22 SES 13 C, Understanding Challenges of Student Transition from School to Tertiary Education in Post-Soviet States: cases of Russia, Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan
The changing social and economic conditions of modern Russia result into transformations in labor market and appearance of the new lines of approach to education. After finishing school students face a hard choice of carving the further educational path. The paper explores the peculiarities of students’ transitions from school to university in changing socio-economic conditions of modern Russia. The paper is based on the results of two-year mixed-methods case study of entrants and first-year university students in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Institutional structure of education, which determines national educational politics in Russia, can be described as centralized, as it functions in accordance to generally accepted standards which regulate the educational process. The centrally held in the Russian Federation unified form of examination in secondary school (“EGE”, rus. “ЕГЭ”) serves both as school final exams and entrance exams to university. This system allows young people to choose between the different educational options and apply as a student to different universities and departments at the same time. At the same time, due to the various factors, educational strategies of young people are usually notable for their chaotic character and late period of decision-making (after the EGE). The first step in choosing the university is choosing a town for future living, as higher education is often seen as a starting point for further geographical mobility. At the same time, the selection of an academic institution and profession usually processes unsystematically and is determined rather by EGE grades (that confine the spectrum of possible educational variants) than by personal interest. For the university entrants it is hard to make a deliberate decision, so parents and peers become the important agents in a process of decision making. Along with other peculiarities of transition from school to tertiary education, the paper will present life trajectories and system of priorities of new generation of Russian students.
Zelman, M. (2004) Features of Unified State Exam in the context of educational testing in the US. Voprosy obrazovaniya, 2. pp. 234-248.
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