Specifics and Dynamics of Russian Business Education


Alexander  Mechitov and Helen Moshkovich

a peer-reviewed caseAlexander Mechitov mechitov@montevallo.edu is an Associate Professor, Stephens College of Business, University of Montevallo. Helen Moshkovich moshhm@montevallo.edu is an Assistant Professor, University of Montevallo.


This article describes the principal trends in Russian business education since the beginning of market reforms in 1992.  During this period, the business programs' content, budgeting, and enrollment have undergone significant change. This transformation has substantially advanced the structure of Russian business education by adding a large number of new, private business schools that incorporate western business education models and instruction materials, and by developing MBA programs. On the other hand, business education in Russia continues to reflect the peculiarities of the old Soviet academic system, and this heritage influences the directions and the dynamics of the ongoing transformation. This article concludes by outlining the areas of greatest importance for further progress in Russian business education.



In the last fifteen years Russia has undergone many changes in its political, economic, and social life.  These changes have had a dramatic impact on all of Russia's social institutions, including its academic system. For many years, the communist state considered science and technology a vital element of its military might and generously allocated resources to academia for use in scientific and technological disciplines. Since the beginning of free market reforms in 1992, advanced science and education have ceased to be among the government's top priorities, bringing about a significant decline in state support for scientific research and education.The Russian academic community has lost much of its former social prestige, and it has been forced to adapt itself to the rapidly changing environment brought about by an emerging market economy.

Changes in Russian business education have been even more profound than in other areas. In Soviet times, the large but primitive economy required neither very many nor sophisticated business specialists, and the prestige of business programs in universities was comparatively low.  The shift to a market economy dramatically altered the rules of the game, placing entirely different demands on business education. Russian business schools have found that survival in the new circumstances depends on their ability to substantially reinvent themselves. Those who have successfully adapted to the new environment have discovered a countless number of new opportunities.

In this article we first highlight the most important changes in Russian business education and describe some peculiarities of Russia's education system in general that are primarily  legacies of the old Soviet system. We then examine how these peculiarities have affected the structure and content of Russian business programs and analyze the main directions the development of Russian business schools has taken in the last decade, including the expansion of  programs and enrollments, and the evolution of teaching practices. In the forth section of this article, we discuss the rankings of the best Russian business schools, analyzing the geographic distribution of the premier business institutions and the emphasis of their programs.  In conclusion, we formulate the most important problems currently facing Russian business education.

The authors of this article have significant experience in academic activities in both Russian and American universities, having had the chance to witness and research Russian business education during its transition between the old and the current system. Most of the claims advanced in this article, mainly qualitative due to lack of reliable and comprehensive statistics, are based on the authors' first-hand experience except where they are credited to others.

Peculiarity of Business Institutions and Programs

Each country has its educational system structure, which reflects both the country's and educational system's history, traditions, mode of operations. Russia, a vast country with a totalitarian political system in place for many centuries, has developed in a certain isolation. This isolation was especially profound in the 75 years of the Soviet period, when contacts between Russian students and faculty and their peers outside the Soviet Union's borders were minimal. In an effort to compete with the entire world, Soviet academic policy was twofold. First, the Soviet establishment had always recognized the importance of science and education and did its best to provide for adequate support to academia. Consequently, Soviet successes in many fields were well-known, and the Soviet educational system was held in high regard both inside the country and abroad. Second, with a poor and rather backward economy and very limited resources, the Soviet state did its best to keep the academic system not only effective, but also highly efficient. The main tool for achieving those two goals was high degree of specialization and theconcentration of academic resources, a practice which had ramifications, in particular, in the way the education system was organized in Russia.

Traditionally, Russian universities and colleges were more specialized than their western counterparts. Before the perestroika, few universities in Russia offered a wide variety of academic programs in the way American schools did. Those universities were located only in large population centers, with not more than one per city. Other institutions of higher education focused on serving different areas of the national economy. For example, the Moscow Institute for Metallurgy was a large university in Moscow, with more than 18,000 students that prepared all types of specialists for the steel industry, including economists, chemists, ecologists, etc. (Mechitov, Schellenberger, Taylor, 1995). All graduates of this school received a substantial background in metallurgy and were expected to find jobs in numerous research and manufacturing enterprises of the Soviet Ministry of Metallurgy, a policy that was not always implemented.

