Russian Universities, Awful as Always
It always amuses us when Russians are “shocked, shocked” to learn that their universities have been exposed before the world as third-rate, as they were once again last week. The Moscow Times reported:
Not a single Russian university made it to the top 200 list of the world’s best schools released this fall by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the most authoritative global annual rating of higher education institutions. The top-ranked school is Harvard University, while many other U.S. and British universities prevail on the list.
The ranking is based on 13 elements, including research income, ration of international and domestic staff, income from industry, teaching, and citation impact.
The reasons that they are so wretched are as obvious as the sun.
Russians pay teachers poverty wages, humiliating them before their students and making it impossible for anyone to respect or desire to enter the profession. This makes Russian teachers extremely bitter and lazy, and more importantly horrifyingly corrupt. Their goal is not to teach and build minds, but to receive bribes and build an income to care for their families. How can such instructors fairly be compared to those in the West.
And that’s only the beginning of the problem.
Russians, like their Soviet ancestors, regiment and repress teachers, denying them the opportunity to think and express themselves, instead asking them to become part of a totalitarian system in which the state determines what the facts are and teachers are just instruments of propaganda. In our issue today, we report on the Kremlin’s further efforts for instance to rewrite Russian history.
Russians are cut off from the world by their rabid xenophobia. This means that, like the infamous “Emperor” with his “new clothes” Russians simply cannot perceive the world accurately, and they pass this ignorance from one generation to the next.
It goes on and on.
Russians are unwilling to compare themselves to foreigners and admit their shortcomings; instead, they prefer denial and self-delusion, and therefore Russia only falls farther and farther behind the advances and developments of the West. Russia’s total inability to compete in winning Nobel prizes for science clearly shows how backward Russia is in this regard. They are unable to admit that Russian teachers of talent are fleeing to the West where working conditions are far better; this year a Russian defector won a Nobel prize after being enabled in foreign lands, and the first thing he did after winning was to condemn Vladimir Putin’s neo-Soviet system.
There’s still more.
Russians are so very arrogant. As the Moscow Times reports:
Some might say the problem boils down to a “Squirrel Institute” mentality — an arrogance by scholars that causes them to refuse to learn English or publish their research in English. As a result, their work often escapes the attention of the international academic community, and Russian universities suffer.
Russia’s response to this new humiliation? Instead of forthrightly admitting the flaws and seeking to shake things up with reform, Russia is doing the exact opposite: It is claiming that it has been excluded only because of the “russophobia” of evil foreigners, and it has decided it will make its own list of great universities and insert Russian candidates on it, as if that will somehow fix the problem. As the Moscow Times reports: “The idea was explicitly backed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at a meeting with Russian rectors last month.”
Here we see revealed in all its horror the total incompetence, born of inexperience and lack of credentials, that characterizes the Russian Kremlin when it attempts to make policy. All this government knows is blunt trauma and mendacity, it has no background or foundation upon which to build any sort of coherent policy that would help better the nation. If Russia continues to be led by such a clan of apes, it will surely degenerate just as the USSR did into absolute chaos and collapse.