Institute of Sociology
of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Titarenko L. (2019) Higher Education Systems in Russia and Belarus: A Comparative Approach. Mir Rossii, vol. 28, no 4, pp. 112–127. DOI: 10.17323 ...

Titarenko L. (2019) Higher Education Systems in Russia and Belarus: A Comparative Approach. Mir Rossii, vol. 28, no 4, pp. 112–127. DOI: 10.17323/1811-038X-2019-28-4-112-127
ISSN 1811-038X
DOI 10.17323/1811-038X-2019-28-4-112-127

Posted on site: 06.04.20

Текст статьи на сайте журнала URL: (дата обращения 06.04.2020)


The modernization of higher education in Russia and Belarus is still topical, despite the numerous changes already made to the higher education systems (HES) of both countries in the post-Soviet period. This article shows the similarities and differences in the practice of developing HES in Russia and Belarus. The analysis is based on statistical materials, an analysis of the literature in both countries, survey data, and in-depth interviews conducted by the author with higher education experts in Belarus in 2018. The starting point for both countries was the Soviet model of higher education. Over time, each country developed this heritage in its own way. Despite the existence of common features in the organization and management of higher education, today this sphere in Belarus is characterized by more centralized management than in Russia. Centralization finds expression in the greater uniformity of educational programs, university practices, and decision-making. The article shows that in Russia the regionalization of higher education is proceeding at a faster pace, manifested in the active attraction of foreign students. In Belarus this process has a similar vector, but is progressing more slowly. Internationalization has several directions (European, Eurasian, Asian). Neither country wants to give up national priorities in the integration into the European space of higher education, while the implementation of the Bologna principles is higher in Russia. Regardless of changes in the architecture of higher education, the problems of its quality and student motivation remain on the agenda. The Belarusian centralization of the HES slightly differs from the Russian one. Both countries are searching for answers to similar global challenges—answers which are suitable for their national socio-economic and political conditions. Russia and Belarus are objectively interested in changes in their HES which will contribute to the effective development of their countries.