Such was a typical structure of the Soviet universities. Each industry and federal ministry, including the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Culture, had their own higher education institutions, preparing specialists to suit their needs. As a result, as far as business programs are concerned, all of these universities had their own business colleges (usually termed economic colleges) with substantially different programs. Depending on their area of specialization, in addition to core business classes, they covered topics in different areas, from oil to coal mining to art and electronics. In addition to these colleges of business, many separate large universities existed, specializing in business and economics, like the Moscow School of Economics, Statistics and Informatics, or the St. Petersburg Financial Academy. These schools prepared specialists with a broader background in business for the Ministry of Finance, the Central State Planning Committee, and other federal economic and financial institutions.

Russian university programs were, on average, also much more specialized than peer programs in Western schools (Kishovsky,  2000). In order to keep the educational process inexpensive; yet effective, schools in Soviet times tended to minimize the general education component in college curricula and maximize the size of major programs. On average, the size of a Russian general education component was almost two times smaller than in American schools, leaving more hours to the major components. College business programs have never included courses in communications, literature, or the natural sciences. They were more concentrated on teaching theoretical knowledge than on developing reasoning and critical thinking. In general, the students' communication skills were very low, and class discussions, presentations, case studies and other individual and team assignments, which required active interaction between students and instructors, were nearly absent in Russian schools.

Influenced by the Soviet military complex, Russian education paid more attention to technical areas at the expense of liberal arts elements. In middle and high schools, Russian students were required to take a significant course load of math and physics (e.g., Russian students must take algebra classes every semester from the fifth grade until graduation; the same for geometry classes since the eighth grade and for physics since the seventh grade). Business college programs were likewise overloaded with applied mathematics, statistics, economics, and operations management disciplines with very little attention paid to managerial problems (Evans, Birch, 1995). In the past, business programs in Russia rarely included classes on organizational behavior, labor relations, or human resource management. All these topics were covered in general management courses and had a highly ideological flavor.

Adherence to straight-forward program schedules, allowing for few changes and variations, comprised another way for Russian colleges to achieve high effectiveness.  First, the undergraduate programs offered very few electives, providing students little space for individualizing their programs of study. Second, all undergraduate programs had a predetermined schedule of classes for each semester. Many American university catalogs also include a  "suggested course of study" with a recommended sequence of classes for each semester, but in American schools this is used primarily as a planning aid, never enforced and rarely followed in its entirety.  The rigid structures of Russia's programs presented colleges with a better way of arranging classes and following prerequisites; however, this made it impossible to adjust class loads and schedules to suit individual students' needs. This practice likewise made it very difficult to change majors even at the sophomore level (as a rule, Russian students had to declare their majors when applying to the schools). Additionally, the Soviet educational system, enforcing the concentration of students on their majors, never incorporated minors into the college programs.

One more peculiarity of Russian higher education was an absence of dual  "master and bachelor" degrees. The Soviet state never encouraged its citizens to change majors or to pursue another profession, considering it a waste of resources. As a result, it was considered a luxury to support a two-level higher education system, and colleges allowed enrollment in undergraduate programs after the age of 35 only in exceptional cases. Such organization corresponded well with the philosophy of a central-planning society, but it substantially hampered the development of  entrepreneurship and the mobility of the labor force.

Following the specialization paradigm, Soviet universities were mainly concentrated on teaching, while research was primarily conducted in the institutions of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). Founded by Czar Peter the Great, RAS has been in charge of the most important research projects in Russia for almost three centuries. It comprised about a hundred large and highly specialized research institutions (usually named "research institutes" with hundreds of highly qualified researchers and only graduate programs of study. These institutes, usually concentrated in a few large cities, in turn specialized in certain areas. To give a better understanding, we mention the Institute of Organic Chemistry, the Institute of Sociology, and the Institute of Mathematics, all of which had about one thousand faculty members and were involved in cutting-edge research projects in the corresponding fields.

The Russian Academy of Sciences, among others, included several economic institutes. The largest and most famous were the Institute of Economics, the Central Mathematical Economy Institute, and the Institute for National Economy Forecasting, all located in Moscow. Often functioning as "think tanks", they routinely prepared various analytical reports and justifications for the government's business decisions. All of these schools featured large graduate programs, but did not have any undergraduate students. This division between graduate and undergraduate programs led to certain isolation between institutes of the RAS and Russian universities, artificially dividing the two sides of the academic process: research and teaching.

