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Court Revokes License of One of Russia's Best Private Universities

Fareed Zakaria gives commencement speech at EUSP on June 24, 2016 European University at St. Petersburg / Vkontakte

An arbitration court has revoked the licence of European University at St. Petersburg, one of Russia’s best private institutions of higher learning, upholding a decision by Rosobrnadzor, the Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science, according to the university's website.

The university says it will challenge the ruling, which doesn’t take effect until a court has considered the appeal.

Rosobrnadzor contests the qualification standards European University applies to its “instructor-practitioners” — a vaguely defined labor category — and says the school breaks state regulations with the work hours it assigns to these employees. According to university officials, however, the government has refused to clarify what these standards are.

Speaking anonymously to The Moscow Times, one current student at European University said the “constant fear of closure” has made it enormously hard to focus on schoolwork this year. 

Last December, Rosobrnadzor briefly suspended European University’s license over the same concerns, but an arbitration court sided with the school.

Founded in 1994 with help from then Mayor Anatoly Sobchak, European University at St. Petersburg is considered one of Russia’s finest private schools.

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