Policy ForumScience Education

Science and Higher Education in Russia

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Science  12 Nov 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5443, pp. 1303-1304
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5443.1303

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The fall of the Soviet Union nearly a decade ago deeply affected Russia's ability to maintain excellence in the natural sciences and engineering. The severe financial crisis and the brain drain have hit the scientific research community particularly hard. Scientific research is much less popular in today's Russia than it was in the Soviet Union. The end of centralized planning necessitated fundamental changes in Russia's higher education and research structure, and governmental and foreign initiatives directed toward supporting science and education are showing some success in creating a new healthier basis for Russian science. Science now has an opportunity to become an organic part of Russian society, instead of being imposed on it from above.