WENR, June 2008: Russia & CIS


Government Taking Strides to Reduce Credentials Fraud

According to a recent police report issued in May, forged academic credentials have been used by at least 200,000 people in Russia to get a job. The figure comes from statistics released by the Russian Interior Ministry.

“The worst news is that there are doctors, lawyers, police officers, and even the most influential bureaucrats among these fake specialists,” said Vladimir Korobkov, a spokesman for Moscow city police, in a telephone interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education.

To halt the use of fake documents in sensitive jobs, the ministry announced on Monday that it is creating a database, with the help of the education ministry that will list every legitimate graduate of Russian universities. Officials also said they would be doing more to prosecute people who sell, use, or distribute fake degrees. The ministry said it would start with its own employees, checking that their credentials were valid.

The Chronicle of Higher Education [1]
May 6, 2008

Enrollments to Suffer from Shrinking Population

Facing a rapidly declining population, Russian universities and colleges are expecting a 30 percent nosedive in applications for next year and in some regions students can expect to be admitted without having to take an entrance examination.

According to the most recent Ministry of Education and Science [2] statistics, 1.05 million students will leave school this summer compared with 1.32 million in 2005. Approximately one million places are available to first-year students in institutions of higher education. Parity of places and applicants means that all but the most prestigious schools will essentially be offering open enrollment. In 2009, the number of school leavers will fall to an estimated 930,000 and in 2010 it will fall further to 808,000.

Not unlike the current demographic situation faced by universities in Japan, Russian institutions of higher education, especially in the regions, will either have to compete fiercely for a dwindling pool of students and likely remain well under capacity, or consider the prospect of mergers and closure. All but the best institutions will have to fight hard for survival, if Japan is any kind of model to consider.

University World News [3]
May 18, 2008