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The first philosophical justification for the development of educational systems belongs to Plato, who distinguished the fundamental components of the educational relations: the culture (the world of ideas and eternal images), society (policy, state), individual (personality). Each stage of cultural and civilizational development is characterized by its own axiological reference points and principles of organization within the triad. Post–industrial civilization outlined the priority values of the utilitarian and pragmatic, rationalistic character, the orientation on which has led to global ecological and anthropological disasters. Modern philosophical and pedagogical idea becomes a rejection of the paradigm of rationalism proclaimed in the seventeenth century by Komenskiy and the return to the paradigm of conformity and culture of education. The associated philosophy of education gets global, historical, social and cultural in nature and aims to ensure the reproduction of cultural diversity, to act as a source of self–development of society [1, p. 76]. These human oriented characteristics of education involve consideration of three interrelated blocks of axiological education as a state value; education as a public value; education as a personal value. The axiological content of the blocks becomes a specification when building social and cultural typology of educational systems, study of the problem of interference of macro trends that is a fundamental point for the definition of the strategy and directions of reform of Russian education.

Controversial and cultural component of the process of globalization is expressed in the desire for uniformity of cultural codes and guidelines. The problem is that uniformity is achieved not through mergers or generalizations of cultural norms derived from the old or new cultural priorities, but in the active imposition of Western cultural and moral standards to the world community. Such expansion is natural because of still existing of the old model of political and economic influence of the West cultural impact on the world community [6, p. 48–49].

That is, the informatization of society entails a uniformity of knowledge and traditions as well as  moral values and standards. A negative point is not so much the erasure of national identity and cultural individualism, but in the degree of preparedness of different countries to such dominance of «alien» cultural components, which increases the chances of a community to be an outsider on the world stage. Thus, those who does not dictate the rules, have to adapt to the imposed standards, while depending on more powerful opponents. This fact has always been actual in historical terms, but at the moment the information which is so changeable has a huge impact and comes in huge volumes, which makes it difficult to balance real forces of global influence. Accordingly, the goal of world powers is the control over the informatization by reforming social institutions.

Academic mobility among students and teachers has relevance not only in the individual sense, but also in the global. Thus there is dissipation of scientific knowledge between different states. In addition, such movement of intellectual resources allows a particular state to synthesize a foundation of scientific knowledge as scientific papers, experiments, observations, carried out not only inside the country but also outside it, ensuring that it is unitary. So, divergent and individual scientific knowledge and experience with particular sources and history is changed by standardization and globality, the distribution of all the human scientific advances in the global information space [3, p. 40]. Knowledge, inventions is no longer a property of the particular individual or the state, but only a contribution to the world of information «piggy Bank». The challenge of globalization to universities should not be seen as a metaphysical and ontological «reshaping» not a cultural aspect of the reality of education as a process, but rather changing its role in the life of the individual, of the state of the planet.

Global trends in the development of education, science, innovative activities can be described as follows [2, p. 39]:

  1. «The Bologna process»: introduction of two cycle system (starting with the Berlin conference – three cycle system) higher education structure (bachelor – master – doctor).
  2. «Copenhagen process»: introduction of unified requirements for vocational education of secondary level, the establishment of the European qualifications framework, the development of adult education (the concept of «lifelong learning»).
  3. Absolute and relative growth of the number of students.
  4. Globalization, internationalization and openness of education.
  5. The rising cost of higher education in state budgets, dispenses of corporations, individuals.
  6. The increase in the number of employees in the sphere of higher education.
  7. The development of e-learning.
  8. The growth of the age of the students in the field of higher education and making education an ongoing process that accompanies all human life.
  9. Mobility knowledge, innovation and their carriers.
  10. The loss by classic universities of a monopoly on the unity of scientific research and educational process. The emergence of «corporate universities». The re–establishment of specialized academic institutions, solving of strategic tasks.
  11. Deepening of specialization of the elements of the complex: science –education – innovation.

