Subject. The article considers differentiation of regions, based on trends in the development of higher education. Objectives. The aim is to elaborate methodological approaches to the study of regional differentiation, based on the analysis of the number of university lecturers. Methods. The study employs methods of theoretical generalization, statistical analysis, and structural grouping. Results. I describe modern approaches to identifying the role of teaching staff in creating competitive advantages of universities and regions. I also unveil that the trend towards reduction of teaching staff of universities exists in all federal districts; it is most pronounced in the Ural, Far Eastern and North Caucasian Federal Districts. From 2010 to 2019, significant inequalities between regions were recorded in terms of relative changes in the number of university lecturers. The paper offers a differentiation of the subjects of the Central and Siberian Federal Districts, based on various grounds, including the dynamics of the number of teachers at different timescales Conclusions. To monitor the higher education system development from a regional perspective, it is advisable to use the analysis of relative changes in the number of faculty staff of universities located in the subject of the Russian Federation, followed by the selection of groups of regions that are similar in the given parameters. Revealing the inequality between regions can be used to justify the development of compensatory measures. The materials of the study can be applied in the process of further research on scientific and practical problems of regional divergence.
Keywords: regional economy, methodology for region differentiation, higher education system, university lecturer
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