The subject matter of the article is given by the search of paths towards institutional self-improvement. It is suggested to consider as such a path the formation at HEI of multi-institutional environment responding to challenges of modern epistemological turn which occurs in the background of new conditions of the development and functioning of knowledge and contains in itself considerable requirements changes to knowledge and skills to work with it taught at the universities. The content of the term "multi-institutional environment of the university" is introduced. Differentiation between its real and nominal character is introduced. The validity of the assessment of its structural implementation as a competitive advantage of the modern university is substantiated. The terms of "non-linear educational trajectory" and "knowledge broker" are introduced. A major influence of real structurally marked multi institutional educational environment on the formation of nonlinear trajectories is proved. The article presents the results of the case analysis of 8 leading Russian universities revealing the practice of structural realization of multi institutional educational environment.

Authors: E. V. Strogetskaya, I. B. Betiger

Direction: Sociological Research

Keywords: Higher education, institutional self-improvement, leadership models of universities, multi-institutional university environment, nonlinear educational paths, knowledge broker

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