Russia presses ahead with thousands of science job cuts

Forty per cent of state-funded student places to be axed also

July 26, 2017
Russian rubles

Russia is pushing ahead with plans to axe thousands of science jobs in the country’s universities.

Plans to fire 8,300 scientific workers based in higher education institutions were announced by Russia’s government last year, but were then put on hold amid signs of a possible economic recovery.

However, after this hoped-for growth failed to materialise, the cuts will now go ahead, according to reports.

The savings will also see 40 per cent of state-funded student places in Russian universities scrapped, and the proportion of the country’s budget spent on education fall from 2.75 per cent in 2015 to 2.45 per cent in 2020.

Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian prime minister, said that it was to “optimise spending allocated for higher education by redistributing funds to the most important areas and by reducing inefficiency”.

But he said that the cuts should not have an impact on programmes that are judged to be “socially significant” and, as such, many leading institutions will be spared.

These will see their funding increase by 17 billion rubles (£218 million). As a result, other institutions, including the Russian Academy of Sciences, will be particularly badly affected.

chris.havergal@timeshighereducation.com

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