RESEARCH OF STUDENT REPRESENTATION BODIES IN UNIVERSITIES: CURRENT STATE, PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS
D. B. Efimov, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation
University Management Practice and Analysis
This article aims to present a critical and reflective analysis of modern practices of the student representation bodies that have institutional influence on decision-making of universities or the government. The article first describes different traditions of understanding student representation in the context of student politics and its links with student activism, political socialization, elections. Then we consider different approaches to understanding of student representation as a part of
... a higher education system (types and forms of interaction between students, on the one hand, and universities and governments, on the other hand). Finally, traditions of researching the practices of student representative bodies in different groups of countries (Anglo-Saxon countries, developing countries of Global South, and continental Europe) are discussed. The following section contains a critical analysis of the current research of student representation, its advantages (developed conceptual framework and limited geographic traditions of qualitative research as well as connection with political science in the electoral context) and disadvantages (insufficient empirical, positivistic focus; uneven geographical prevalence; lack of research focus on the «frontier» of the concepts of student representation and student activism). Then potential future areas of research are outlined, including the diversification of methodology (empirical quantitative methods) and geographical coverage (the post-Soviet space and key countries of East Asia) as well as refinements of the theoretical apparatus and a more detailed consideration of the connection between the practices of student representation and student activism. The originality and value of the article lies in the fact that despite the gradual increase in the popularity of student representation as a research topic in the last two decades, this topic remains largely underexplored in Russia, and the novel conceptual and methodological approaches proposed in this article should spur further studies.