BRINGING RESEARCH AND EDUCATION TOGETHER: THE EXPERIENCES OF RUSSIA, GERMANY AND FRANCE
Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The question of how to bring research and education together is a highly-topical and widely discussed issue in many countries. This paper presents a cross-sector overview on recent policy developments in Russia, Germany, and France, which are aimed at reinforcing the links between research and education on the basis of so called research universities. While a major focus of our analysis is laid on the developments in Russia, whose system of university research and education has recently seen some serious transformations, two other countries, Germany and France, have been chosen for our comparison in view of current and past influences of their scientific-education models on the corresponding system in Russia. Our major thesis is that, despite natural differences which are due to different socio-historical backgrounds and related factors, these three countries demonstrate a relatively high level of comparability and similarities of their scientific-education systems, with direct implications for existing approaches to common challenges that are faced by them. We support our thesis with the results of a comparative analysis on (i) the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the three scientific-education systems; (ii) the respective conceptual and ideological fundamentals (in particular, the importance of the ‘Humboldtian ideal’ and the French concept of ‘Écoles spéciales’ for modern Russian higher education and research); (iii) policy rationales with regard to the problem of integrating research and education (in the context of the modernization debates in Russia and France, the revival of research traditions at universities in Russia and France, and the improvement of teaching at highly research-oriented universities in Germany), and (iv) the corresponding policy instruments (the establishment of a network of national research universities in Russia; Exzellenzinitiative in Germany; Labex and Operation Campus in France; merging of universities in France and Russia, with examples of the University of Strasbourg and the Russian Federal Universities). Finally, we explore common problems and policy implications with regard to the described developments in the scientific-educational systems of the three countries, and substantiate on such issues as (i) the problem of university autonomy and (research, administrative, and financial) freedoms (i.e. the existing approaches in the three countries and policy initiatives, e.g. national laws on scientific freedom and organizational autonomy of (research) universities); (ii) the interaction of research universities with the academic world and industry, as well as (iii) internationalization efforts (mobility strategies, e.g. the Russian Decree 220 underpinning a set of measures for the attraction of top researchers to Russian universities, and the Export Strategy for Higher Education Services; select initiatives in France and in Germany), and the role of the Russian, German, and French languages in global science and higher education. The analysis of the existing approaches in the three countries is intended for a general debate on the integration of research and education, and provides input in the context of joint policy initiatives in the area of university research.
Keywords: Research, education, Russia, Germany, France.