Finally, another important characteristic of the Russian higher education system was the complete absence of private schools. All colleges and universities were fully funded from federal and state budgets and had neither opportunities nor rights to attract funds from other sources. With free-of-charge higher education, some schools offered additional tuition-based classes for members of the local communities but schools gained little financial benefit. Among others, the state monopoly on education resulted in chronic discrepancies between supply and demand in the Russian job market. The famous deficit and inflexibility, inherent in a central planning society, were in the same scale displayed by Soviet higher education.

Business Schools Reinvent Themselves

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the introduction of market reforms in the early 1990s instantly changed the landscape of Russian society. A poor, but quiet and secure life with many social safety nets, such as almost guaranteed employment, free medical care, and free higher education, rapidly disappeared. The emerging market economy required new skills and new professionals able to work in a brand new, dynamic social environment. All of this had a profound influence on Russian education, affecting both the supply and demand parts of the equation.

On the demand side, the old planning system limited universities' independence in making decisions in all the important areas, including what programs to offer and how many students to enroll. Both decisions had to advance through rather bureaucratic and lengthy arrangements with the Ministry of Higher Education, whose policy was to oversupply the national economy with engineers, teachers, and physicians. The Soviet economy, dominated by large state-owned enterprises, did not have a high demand for business specialists; consequently, the prestige and salaries of graduates with business degrees was at best at average levels (Mechitov, Peper, Taylor, 1998). Enrollment in business schools was comparatively low and not very competitive, with the exception of a few Moscow universities that prepared specialists for the high echelons of the federal agencies.

Market reforms instantly shifted that equilibrium. Demand for all business professions, especially those required by small businesses, like accountants and managers, skyrocketed (Puffer, McCarthy, Naumov, Elgar, 2000). It was multiplied by the fact that the older generation of specialists found it rather difficult to adapt themselves to a "brave new world" which required not so much following supervisors' orders, but initiative, energy, good communication skills, and the will to take risks. New businesses, especially in the service areas, gave a clear preference to hiring young employees who had not been  '"spoiled¡" by the atmosphere of Soviet enterprises with its orientation, not on the customer's needs, but on the fulfillment of production plans. With the enormous rise in prestige of business degrees, many of those with diplomas in natural sciences and liberal arts also applied to business schools to claim their share in the new Russian market frenzy.

Although none of the Russian federal agencies had ever provided estimates on the demand for various specialists (Russia was and still is famous for very fragmented and unreliable statistics, which in addition are sometimes unavailable to the public), many indirect observations during the 1990s indicated an increased demand for business professionals. Since 1991, the classified ad sections of Russian newspapers and magazines were filled with business positions, with the highest compensation offered by accounting jobs. A majority of accountants we interviewed in Russia in 1995, 1997, and 2000 worked concurrently for several businesses due to a high demand for their skills.

On the supply side, a substantial decrease in federal support for education accompanied the collapse of the Soviet Union. Squeezed by the dramatic economic decline, the Russian government decreased financing of academic institutions in both absolute and relative (as percentage of the federal budget expenses) terms (Pokrovsky, 1995). According to UNESCO Institute for Statistics data (Russia Profile, 2004),  public educational expenditures in Russia fell from 3.5 percent of GDP in 1990 to 3.0 percent in 2000, and represent 3.1 percent in 2004. (For comparison, the same figures in 2004 are 5.6 percent in the U.S., 4.6 percent in Germany, and 4.0 percent in Brazil.) This decline looks even more impressive taking into account the significant decrease of the Russian GDP in absolute terms during the same period. In addition, federal budget cuts in higher education were substantially deeper than for other educational institutions. According to Kuzminov (2002), during the 1990s, the federal expenses for one student in secondary education decreased by 38 percent, while in higher education they declined by 70 percent.

To help educational institutions to survive, the Russian federal government granted universities permission to engage in some entrepreneurial activities. In particular, state schools gained broad rights in charging students with low GPAs and in recruiting some students on a fully paid basis. The most revolutionary move was allowing private schools in both secondary and higher education. The result of those changes was an explosion of all types of new educational institutions. Non-existent since 1917, today the private sector represents almost half of Russian higher education. In 2002 there were about 600 state schools and 400 private schools in Russia, with the share of private schools continuing to rise. Remarkably, almost half of all new programs are concentrated in business education (Puffer, 2003). During the first decade after the liberalization, there was virtually unlimited demand for business degrees, which had become some of the most prestigious and highly paid (Dezhneva, 2002). Demand for business instructors in the second part of the 1990s was so high, that, according to our personal observations, a majority of business professors in Russia lectured concurrently in several schools due to the extremely attractive offers they received.