In Russian literature, adaptation is seen as a multilevel, dynamic process with its own structure, sequence and features of the flow associated with a specific restructuring of the personality in the framework of inclusion into new social roles. O. Kamardina determines the adaptation of foreign students as «forming a sustainable system of relationships of all components of pedagogical system that provides adequate behavior conducive to the attainment the aims of the pedagogical system» [5, p. 16]. The difficulties of adaptation of foreign students differ from the difficulties of Russian students (overcoming the didactic barrier) and depend on national and regional characteristics and change from course to course.

In general, the stages of foreign students’ adaptation to the new linguistic, social, cultural and educational environment are as follows:

1) the entry in the student’s environment;

2) understanding of basic norms of the international team, development of own style of behavior;

3) the formation of a stable positive attitude to the future profession, overcoming the «language barrier», fostering of a sense of academic equality.

It should be noted that, the training of foreign students in Russia has a long tradition. In the recent past, during the existence of the Soviet Union, foreign students studied in Moscow universities on the basis of international agreements [1, p. 132].

With the development of democracy in Russian society after the collapse of the USSR the interest of young foreigners to Russia has increased, and since the mid 90–ies the potential students get interested by the universities of different cities and has a long educational tradition. Foreign students must adapt to new climatic and living conditions, to the replacement of the social environment to a new educational system to a new language of communication, to the international nature of study groups etc. Learning efficiency of the student depends on how successfully he adapts to the new environment. The problem of investigation of peculiarities of adaptation of foreign students to living and learning in Russia is especially actual in modern conditions of formation of the international educational system.

For the representatives of neighboring countries, in principle, there is no language barrier for understanding Russian or contact with the Russian people, unlike the foreigners who came from countries far abroad. That’s why learning Russian as a foreign language at the preparatory stage in the first place should contribute to their social and cultural adaptation in Russian universities.

The main role is played by teacher’s personality, which welcomes foreign students here in Russia, and introduces the features of life in the country and learning at the University. The teacher needs to know about the way of life of the country from which came his students to explain how they live in Russia, in particular the city: differences can be significant.

No doubt the fact that, having arrived in another country, students feel different from the native climatic conditions, way of life, welfare society, mentality, and foreigners are not psychologically ready to accept all these innovations. The situation is exacerbated by the language barrier.

Therefore, the first year of stay in Russia for them is the most difficult in terms of adaptation in the country, the city, the University and the training plan. The more foreigners know Russian language, the more they ask questions about life in Russia. It would be a mistake to assume that the social and cultural adaptation of foreigners contributes only well–designed and proposed information of the lecturer. Foreigners are not only trained in Russia, but also live here. Therefore, the collision with real life is inevitable even for the trainees. Once on the streets in their spare time, they subsequently ask the teacher various questions about what they saw.

Over time the teacher stops being the only person who understands them and can answer any questions. They meet more of the communicants who are attracted not only by their foreign origin. Elders and Russian friends introduce them in an informal, non–business world of the University, city, and country. So, a student is situated simultaneously in three social and cultural systems, which can both inhibit and facilitate the adaptation of the student. Let’s name them.

Primary, monoculture system is characterized by friendship with other students of the same ethnic group. The main function of the system is the creation of a society in which there is an opportunity to express and show their ethnic and cultural values.

The second system is characterized by bi–cultural relationships between foreigners and students, teachers and officials of the state. The main function of this system is the organization and functioning of the educational environment for foreign students.

Tertiary, multicultural system is characterized by that it consists of friends and acquaintances of different nationalities. The main function of this system is to create a company for leisure and entertainment [4, p. 150].

Several research works in Nizhny Novgorod State Engineering and Economic University let defining of common features of adaptation process among foreign students in Russia as following. First of all, foreign students, especially from neighbour countries are attracted by low costs of studies in the universities of Russian Federation. Others are motivated by the presence of friends or relatives   living or studying in Russia. Also, they do not have serious difficulties while entering HEI or coming in our country (visa problems, difficult process of application etc.).

