P. Ambarova

Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
Innovation, being the driving force in the modern society, has become an important element of the university environment. The formation of innovative infrastructure, technology and culture is the ideologeme on which the strategies for the development of universities in modern Russia are based. Meanwhile, the innovativeness of Russian universities is not really taking roots in the consciousness and culture of educational groups.

The following paper presents the analysis of this problem, which is especially the case for the universities in the Russian regions. Empirical data were obtained in the framework of the research conducted in 2016-2017. During the first stage (2016) deep semi-formalized interviews were conducted with 80 experts – representatives of the scientific and pedagogical communities and university management.

Experts represented universities from all regions of Russia. During the second stage (2017), a mass survey of university teachers in the Urals Federal District was conducted (a quota sample was used, 810 people).

The purpose of the study was to identify the contradictions that characterize the development of innovation activities of Russian universities. To achieve the goal, the following research questions were raised:
1. What are the ideas about the innovativeness of universities of university leaders and teachers? Do they differ?
2. What are the differences in the content of innovation activities of representatives of technical, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities?
3. How to create environment in Russian universities, that would be generating innovative consciousness, innovative culture, innovative activity?
4. Is «innovation by order» possible? How does the university bureaucracy interfere with creativity?

The main result of the study was the identification of imbalances that characterize the innovation activity of Russian universities:
1) the development of innovations in the field of exact and natural sciences and the field of applied developments associated with them is being supported, however, social and humanitarian innovations are not developing;
2) university management draws attention to the final formal indicators of innovation, but is not engaged in the formation of innovative culture among students and teachers;
3) quantitative indicators dominate in the adopted systems for evaluating the innovativeness of universities and quality ones are not taken into account;
4) the development of innovation is seriously hindered by the increased bureaucratization of university management, scientific and educational activities.

The results of the research serve as a key to understanding the role of the human factor in the transformation of Russian universities. Interpretations of innovation become the basis for developing a strategy for the development of universities, assessing their effectiveness, allocating resources. Differences in these interpretations often generate conflicts, grievances, and competition in the real interaction of universities, which «tear apart» the region's unified educational space.