In the new bulletin about the state of Russian education that assesses state spending in this area, the experts note that as the share of education in total budget spending decreases the state will not be able to achieve the priority targets it has set for the large-scale national education program. The program needs to be transformed and its economic efficiency needs to be reassessed. In addition, the financial risks emerging under the current socio-economic conditions need to be forecast as well, the bulletin notes.
Getting the best education requires investments, the experts are sure. The level of state spending on education to a large extent determines not only the country’s economic potential but its competitive advantages in the international markets. The experts believe that under the current economic conditions governments of various countries around the world are having difficulties with supplying the requisite resources (on the government’s dime) to meet the growing demand for education. At the same time, the role of private providers of educational services is becoming more and more prominent even as the share of state financing remains significant. In the majority of the OECD countries the level of state financing of higher education is higher than in high school education: state financing makes up less than 40% of the total in higher education in Chile, Japan, South Korea, the US while in Finland, Norway and Sweden it exceeds 95%. At the same time, private financing of higher education has been on the rise in such countries as Austria, Belgium, Denmark, and the UK.
The experts note a number of patterns in the international educational space. For example, the expenditures of state funded educational organizations are higher than those of private institutions while state spending per one student in the higher education exceeds those in high school level education. “If the average per-student state spending in high school level education in 2015 was USD 8,383 in state schools; in private schools it was just USD 4,290, the experts write. In 2015, the average higher education spending per student was USD 12,263 in state funded institutions while in private schools it was just USD 4,207.”
As for the process of reforming the budget policy in the Russian education system, on the whole it is following global trends. However, some tweaks are needed to take into account the specific features of the Russian education system, the analysts believe.
For more see the bulletin Problems of Financing Education.
For other issues of our bulletin on the state of education in Russia see Publications.