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What Should We Do with Our Science and Higher Education?

What Should We Do with Our Science and Higher Education?
Oleg Rodionov, Marina Sanguliya 24.11.2006

The priority national project "Education" includes also section about further development and support of higher education in Russia. There are already first successes in its realization. In 2006 5 billion roubles were sent to 17 high institutions of the country which presented for competition the best innovative programs. In November, 2006 new competition of innovative programs on selection of 20 more high institutions will start, these institutions will receive money in 2007. Preparation of all necessary documentation about the beginning of construction of two newest Universities in Siberia and South Area. The first stone has been laid in the construction under Moscow of absolutely new for Russia educational institution – the first business-school which will prepare top-managers for industry, banks and business in general. In 2007 construction of similar school near Saint-Petersburg will start.

Unfortunately, development of fundamental and engineering science in scientific and academic institutes is not realized yet within the limits of this or new project. Possibly, everything’s ahead. For now we shall try to prove that even realization of the national project "Education" is vital to the country.

It’s known about crisis in scientific sphere of today's Russia but also during Soviet time not everything looked ideal. Successes of the USSR in scientific and technical area were strongly exaggerated. At the end of 80th years the quantity of students of high institutions in recalculation on 1 thousand of population made in the USSR nearby 18 people whereas in the USA - almost 55; thus the share of the population receiving education in higher educational institutions during even one year within five years after leaving school made in the USSR approximately 20%, while in the USA the same criterion exceeded 63%.

It is necessary to note that during Soviet time the scientific staff were used in the advanced branches but did not render deciding influence on final consumption. Quite often they found themselves on the enterprises which did not try to update technologies and assortment of ready-made goods. Therefore the break in efficiency of use of highly educated experts appeared even more significant than in their number. The problem was even more aggravated in modern Russia where the level of innovative activity decreased even in comparison to the Soviet one. The share of Russia in export of science-intensive products in the world is – 0.3% while Gross Domestic Product is – 2.6% from the world one. That means that more than moderate economic contribution of Russia into the world economy considerably exceeds the share of Russia into the economy of knowledge. It can simply be named feeble.

The main reason of crash of the Soviet economy became its inability to create to the full and use the intellectual capital - the major resource of postindustrial type of economy. This conclusion, unfortunately, coincides with the characteristic of economy of modern Russia.

For the sake of objectivity it should be said that the Russian economy (except for, unfortunately, few examples) also is not focused on creation of intellectual capital and introduction of innovations.

Meanwhile it is obvious in competition for the best public and state system will win the society which will achieve as maximum possible effective process of creation and introduction of knowledge. It can be seen on a following example of interrelation of intelligence (in this case one of sectors of this phenomenon - education) and efficiency of economy. According to experts of Modern Humanitarian Academy, it looks as follows.

Contribution of high education into the economy of the country


Gross Domestic Product per one employee, thousand roubles/year

In manufacturing sphere

In manufacturing and non-manufacturing spheres








15 times increase

7 times increase






This simple example illustrates important thesis - the quantity of people with higher education basically cannot be greater (especially, "too greater") in the society and the state. Ideally all 100 % of citizens should possess higher education. Moreover, during work they should constantly, not less than one time in 5-7 years pass serious retraining.

Today in Russia, first of all, such retraining takes place one time in 15-20 years and, secondly, in a lot of specialities it is not carried out at all during all working activity.

Another fact is also remarkable. It is known that less and less people work on speciality received in HIGH Institution. By 40 years, by some estimations, no more than 10-15 %. It means, that the other 85-90 % of citizens should have retraining by themselves, either in HIGH Institution or on courses. In practice, however, it turns out that such retraining, as a rule, was spent independently that, naturally, should have affected its quality.

At last, the economy of knowledge has generated one more phenomenon - the increasing number of citizens involved, first of all, in high technology branches and creative trades become "individual businessmen" or pass to such form of work as work under projects. It leads, naturally, not only to change of work but frequently also to the change of specialities. It, in its turn, again demands retraining and often also creations of new trades and specialities.

 «Science-intensity» of personality is closely connected with getting incomes


Annual salary (average in the Russian Federation), thousand roubles

In manufacturing sphere

In manufacturing and non-manufacturing spheres











Graduates from high institutions: increase of income tax – 2 times;

Increase of Uniform Social Tax – 2 times;

Increase of profit tax – 2 times;

VAT increase – 4 times;

Mastering of high technologies and increase of growth speed of the economy – 4 times.

As it can be seen from the data given, "profitableness" of not only a person but also the state sharply increases with the growth of erudition of citizens. As a result it turns out that the new economy - economy of knowledge - inevitably conducts to radical transformation of public structure and quality of personality. Qualitatively new social model of a social system not having anything in common with classical previous models - liberal, communistic, social democratic is being formed, as a matter of fact. For this reason, the new social model, new social system in Russia should not and will not have anything in common with old, Soviet or neoliberal social systems for Russia. It is necessary for understanding, "designing" today new political programs It is necessary to understand during "designing" of new political programs today. On the questions of principle: a place in manufacture process, attitude to the property, a role of the state, a parity of national and political-class interests, the attitude to history and culture of Russia, its spiritual, including orthodox heritage, patterns of ownership, etc., and the main thing – attitude to the person - the new model will resolutely differ from political practice of socialist and neoliberal ideology and heritage.

Summing up, I shall recite opinion of the first vice-premier of the government of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev - the main curator of realization of priority national projects. On one of his numerous meetings on which the course of realization of priority national projects is discussed in connection to the national project "Education" Medvedev noted that knowledge now turned into that factor which has not only moral and pedagogical value but quite material measurement. "Understanding of the fact that all economy of the present century will be based on innovations is growing all round the world and thus the value of the intellectual resource has grown many times”, - he said.

According to Dmitry Medvedev, work within the limits of the national project is directed on creation of the effective, innovative, technologically built and at the same time accessible formation at all steps starting from high institution and finishing with after institutional. It will promote to the increase of prestige of education and not only regarding prestige of work of the teacher. "If education is prestigious, it attracts attention of parents. And children start to feel value of education and they can hardly be deceived. They understand that knowledge can be directly converted into the life success. In this meaning to support prestige of education is – a state target and the target for the whole society”, - the first vice-premier said.

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