Russian Universities and Internationalization of Education
Department of Sociology of Education, Science and Culture Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences Moscow, Russian Federation
Internationalization of education, particularly inclusion into pan-European educational system, is one of the most disputable themes in Russian academic and educational communities. On one side of the argument are the employers as the main customer on labor market confirming the importance of internationalization and insisting that university graduates must have professional skills enabling them to work in international environment, to participate in international projects. We also see that international activities of the university might have a real influence on the home region: it is more actively involved into international cooperation and integration; the region gets an access to foreign scientific achievements, new material and technology, obtains a possibility for intercultural communication.
At the same time there is a need of evaluation both positive and negative consequences of such education internationalization, appreciation of cultural traditions, preservation of achievements of the Russian educational system. Many experts are concerned that existing educational model would be destroyed, but new one might not have evident advantages. Important argument of the opponents of university's international integration is a fear of 'brain drain'. Such apprehensions do have some grounds, though international activities of the universities can't be considered as an only reason for the 'brain drain', there are others significant causes.
Conducted research shows what courses are chosen by Russian universities; what attitudes Russian academics have toward innovations in interaction and communication with foreign universities.
What are the strategies of promotion the Russian universities to the international education market? Analysis allows reducing these strategies to the following main types. Mobilization strategy bringing all university resources together allows university successfully moving to the international educational market. Situational strategy depends on current situation, often university promotes the particular set of activities, for example the most successful or conventional. Wait-and-see strategy is the strategy when the university does not take any initiative in international cooperation field. Causes for such strategy might be the rejection of these activities in principal, lack of resources, unclaimed university's graduates on a labor market or previous unsuccessful experience of realization international joint programs.