Normative per capita financing makes education system operable and transparent

28 august 2018

"On the one hand, we see consolidation of the state's efforts in the sphere of establishing clear and transparent mechanisms for higher education system regulation. On the other hand, transformation of economic and financing mechanisms is today's imperative. This is because the regulation tools used in the higher education system until now were formed a long time ago, and they no longer match the key changes which occurred in the country's economics and politics and therefore require amendments and transformations," said the Analytical Center's expert Inna Karakchieva opening the round table named "Improving financial and economic performance of higher education institutions in the conditions of normative per capita financing of higher education."

Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Sergey Kuzmin noted that no additional innovations and revolutionary changes will occur in this sphere. "In this respect, we are planning to finally transition the whole system to normative per capita financing in the next three years, including the possibility of doing away with the equalizing coefficients which are currently used for adaptation and gradual transfer of the system to the methodology of unified standards," said the deputy minister.

On the whole, the norms are changing insignificantly, with most of them growing, considers Deputy Head of Department of the Ministry of Education and Science Andrey Omelchuk. Only a small group is decreasing, but this is a minimum decrease of the base norms, he clarified. "All other correction factors, which we are applying, allow us to bring the norms to such a ratio which, in our opinion, allows to perform educational activities with good quality and to finance all expenses that occur," related the specialist.

"Besides the control mechanisms, we must propose new tools for managing and organizing not only financial activities, but educational activities as well. One of such tools is the academic mobility mechanism," informed Director of the Department for Economic Policies of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia Andrey Zarubin.  The specialist gave an example of module exchange for the academic mobility mechanism, where there are classic, technical and industry-specific higher education institutions. And each of these institutions has stronger activities in some of their own areas: philosophy, physics, special disciplines. "If the education program is unified, students get the best of what these universities have. And every time when students study part of the educational program in a different institution from the one they enrolled to, the money follows these students," explained Zarubin.

In the opinion of the round table participants, normative per capita financing provides the possibility of fair distribution of funds in the field of higher education. This makes the system operable and transparent for external counterparties.