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Red Tape Delays Payment Of University Scholarships

Thousands of university students across Russia didn't get their January scholarships because of red tape, the head of the Russian Students Union told The Moscow Times on Wednesday.

Artyom Khromov said complaints had been lodged throughout the month by students from Moscow State University, the Russian State Humanitarian University, the National Nuclear Research Institute and other universities in Moscow and the regions.

According to rectors of some universities, which Khromov refused to name for ethical reasons, the delays stemmed from the failure of the federal treasury to deal with the documents on time.

The delay was attributed to a transition to a new financing system for public agencies.

A treasury spokeswoman said Wednesday that the agency could not comment in time for publication.

On Wednesday, student union representatives met with officials of the Education and Science Ministry, who promised to deal with the issue, Khromov said.

A ministry spokesman refused comment.

All the students are expected to get their scholarships within a week, Khromov said.

Since Jan. 1, subsidies for a variety of state institutions have been based on free market allocation.

This is the result of a 2010 law that gave the institutions free rein to determine how the subsidies are distributed or spent.

The previous system earmarked similar funding for institutions, regardless of the quality of their work, and confiscated leftovers, which led to wasteful spending.

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