Russia's state education watchdog, Rosobrnadzor, has added four universities to a list of educational institutions that will be prohibited from enrolling new students as of this fall, the agency said in a statement Tuesday.
The additions of two universities in Moscow and two in Dagestan bring the list of educational institutions blacklisted in recent days to 12. The capital-based universities include the Moscow Institute of Entrepreneurship and Law and the Institute of Foreign Languages. According to Rosobrnadzor's website, the institutions lacked the requisite educational equipment, library subscriptions and textbooks.
The Russian government has embarked on a large-scale program to improve the quality of higher education. President Vladimir Putin wants five Russian universities to rank among the world's top 100 by 2020.
As part of the effort, the government has put universities under increased scrutiny. At least 77 universities have been stripped of their licenses since the beginning of the year.
"We do not need useless education facilities that rubber-stamp incompetent graduates," Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday during a government meeting devoted to higher education.
According to Education Minister Dmitry Livanov, about 1,700,000 Russian students study in "low quality" educational institutions. This represents 30 percent of the overall student body.
On Friday Rosobrnadzor banned eight other universities from accepting new students. By the end of this week "this measure will be applied to other institutions too," the agency said in the Tuesday statement.