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Putin suggests increasing number of state-funded places in universities every year

MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. The number of state-funded places in Russian universities needs to be increased every year, President Vladimir Putin said in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on Wednesday.

"The number of school leavers will grow in the coming years. There is a need to ensure equal and fair access to free higher education. In this regard, I suggest that the number of state-funded places in universities be increased every year. And - what I am going to say is very important - it should first and foremost concern regional universities," Putin pointed out.

According to him, Russia’s regions are facing the lack of doctors, teachers and engineers. "Clearly, there is a need not just to increase the number of students who enter universities, but also to ensure the development of regional universities in cooperation with the business community and employers, particularly boosting research and social infrastructure facilities and providing advanced training to professors from regional universities so that students are given up-to-date knowledge and can build successful careers in their native regions," the head of state added.

"The labor market is rapidly changing, new professions are emerging and professional requirements are getting more and more complicated, so the higher education system should respond flexibly and rapidly to these challenges," Putin emphasized.