The enormous demand for business professionals was reflected by increased enrollment and graduation rates for business majors. As a result, according to the Russian Federal Statistical Bureau, the graduation of business majors almost tripled  during the 90s from about 55,000 in 1990 to 140,000 in 2000 (Russian Higher Education Statistics, 2004).  None of other academic areas experienced such growth: during the same period, graduation rates in natural sciences (36,000 and 38,000), education (41,000 and 43,000), and health care (25,000 and 23,000) remained essentially static.

Several ways of opening new schools and programs were available. One was to create brand new schools, like the Moscow Independent University. Another was to open a branch or branches of existing schools, especially in small cities without pre-existing colleges. In the third variant, new schools and programs were a result of cooperation between institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences and universities; which allowed putting together high academic qualifications of RAS faculty with the teaching infrastructure of existing universities. Finally, in addition to full-scale colleges, many short-term accelerated programs were opened.

Despite of large number of new private business schools, their share in Russian business education remains small. In 2000 (the last year Russian Federal Statistical Bureau provides such data) private business schools graduated 14,500 business majors, which represented less than 10 percent of all business graduates (Russian Higher Education Statistics, 2004). The majority of those private schools are small, with equally small budgets and fairly low academic standards. (Kuzminov, 2003). Many new schools are poorly equipped, hold classes in shabby classrooms, have few computing facilities, and often no libraries. On the other hand, there are schools that have quickly become members of elite business institutions in Russia. Some of them, sponsored by well-established institutions like the Moscow Institute on Economics, Politics and Law, organized by RAS and the Moscow Finance Academy, were in much better shape. There were many new business schools, especially in Moscow, that were sponsored by famous economists and high-ranking politicians who actively used their influence to promote their schools and to get federal support. The most famous examples are the Moscow International University, organized by former Higher Education Minister G.Yagodin and former Moscow mayor G.Popov, and the Higher School of Economics, organized by former Minister of Economics E.Yasin. Both schools are oriented towards elite business education and actively participate in retraining federal employees, using contacts of their high-level protégés.

However, lack of equipment was not the most important problem for newly-born business programs. The main difficulty was the lack of qualified instructors (Puffer, 2003). In the beginning of this transition period, it was necessary, not only to prepare new graduates for a new economy, but also to prepare new teachers, and to do so in a very short time span. Russian universities addressed this problem primarily via intensive importation of Western instructors, programs, and textbooks (Mechitov, Peper, Taylor, 1998). In addition, they actively engaged in all types of exchange programs to send their professors and graduate students to peer institutions in foreign countries.

George Soros's Open Society Foundation, Ford Foundation, Eurasia Foundation, Fulbright Program, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and many other American and West European federal and non-profit organizations played a significant role in supporting Russian education. That support was twofold. First, by different grant programs they provided and continue to provide large-scale direct support to Russian academia, helping to develop new and to fund existing educational and research programs in Russia. According to UNESCO (Russia Profile, 2004), in 2004 foreign funds represent an impressive 8.6percent in gross Russian expenditures on research and development (the same number is close to zero in the U.S. and Brazil, and is only 0.4 percent in Germany). Second, these programs allowed thousands of Russian faculty to visit peer institutions in the West and acquire first-hand experience with Western educational systems. According to Kuzminov (2002), such exchange programs helped Russian professors to advance their knowledge on market economy, to better understand the organization of Western business knowledge and to accelerate its integration into Russian schools.

Another result of the numerous academic contacts in the last decade was the establishment of several joint business programs, co-sponsored by Russian and Western universities. The pioneer of this type of collaborations was a joint MBA program between the Academy of National Economy, headed by former business advisor to Gorbachev, academic A.Aganbegian, and California State University, Hayward. The role and popularity of foreign instructors and programs has declined in recent years due to the success of Russian business schools in preparing their own faculty.

Changes in Russian business education affected the relative importance of different business areas. In Soviet times, business schools were concentrated on economics, finance, and management science programs, with emphasis on large-scale mathematical modeling. The new economy radically changed that balance, making accounting and management the principal majors in demand, 2003. The most remarkable change occurred in accounting programs. Never considered attractive in Soviet times, they experienced revolutionary expansion in the 90s. A myriad of new small and not-so-small businesses required those with a basic understanding of accounting to be capable to fill out balance sheets and tax forms. The demand for accountants was, to a large extent, satisfied by short-term accounting programs, which provided very basic knowledge on accounting and familiarized students with primitive computerized accounting programs.

