November/December 2011  Volume 24, Issue 9
  International Education Intelligence   
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Russia & CIS


Students Tweet in Protest

Journalism students at Moscow State University used Twitter to protest the way an appearance of Russia's president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, was staged in October. The appearance was used by the government to portray Medvedev as being in touch with young people, but the students tweeted that the audience was mostly made up of government supporters (many of them from outside the university) selected by a Kremlin team.

When several journalism students were detained for holding up pieces of paper with messages critical of the president, the Twitter hashtag “zhurfak,” or journalism department, began trending upward. By the next day, the newspaper Vedomosti had derided the event as “a practical exercise in the history of the U.S.S.R.” A group of students declared an “unscheduled Subbotnik,” after the Soviets’ mandatory public cleaning projects, to sanitize the grand staircase where Mr. Medvedev had entered. A petition circulated, reading: “Mr. Medvedev! Do not come to Moscow State University again.”

- New York Times
October 21, 2011

MIT to Help Develop Russian Research Institutions

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Russia's Skolkovo Foundation announced plans in October to develop a new graduate research university on the outskirts of Moscow. The university will be located in a technology park in Skolkovo that is being developed as Russia's future Silicon Valley.

The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, or SkTech, will enroll 1,200 graduate students and 300 postgraduate students, and employ about 200 faculty members, according to MIT. Its five degree programs will be focused around several interdisciplinary areas, including biomedical science, nuclear science, and space science.

The head of the Skolkovo Foundation, Vikor Vekselberg, said MIT would also help to develop 15 research centers in Russia.

The new university will not carry MIT's name, but faculty from the institute will be integrally involved in curricular design and faculty recruitment, according to The Boston Globe. The first students will enroll in 2014.

- The Chronicle of Higher Education
October 26, 2011

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