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Alexei Barabashev,
Dean of the School of Public Administration,
State University - Higher School of Economics,
Moscow, Russia
New Perspectives for Education and Training of Civil Servants in Russia
1. Since the early 1990s, Public Administration education in Russia was contained as a subpart of the general education category of “Management”. Also, the education in Public
Administration was structured around a 5-year program of specialists (so-called
Specialitet). In the first part of my talk, I will explain how the managerial orientation of
Public Administration education influenced the curricula. I will describe the general
outline and the list of disciplines in curricula and the requests in the curricula for more
elaborated professional competences, based on an understanding of work in Government
and in municipal bodies as the business-process. Due to that business orientation,
prospective employers of students mostly have been private companies, not government
and municipal bodies. I will present some data about distribution of students after they
finish their education between Government and municipal organizations and business
that illustrates this situation. I also will try to explain the reasons for this paradox, which
is not completely based on differences in salary.
For the Schools of Public Administration in Russia, the interpretation of Public
Administration education, as profile in Management has became a limiting factor in their
effort to realize their educational mission for a variety of reasons:
a) Students can not understand the difference of Management and Public
Administration, and so it is difficult for them to choose between the types of
b) Most students who finish the program in Public Administration Schools go into
c) The masters degree programs in Public Administration was not popular for
students: why to enter the 2-years master degree program, if, after the students
finish the 5-years program of Specialitet, they could pretend on the same positions
in Government bodies. I will illustrate this problem with some statistics regarding
the masters programs including number of programs, number of students, and
distribution of students after they finish the programs.
d) It is difficult to develop the special courses in Public Administration when it is a
part of Management because a lot of credit hours are already reserved for
managerial business-oriented disciplines.
2. I would like to present the short history of previous and present attempts of the leading
Russian Schools of Public Administration to alter the broadly distributed understanding
of Public Administration education as profile in Management education, and to establish
the Public Administration education as separate category of “Public Administration”,
regulated by its own State Standards. Firstly, I will describe the system of State
Educational Standards that existed in Russia and how such Standards are introduced and
regulated by State. It is highly centralized and bureaucratic system, much different than
the European system of educational programs evaluation. Secondly, I will try to explain
our steps toward increasing the role of Non-Governmental Professional Associations in
this process, and process of moving from bureaucratic regulations toward self-regulatory
The history of attempts to establish Public Administration education as separate
educational direction consist of 3 periods: (a) creation of first Russian Schools of Public
Administration and their origin from social sciences departments, from economics
departments, and from Communist Party cadres schools (1991-1995); (b) establishment
of Public Administration as the profile in educational direction of Management, which is
tightly connected with economics in the so-called “State Standards of Second
Generation” (1996-2005); and (c) the struggle for 3rd generation of Standards (2006present).
Two key moments of the 3rd (present) period are:
 Establishing of a Soviet for Public Administration Programs for Executives
under the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia (2008). I will describe
the latest decisions of the Soviet, list of Institutes which participate, and the
present proposals.
 Establishing of all-Russian Association of the Schools of Public
Administration (2007, beginning from October 2009 that provided a means for
leading Schools of Public Administration to unify their positions and to insist
on the establishment of new direction of Public Administration education for
students on level of Bachelors and Masters, in parallel with educational
direction of Management. The system of participance in the Association will
be described, and problems of interaction of Association with other
Associations of PA, including NISPAcee and APPAM, will be discussed.
3. In the third part of the talk, I will describe the present situation with education in the area
of Public Administration in Russia. This situation can be generally characterized as the
“breakout”, or as the rapid change from old managerial style of curricula to new
curricula, professionally oriented toward administrative needs.
On the level of executive training (Master Degree programs for executives), the State
Regulations already approved by Ministry of Education and Science (February 8, 2008),
and such education is proposed for mid-term civil servants, who wish to obtain
managerial positions in Government bodies on Federal and Regional levels. The first 2
Master Degree for executives programs have already started in Russian Academy of State
Service (Moscow) and in State University - Higher School of Economics (Moscow).
Three more programs are under process of approval now. I will try to describe those
programs, their curricula, the data about participants (most are from the regions of
Russia). The specific of its financing, period of realization, and the competitions among
different universities to win the tenders on the right to realize such a program will be
On the level of Master degree programs in Public Administration for students the new
State Standard of 3rd Generation has been approved as separate category from State
Management Standard. The list of new profiles inside the Public Administration Standard
(specializations), and new Public Administration curricula will be elaborated. In a near
future, we are ready to reconstruct our curricula according new Standard. However, some
Universities (2 National Universities – Moscow State University, SPb State University, 7
Federal universities in Federal districts, plus 13 National Research Universities) have
now the right to create their own Standards. One of the open questions about Public
Administration education is how these universities will realize their right to go beyond
the State Standards of 3rd Generation. I will try to explain the position of State University
– Higher School of Economics about the Standards, and how we will try to reconstruct
our curricula in Public Administration for Master Degree students.
On the level of the Bachelors degree in Public Administration for students, the situation
also changed: a new standard has been developed, and is in the process of approval by
Ministry of Education and Science of Russia. But, up to now the transitional period of
transfer from 5-years programs of Specialitet in Public Administration (as profile in
Management) toward 4-years bachelor degree programs in Public Administration as
separate educational direction is not specified. The problem, as it seems to me, consist of
differences among the Schools of Public Administration, and impossibility of introducing
the new Standard for all Schools “at once” as some Schools are not ready to satisfy the
requirements, and could fail.
4. In the last part of my talk, I will try to evaluate Public Administration education in
Russia on all those levels for the immediate future, and compare them to the perspectives
of other “neighbor” educational categories such as Management, Economy, and Political
Sciences. The demographic crisis in Russia, Russian needs for certain types of
employees, and segmentation in the job market will give to Public Administration
education in Russia some additional attractiveness in comparison with other mentioned
educational categories. In summation, I will argue that the future of Public
Administrative education in Russia seem better than its present situation.