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MOSCOW, November 7 (Itar-Tass) —— No Russian university with signs of ineffectiveness will be closed, Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov said.
“This will hardly happen,” Livanov told Ekho Moskvy radio on Wednesday, November 7.
“It is practically impossible to close down a university in our country and there is no sense in doing that,” he said.
Universities to be recognised as ineffective by special working groups can be either reorganised or their management will be changed or funding will be increased.
“But we have a firm position with regard to branches,” Livanov said, adding that the branches which give quality education will continue to operate and “the others must be closed down”.
Last week, the ministry published the results of its monitoring of state universities (as of January 1, 2011). The list included 502 higher educational institutions and 930 branches, with 136 universities and 450 branches found to be in need of reorganisation.
Evaluation criteria included such indicators as educational, research, scientific, international, financial and economic activities, and infrastructure – all in all 50 parameters.
Livanov earlier urged Russian higher educational institutions to start reducing ineffective branches without waiting for the results of the survey.
“On the whole, the number of branches should be cut seriously because it is excessive as it is, primarily in the Southern Federal District. Higher educational institutions should start optimising their branches on their own, without waiting for the monitoring findings,” Livanov said.
They [branches] are needed for pumping money out of the students and as a rule do not provide proper training and issue diplomas identical to those issued by their parent universities. But this is a deception of both the students and the state,” the minister said.
“A high level of education should be guaranteed to all students who study in state-owned educational institutions at the expense of the federal budget or at their own expense,” Livanov said.
The minister said that the university optimisation programme would be submitted to the government in March 2013.
“We will present the plan for optimisation of universities and their branches by March at the latest. There are too many of them now, the quality of education is not good enough and does not meet either the needs of the economy or students’ expectations,” Livanov said.
He noted that the number of higher educational institutions in Russia might decrease by 20 percent and the number of their branches by 30 percent.