The Future of Russia’s Higher Education

Check out this article in The Moscow Times on the future of Russian universities.

Mark Nuckols, a journalist for Moscow Times, points out how Russian universities have not cracked the top 200 universities in the world for another year in a row. Nuckols points to several facts that explain this.

For one, funding universities requires an efficient bureaucracy to coordinate the various in-flows of money. Russia is not well known for this bureaucratic organization.

Russian universities have a higher level of corruption and distrust, creating a poor environment for research and collaboration.

US universities have also collaborated closely with industries and businesses, providing both funding and incentive for innovations.

Top-notch professors in Russia seek employment at the worlds best universities–which as the aforementioned ranking tells us, does not include any Russian universities. Conversely, very few western academics seek employment in Russia due to the less liberal society and restricting laws.

Nuckols goes on to explore potential ways Russia could reverse this trend, but the picture he paints isn’t too optimistic. What does this mean for Russia’s future?

Kemerovo region bans foreign adoption

The regional legislature of Kemerovo Oblast, a region in Central Russia, passed a law on Wednesday, September 25th that banned all adoption of Russian children by foreign persons. They cited as their reasoning several cases of Russian children being placed with abusive families abroad, particularly in the United States. Last September the State Duma, or parliament, passed a law making it illegal for Russian children to be adopted by American families; now they are expanding that ban globally. Another reason for the ban, says Galina Solovyova, deputy chairman of the regional education committee, is legalized gay marriage in other countries. Russia sees that type of exposure to its young citizens has dangerous.

Follow the link below to see the original article in The Moscow Times:

Kemerovo Authorities Ban Foreign Adoption

What does this mean for future generations of Russia? What is next, a ban on international travel for youths under age 25? Or, perhaps, just a ban on travel to countries where gay marriage is legalized? Clearly the issue of gay marriage is of concern to Russian authorities and they have been working hard to undermine the movement and quash the public’s notions of reform. But when in history has isolating one’s country ever proved to be successful in the long run?┬áBy refusing to grant rights of marriage to same-sex couples, and now this ban on foreign adoption, Russia is setting itself in clear opposition to the other great, liberal powers of the world. Only time will tell if that move is a wise one.