Staunton, April 13 – Russians who graduate from secondary schools are overwhelmingly choosing to leave them permanently or at least for a long time to secure higher educations and better incomes and life styles, according to a new study, which also finds that ever more of them are preparing themselves for employment in Russia’s security services.
Yuliya Florinskaya, a senior scholar at the Institute of Demography of Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, reports that three quarters of school graduates plan to leave for oblast centers and the two capitals in search of a better life and that “only four percent” plan to remain in their native cities (iq.hse.ru/news/180271095.html).
She points out that the share of such young people planning to leave has increased from 64 percent in 2004 to 75 percent in 2015, while the fraction planning to remain has declined from 14 percent to four percent. That means that infrastructure investments in these small cities have failed to serve as magnets holding young people there.
Florinskaya’s conclusions came from a study carried out by the Institute of Social Analysis and Forecasting of the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service. She compared its findings with those of a 2004 study conducted by the Moscow Center for Migration Research.
She notes that most of those choosing to leave cannot be described as poor. Rather they are strivers who want to have higher incomes and better socials status than they believe is possible in small Russian cities.
Overwhelmingly, Florinskaya continues, these graduates plan to continue their educations. Some 91 percent say that they will do so. Significantly, they are less interested in going to a high status school than to getting a degree, with many saying that they have heard that Russian employers don’t care very much where degrees come from.
At the same time, she fund that over the last decade, interest among school graduates in computer technology had fallen from eight percent to two percent while the share of those interested in military fields had increased from three to seven percent. Interest in law degrees has increased from nine percent to 16 percent.
According to the Moscow scholar, this shows a growth in interest among such young people in finding employment in the security forces.
The only young people who show much interest in remaining in small Russian cities, Florinskaya continues, are those who received lower grades or studies in technicums. That means that the educational gap between the small Russian cities, on the one hand, and oblast centers and the capital, on the other, will only increase in the coming years.