reserves sufficient only for financing of running projects, and insufficient to make new contracts.
At the same time, the composition and the number of extra-budgetary funds also changed, since there were introduced new criteria of granting organizations the status of extra-budgetary funds. While earlier extrabudgetary funds could be created only at federal executive authorities or commercial enterprises and associations of enterprises, in 2004, according to the new requirements, extra-budgetary funds may be only noncommercial organizations. These changes froze the activities of the RFTD, what may negatively affect the innovative activities and applied interdisciplinary research at the time, when interdisciplinary research is the key avenue of development of science in the world.
I. Dezhina Municipal reform: the experience of the Leningrad oblast In Russian regions, there began the work on implementation of the municipal reform in accordance with the law “On general principles of organization of local governments in the Russian Federation.” The first stage of this work is related to the reform of the territorial foundations of local government. According to the requirements set forth by the law, the RF subjects should establish the boundaries of municipal entities and grant them the status of urban or rural settlement, urban okrug, or municipal district before January 1 of 2005.
At present this work is at different stages in different regions of Russia. The reform of the territorial foundations is braked by the ambiguous situation concerning the assignment of sources of financing to local budgets (the respective amendments to the Tax and Budget Code passed only the first reading), and the contradictions and flaws in a number of provisions of the law. In particular, such criteria of formation of municipalities at the settlement level as accessibility of the center of the settlement by walk and population not less than 1000 residents in many cases contradict one another. The law, which requires to divide territories of all densely populated districts among settlements does not take into account the non uniform nature density of population within each region. The practice demonstrate that territories with sparse populations, where walking accessibility is difficult exist in the majority of administrative districts, even in the case the average density of population in these districts is above the national average.
At the same time, in certain regions the reform of their territorial structure progresses at a fast rate. For instance, in the Leningrad oblast the regional law “On boundaries and status of municipal entities Vsevolzhsky district and Vyborg district and municipal entities in their composition” was approved on March 9, 2004.
According to this law, the municipal entities Vsevolzhsky district and Vyborg district were granted the status of municipal districts. Within the Vsevolzhsky district there were formed 20 municipalities at the settlement level (8 urban and 12 rural ones). In the Vyborg district there were created 14 settlements (8 urban and Issues concerning the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. Resolution of the RF Government No. 158 of April 6, 2004.
rural ones). The law contains the cartographic description of the boundaries of all municipal entities listed above.
It seems that the Leningrad oblast is the first subject of the Russian Federation, which could approve the official legislation concerning the issues of the territorial structure in the framework of the municipal reform.
Therefore, the local practices should attract attention.
The initial conditions for the introduction of the two tier model of local government in the Leningrad oblast may be evaluated as relatively favorable. The oblast is characterized by high population density, developing economic potential, high level of education. Although the district based organization of local government is the prevailing territorial model, according to the regional legislation settlements were granted the possibility to form independent municipal entities. This right was primarily used by urban settlements with high levels of budget provision. The only rural settlement having municipal status is the Koltushskaya volost.
In the framework of the district model there were kept (although not in all districts) certain elements of decentralization with respect to the units at the settlement level. Since the settlement budgets in the oblast were liquidated only in 1996, in certain districts there persisted traditions to modify estimates with certain elements of interbudgetary relations. For instance, in the Gatchinsky district the accounting for tax revenues is still carried out at the volost level.
In 2001, in the district there was organized an experiment in fact envisaging the granting of a quasimunicipal status to the volosts19. The district administration transferred to its territorial units certain powers concerning the settlement of issues of local importance and assigned to them sources of financing on voluntary basis. At the same time, the base of revenue assignment were minimal guaranteed expenditures across key items calculated in accordance with the single formula for all territorial units. In practice, the experiment was conducted only in one volost (Pudostskaya volost) for several months. Practically all municipal functions with the exception of HPU were transferred to the volost level. The list of revenue sources included the income tax, single tax on imputed income, the tax on property of individuals, land tax, leasing fees, cleaning of territory fees, fees for the needs of educational establishments, and a part of the tax on property of enterprises.
In spite of the fact that the experiment was carried out only for a short time, its results could be evaluated as positive. The tax revenues in the territory grew significantly, while their utilization became more efficient.
At the same time, the experiment revealed potential problems related to the formation of budgets at the settlement level. For instance, the Pudostskaya volost considerably depends on the revenues generated by one enteprirse – the local poultry plant. In the period when the experiment was conducted the standing of the poultry farm was rather good, however, by this time it went bankrupt. Therefore, the volost administration has serious apprehensions concerning its financial independency.
Yet another positive factor facilitating the municipal reform in the Leningrad oblast is a rather high availability of management resources at the level of settlement and volosts. The number of employees at settlement and volost administrations is comparable to the personnel of municipal officers in the settlements located in the regions with the two tier structure. The share of expenditures for administration in the consolidated municipal budget is also at the level characteristic of regions with the two tier structure and is by almost one fourth above the national average. It means that the problem of growth in administrative expenditures in the course of implementation of the municipal reform in the oblast should not be urgent. At the same time, in a number of districts there were elaborated mechanisms allowing to achieve economy of scale in the sphere of administration: there were created joint administrations performing their functions in several volosts. For instance, there are two such administrations in the Gatchinsky district and 5 in the Vyborg district.
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