Management became the second most popular business major in the 90s. It was offered only in a few universities before perestroika, but it rapidly earned almost the same popularity and scale it always had in American schools. Both existing state and newly founded private schools opened many additional management departments and incorporated brand new management courses into other business programs. The exceptional speed of the new program's development, in addition to changes in the Russian economy's management styles, led Puffer to call it a management revolution in Russia (Puffer, 2003).

Being under great western scholarly influence and trying to intensify cooperation with peer institutions abroad, Russian business schools took several steps toward adjusting their programs to meet Western standards. First, Russian business programs have become less technical and more managerially oriented. Still requiring a solid mathematical and computer background, business schools have started to provide more courses on entrepreneurship, leadership, and organizational behavior, as well as requiring students to take more classes in liberal arts areas, including foreign languages. Second, as Russian society is becoming more dynamic and students more often have to combine their classes with their jobs, Russian schools strive to make their programs more flexible and more consistent with one another. In 2000, the Russian Ministry of Education introduced a systematic accreditation of all private schools (Dechneva, 2002). The Russian Association of Business Education (RABE), the analogue of AACSB, was established in 1990 and is now playing an increasing role in developing standards for business education. Third, Russian business schools gradually advanced the concepts of continuing education and the development of master degree programs (Savickaya, 2003). From 1999 to 2003, RABE ran pilot MBA programs in about twenty Russian schools. As is very common for Russia, 82 percent of existing MBA programs are in Moscow.  According to the President of RABE, the experiment was quite successful, and existing MBA programs graduated about 300 students in 2003. Based on the pilot programs, RABE developed guidelines for bachelor and MBA programs accreditation, which are in correspondence with AACSB accreditation requirements. By doing this, RABE facilitates the application of Russian business schools for both RABE and AACSB accreditations. RABE strives for an objective to triple the number of MBA annual graduates in a few years.

Rankings of Leading Russian Business Schools

With so many new business schools and programs on the market, there recently appeared the first attempts to rank colleges and universities. Such rankings are absolutely new in Russia, and due to many specific traits of Russian education, American approaches and criteria are not fully applicable to Russian schools. In particular, Russian universities so far publish fewer statistics about themselves than do their peer institutions abroad. Alumni associations are still very weak in Russia, and don't play the important and active role that they do in the U.S. Consequently, there is no wide-spread tradition of donations to universities and colleges in Russia, and except in the leading business schools, research still is not as often required and appreciated as it is in American business schools.

As is true in the United States, universities' and programs' rankings are published by different organizations, including business magazines and think tanks. In the majority of cases, these rankings include only specialized business schools and do not include business colleges in universities. Broader rankings by the Russian Ministry of Education include all the established universities, but only ranks the entire schools without differentiation between academic programs. Reviewing rankings of specialized business schools, we found few changes among the highest-rated schools. This makes it possible to construct a consensus list of the best business schools in Russia, and using it for further analysis. In this study, we employ the set of the best schools to analyze first, the geographic distribution of Russian elite business education, and second, what areas of business are the most emphasized in the Russian premier schools.

In this study we are using one of the latest rankings of Russian business schools compiled by a popular business magazine, Formula of Career (Babenko, 2003), which was among the first to compile a comparison of the business schools in Russia. This ranking is primarily based on the following parameters (The magazine does not clarify the weights assigned to them.):

Student performance criteria are:

In addition to the above quantitative criteria, the magazine used expert estimates of the schools' federal and international popularity.

Table 1 (below) provides the ranking of the top fourteen Russian business schools in 2003. For each of these 14 schools, we analyzed their areas of emphasis. In doing this, we took into account that school names do not fully reflect the programs they offer, just as "A&M"  in the names of American universities does not mean that these schools only offer mechanical and agricultural majors. Information on areas of emphasis is based on our personal knowledge, on interviewing our Russian colleagues, and on the information obtained through on-line catalogs at the universities' web sites. This is presented in the rightmost column of the table.

Table 1.  Business Schools' Ranking



Location (City)

Areas of Emphasis


Academy of National Economy


economics, finance, management


Plekhanov Economic Academy


accounting, finance


State Management University


economics, management, business law


Federal Finance Academy




Higher School of Economics




St. Petersburg State Economics and Finance University

St. Petersburg

economics, finance


Moscow School of Economics, Statistics and Informatics


economics, informatics


All-Russian Academy of Foreign Trade


world economy


Krasnoyarsk State Economic Institute


economics, management


Khabarovsk State Academy of Economics and Law


economics, business law


Saratov State Economic University


economics, finance


Russian State Trade University


economics, accounting


Rostov State Economic University


economics, finance


Tyumen State Institute of World Economy and Management


world economy, finance, management

The rankings shown in Table 1 indicates that, despite recent changes, business higher education institutions, especially elite ones, continue to be concentrated in large cities (all cities, except Tyumen, have about one million or more residents) with Moscow a clear leader. For Russia, with its great size and distances, such domination by any one city represents one of the reasons why economic growth in Russia is so uneven.

