Russian universities have not performed very well in the global rankings with the exception of a few elite universities such as Lomonosov Moscow State University and St Petersburg State University. Limited funding and isolation from international networks have contributed to this situation. The Russian government has been attempting to improve Russia’s international profile through the 5 Top 100 project which has the target of getting five universities into the top 100 of the well-known rankings. One element of this drive is the closing or the merger of inefficient campuses or branches. In 2018 the Russian Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science closed 46 universities and suspended the licenses of another 20.
An article in University World News by Eugene Vorotnikov indicates that there are still many Russian universities that produce limited scientific research and provide poor quality teaching. President Putin has recently called for the closing of “dud universities”, including unlicensed private institutions. There should be mergers of such universities and the creation of competitive regional networks.
These measures appear to be supported by the leaders of major Russian universities who note that many of the “dud” universities have not recruited qualified staff or failed to pay them suitable salaries.