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The changing nature of the economy and society at the information stage of the civilization development has led to a deep transformation of the labour market and new employability requirements. In addition to professional competencies, those cover a number of transversal skills that are termed as ‘soft skills’. As a consequence, the market economy countries actively pursue educational reforms that align soft skills with university curricula for bachelor and master students. As its market economy has been developing only for about 30 years, Russia is to face a challenge of working out a similar educational policy. To grasp the understanding of soft skills infusion into Russia’s university education, the authors conducted a study with a view to finding out the academic community’s perceptions of soft skills. The research entailed a theoretical and empirical stages, with the first one covering an analysis of literature on soft skills via comparative methods in order to come to a uniform definition and prevailing classification of soft skills (as a basis for questionnaires), and the surveying stage with 135 lecturers and 312 students involved. The findings implicate the participants’ perceptions of soft skills, most efficient academic disciplines and teaching/ learning techniques for fostering students’ soft skills and confirm the hypothesis that in Russia there are random soft skills inclusions in curricula and few practices to nurture the skills that justify the need for developing a new governmental policy to cover the gap.

About the authors

Lilia K Raitskaya

Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University)

Author for correspondence.

Ph.D. in Economics and Pedagogy, Dr habil. Rector’s Counselor at MGIMO University, Professor at the Department of Pedagogy and Psychology, Moscow State Institute of International Relations

76, Vernadskogo av., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation

Elena V Tikhonova

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)


Ph.D. in History, Associate Professor at the Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences. Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia

6, Miklukho-Maklaya str., Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2018 Raitskaya L.K., Tikhonova E.V.

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