Doctoral education in Russia in the educational field:
an interdisciplinary discourse

Bednyi B.I.

Dr. Sci. (Physics and Mathematics), Professor, Director of the Institute for Postgraduate and Doctoral Studies of the National Research Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod, Nizhni Novgorod, Russia

Rybakov N.V.

Deputy Head of the Department for working with dissertation councils of the Institute for Postgraduate and Doctoral Studies of the National Research Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod, Nizhni Novgorod, Russia

Sapunov M.B.

Cand. Sci. (Philosophy), Chief Editor, Journal “Vysshee obrazovanie v Rossii” (Higher Education in Russia), Moscow, Russia

DOI: 10.7868/S0132162517090148
ID of the Article:

For citation:

Bednyi B.I., Rybakov N.V., Sapunov M.B. Doctoral education in Russia in the educational field: an interdisciplinary discourse. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 9. P. 125-134


The article focuses on the current state of doctoral education in Russia and treats it as a topical social and pedagogical problem. The authors’ conclusions are based on the statistical data concerning the development dynamics of doctoral schools during the last 25 years as well as on the results of a survey of motivations and professional prospects of doctoral students in Russia. This is a context for exploring the problematic situation in educational sciences caused by the varied and even ambiguous treatment in literature of the purpose, structure, contents of doctoral programs, and the financial model for their implementation. From the standpoint of sociology and pedagogy of higher education, the paper analyzes the judgments and assessments of higher education researchers relating to a new model of doctoral student training and the development of the institution of doctoral education as a whole. The authors note that the key issue in today’s discussion concerns determination of its purpose and functions. They also analyze the reasons of low efficiency of the Russian system of doctoral education in relation to the realization of its main function, the reproduction of human resources of science and higher education, and discuss feasible measures to increase effectiveness of doctoral programs. The authors come to the conclusion that the model of doctoral education in Russia demonstrates certain features of social dysfunction as the traditional functions of this system have ceased to be adequate to current socio-economic conditions and do not fully meet the interests and needs of social groups interested in reproduction of research and teaching personnel. As a priority, the paper sets the goal of forming a multi-dimensional model of doctoral education based on sociological and pedagogical studies of values, interests and motivations of main actors in educational, scientific, and innovation activities involved in preparation and certification of highly quality academic and research personnel. The authors believe that the formulation of a program for relevant empirical studies requires some conceptual resources of the modern sociology.

sociology of education; research and teaching personnel; doctoral education; multidimensional model of doctoral education functions; dysfunction; efficiency of doctoral schools


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Content No 9, 2017