Arhive: #1 2020


Model of Federal-Regional Relations in Governance of Higher Education in the Russian Federation

Models of governance of higher education in large and heterogeneous countries with numerous universities significantly differ from approaches to coordinating universities in unitary states. The research literature still lacks in-depth analysis of these differences. At the same time, achievement of national goals for the higher educations development in federal countries requires an effective model for the distribution of responsibilities between governments federal and regional levels. The paper studies the structure of a model of federal-regional relations in higher education in the Russian Federation. For this purpose, I consider the history and preconditions for shaping the model of federalism in higher education. Additionally, I examine the present balance of federal and regional powers in governance of higher education. The article analyses the structure of federalism in higher education in the Russian Federation in comparison with eight countries characterised by heterogeneous regional higher education systems. The studys results have shown that Russian model of federalism in higher education remains one of the most centralised among comparable countries. Budget and tax policies are the prerogatives of the federal government, as the regions have limited opportunities to influence the development of universities, including restrictions on co-financing the federal universities. The model of governance of higher education in Russia is based on the principle of pragmatic federalism. This principle implies that the balance of federal-regional relations should solve specific problems facing the country in general, not individual regions. Based on the analysis, the paper suggests directions for changing the balance of federal-regional relations in higher education. They involve the expansion of the principle of subsidiarity between levels of government, with the preservation of the majority of powers at the federal level. Governance of regional higher education systems should enable concentration of federal and regional resources on certain university programs and development projects.