Another conclusion is that Russian business programs are still overwhelmingly concentrated on classical economics and finance, at the expense of other business areas, including the much needed accounting, management, and marketing disciplines. Marketing represents the most difficult problem, as Russia was never active in promoting its products on foreign markets. Oil and natural gas, which represent the bulk of Russian exports in the last 20-30 years, as well as caviar and vodka, have not required much promotion to be successfully sold, and it appears that Russian business schools so far do not consider marketing to be on par with other business areas.


In the last decade, Russian business education has experienced a spectacular development. It has grown both quantitatively and qualitatively, adapting itself to new Russian economic and social realities. Many old business programs in economics, finance, accounting, and management information systems have been substantially updated; many new programs on management, marketing, banking, and international trade have been created. Being fully state-funded in the past, business education has become one of the most financially vibrant and, to a large extent, self-supporting sectors of Russian education. As Puffer noted, to a certain degree, business education has become one of the most successful businesses in Russia (Puffer, McCarthy, Elgar, 2000).

To our minds, Russian business schools are successfully passing over many old-fashioned legacies of the Soviet era. They have become more flexible and dynamic, having introduced academic programs of different sizes, formats, and contents, which makes them more current and market-oriented. Many of them have developed close and beneficial contacts with foreign schools.

On the other hand, their own transition period, like Russia's transition to a market economy, is not finished yet. The Russian economy continues to be highly monopolized and highly corrupt, where "right" connections and proximity to federal agencies still play a much more important role than effective business plans or savvy marketing decisions. Despite dramatic social changes, or maybe partially due to them, many Russians feel nostalgic for the old times and harbor negative attitudes towards private business. This social context determines the problems and limits of progress of Russian business education.

In conclusion, we believe that the most important areas in which further progress is essential for Russian business schools are:

  1. improving ties with the business community. Russian schools are only at the beginning of the process of developing mutually beneficial contacts with the Russian business community, with very few of them having advisory boards. Most likely, by expanding such ties, business schools could not only better market themselves, but also have a profound positive influence on the national business development.
  2. expanding cooperation among different schools. The specialization tradition and the plan-oriented nature of Soviet society did not stimulate much cooperation between different institutions. Currently, a more entrepreneurial environment provides many new opportunities for cooperation between business schools and especially between universities and institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Though there are already a few examples of such collaboration, there is still a long road to travel before the old-fashioned Soviet division between research, conducted in RAS, and teaching, concentrated in universities can be eliminated.
  3. introduction of new Russian text. In many new areas, like management, finance, and marketing, Russian schools still heavily rely on Western textbooks. Replacing them with Russian textbooks will help to combine theory with local business cases and make teaching more practically oriented.
  4. developing MBA programs. Russian MBA programs have taken their first steps. Their future growth will help to intensify dissemination of business knowledge and to attract broader cohorts of bright specialists. They will also help to further promote the collaboration with peer schools abroad.
  5. expanding of business education beyond large metropolitan areas. The lack of local infrastructures hampers the development of higher education schools outside large metropolitan areas. Russian business schools, as well as Russian academia in general, can and should help to open this huge market, and, in doing so, intensify the speed of modernization all over the country.

Russia today is a rather unique country. Likely nowhere else can one find such a striking contrast between the high level of education and enormous wealth of natural resources and poverty of the majority of the population. Russian business schools must play a decisive role in the country's modernization, making this contrast an element of the past.


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Mechitov, A. I., Peper, M. J., Taylor, R. G. (1998). "Business Education in Free-Market Russia: Opportunism or Enlightened Self Interest?" Convergence, Vol. 31, No. 4, 23-32.

Pokrosky, V. (March 16, 1995). "The Perspectives of Russian Science," Segodnya.

Puffer, S., McCarthy, D., Naumov, A., Elgar, E. (2000). The Russian Capitalist Experiment: From State-Owned Organizations to Entrepreneurships, Northhampton.

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Savickaya, N. (May 16, 2003). "High-Quality Education Is Priceless," Independent Newspaper, 8.

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