Still, many of foreign students experienced a «culture shock» but coped with it thanks to the kindness and sociability of other students and teachers. Almost all the foreign students feel themselves to be adapted to the educational and cultural environment of the University. They also noticed the need for a more individual approach from the teachers.

A special theme of the research is the manifestation of chauvinism against the foreign students from neighbour and far abroad countries which is practically equal. About a third of students admit that they were disadvantaged according to religious or national basis.

So, all these kinds of problems are to be solved by the means of administrative and staff potential of a university due to simplify the processes of adaptation and integration of foreign students.


  1. Filimonova N. U. Psychological and pedagogical aspects of intercultural and interpersonal communication of foreign students in the conditions of international and mono–ethnic groups // Scientific Bulletin of MSTUCA, series of international activities of universities, MSTUCA, №102 (15), 2006 – P. 45–52. [Electronic resource] URL: http://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/psihologo–pedagogicheskie–aspekty–mezhkulturnogo–i–mezhlichnostnogo–obscheniya–inostrannyh–studentov–v–usloviyah–internatsionalnoy–i (reference date: 25.03.2015).
  2. Grishina N. B. The psychology of a conflict. M., 2005. [Electronic resource] URL:https://docviewer.yandex.ru/?lang=ru&name=grishina_psy_conf.pdf&tm=1461754490&tld=ru&text… (reference date: 27.04.2016).
  3. Konkova N. N., Lisenkova V. E., Makarychev, S. P., Gorokhov V. A. Bologna process in the EU and Russia as the stage of globalization of world education (social and philosophical aspect): Monograph – Knyaginino: NGIEI, 2013. – 72 p.
  4. Krysko V. G. Ethnopsychology and interethnic relations. A course of lectures.– M.: Publishing House «Ekzamen», 2002. – 448 p. [Electronic resource] URL: http://studentick.com/docs/index–15997.html (reference date: 27.04.2016).
  5. Stefanenko T. G. Ethnopsychology. Moscow: IP RAS, Academic Project, Ekaterinburg: Delovaya kniga, 2000. [Electronic resource] URL: http://www.gumer.info/bibliotek_Buks/Psihol/stef/ (reference date: 03.2015).
  6. The training methodology and effectiveness of the academic, sociocultural and psychological adaptation of foreign students in Russian universities: theoretical and applied aspects: Materials of all–Russian seminar. Volume 2. Tomsk, 21 – 23 October 2008. Tomsk: Publishing house TPU, 2008. 200 p. [Electronic resource] URL: lib.tpu.ru»fulltext/m/2008/m20.pdf (reference date: 27.04.2016).
    Objective: to identify the phenomena of integration and adaptation of foreign students within globalization of educational space, to analyze the process of adaptation of foreign students and its aspects. To identify the range of existing problems related to cultural, psychological or other barriers to adaptation. Methods: comparative analysis of results of research and surveys made in relation to foreign students and touching all the existing issues as well as theoretical search of different points of view about the background of the processes of adaptation and integration within the Bologna process and globalization. Results: analysis helped to identify the range of existing problems associated with the adaptation of foreign students, to formulate suggestions for their solution, and also to reveal quite characteristic features of the process of integration, which are common throughout the world educational space. Scientific novelty: for the first time some results and analysis of attitutde of foreign students of Nizhny Novgorod state Engineering and Economic University on the subject of the process of adaptation to cultural and educational conditions abroad are presented, as well as identified existing problems and possible ways of their solution. Practical significance: the main statements and conclusions of the article can be used in scientific and pedagogical activities for discussing issues about the processes of adaptation and integration of foreign students in higher education.
    Written by: Ignatyeva Natalia Nikolaevna, Lisenkova Elena Vladimirovna, Ilicheva Olga Aleksandrovna, Mikhaylukov Leonid Viktorovich
    Date Published: 12/19/2016
    Edition: euroasia-science_28.04.2016_4(25)
    Available in: Ebook