TERRA ECONOMICUS, , Vol. 15 (no. 4),

The article summarizes the research findings obtained during the study of higher and continuing professional education (CPE) in the Rostov region (South of Russia) by the research group of the Southern Federal University, the Faculty of Economics, in 2015–2017. The study has been focused on recent institutional change induced by the Federal Government’s higher education and CPE reforms in Russia, and resulted in adaptation responses of the parties involved. Original Institutional Economics is used as the theoretical framework, the relevance of the social constructivist methodology to the research problem is emphasized. The qualitative research has been relied upon: 50 in-depth interviews with the lecturers, administrative staff (directors and managers) and students of the higher educational institutions; and 50 in-depth interviews with CPE representatives (managers and organizers, lecturers and trainers, and students). The research findings show that strict orientation towards KPIs in higher education, along with the evidence of predominantly negative incentives, do not correspond with long-term efficiency of educational process, while the interests of the main parties involved in the educational and research processes (students, teachers and lecturers) are virtually ignored. In CPE, a range of problems exists, including: low involvement of the adult population, due to low motivation to continue education and participate in the educational process; demand volatility for CPE programs; low quality of existing CPR programs caused by dumping in the educational services market; lack of a direct link between the upgrading of skills and the level of wages, as well as career growth; price barrier for the CPE students.

Keywords: adaptive behavior; institutional change; higher education; continuing professional education (CPE); government reforms; Russia; qualitative research

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Publisher: Southern Federal University
Founder: Southern Federal University
ISSN: 2073-6606