All six sub-projects address the following research questions of the project with their own specific focuses and approaches:

  1. What is the potential of higher education cooperation in general and collaborative degree programmes in particular in the construction of well-functioning relations/good neighbourliness between neighbouring countries?
  2. What is the role played by/impact of global developments and models on Finnish-Russian higher education cooperation?
  3. How our perceptions of neighbours have changed in the 2000s, and what kind of implications it has had on Finnish/EU-Russian relations?
  4. How higher education cooperation in general and collaborative degree programmes in particular should be implemented in practice in order to positively contribute to good neighbourliness (discussion of sensitive issues, introduction of new learning environments)?

Sub-project 1. Iuliia Gataulina: Assembling the Bologna Process in the Russian Context: A Study of Policy Transfer

Sub-project 2Anni Kangas

          • Anni’s contribution will be a historical inquiry into the changing assemblages of higher education cooperation between Finland and its eastern neighbour. Anni is interested to find out how the transformation from the “Cold War university” towards the “entrepreneurial university” plays out in Finnish-Russian university collaboration. This transformation is examined through an assemblage of discourses, material learning environments and forms of subjectification. Empirical research material for this subproject is collected from the archives of Finnish and Russian education ministries and authorities and a set of selected universities, and is complemented by interviews. The research builds on Anni’s previous research into Finnish-Russian relations (e.g. Kangas 2011) and geopolitics of higher education (Moisio & Kangas 2016).


        Sub-project 3. Dmitry Lanko: Brain Drain or Brain Gain: The Role of International Double-Degree Programmes

                • Dmitry’s research focuses on motivation of potential students to join international double degree programmes. This subproject will approach the main research question in two ways. First, individual face-to-face interviews with educators in Finland and Russia will uncover how they perceive the ‘added value’ that international double degree programmes provide students with. Second, focus group interviews with alumni members will uncover how they perceive it. A comparison of educators’ and students’ perceptions, if they appear to differ significantly, will provide with guidelines for improvement of already working international double degree programmes and for formation of new such programmes.

        Sub-project 4.  Sirke Mäkinen: Double degree programmes and Perceptions of the Neighbours

                • Sirke’s research focuses both on the ‘ideational’ and practical level of double degree programmes. In this subproject Sirke seeks to answer to questions such as how perceptions on Russian HE education and Russia have changed during cooperation, how and why universities have started and continue cooperation, and how the cooperation has changed in the post-Crimea world.  Finally, Sirke will discuss how international relations are reflected in university cooperation, or whether university cooperation may contribute to relations between neighbouring states.

        Sub-project 5. Svetlana Shenderova: Managerial Approaches in Double Degree Programmes

                  • Svetlana’s sub-project explores diversity of managerial approaches to deepen understanding of Finnish-Russian Double Degree Programmes. Svetlana studies how Finnish and in Russian universities implement and administer FI RU DDPs at different levels of management and teaching. She also investigates how Russian legislation and regulations as well as managerial practices and solutions influence on perception of Russian partner universities by their Finnish partners.

        Sub-project 6.  Gleb Yarovoy: Trust Building, Cross-border Cooperation and Higher Education Institutions

                • One of the project objectives is to analyze relations between neighbouring countries through a focus on educational practices and sub-state actors such as universities, academia and university graduates. The main research question is the following: What is the potential of higher education cooperation <…> in the construction of well-functioning relations/good neighbourliness between neighbouring countries.
                  In the framework of the project, Gleb will contribute to research on the paradiplomatic “actorness” of higher education organizations, their involvement in cross-border cooperation between Finland/EU and Russia. How cross-border cooperation between universities contribute to upholding the sufficient level of mutual trust between regional and local communities? — would be the main research question of Gleb’s part of the research.
                • The main hypothesis states that stable (system of) contacts between the universities (their administrations, staff, students and alumni) leads to the development of cross-border cooperation and promotes trustful relations between the other paradiplomatic actors (e.g. public authorities, NGOs and civil society) by influencing the formation of “good neighbourliness”-oriented regional and local elites.