In yet another epic humiliation for Putin’s Russia, the country has once again been totally excluded from the list of the top 200 universities in the world. Anyone even vaguely familiar with Russian universities, where professors are paid slave wages and students cheat and bribe the way normal students in other countries drink bottled water. Russian higher education is corrupt from top to bottom, and decades out of date, mired in neo-Soviet politics.
Or take a look at the list of Nobel prize winners. Good luck finding even one Russian, much less a significant contingent there. Russian universities prize slavish adherence to authority and bureaucracy, not the kind of creative cutting-edge thinking that leads to advances in knowledge. The result is, just for instance, the totally humiliating revelation that Russia has been reduced to using spies to steal simple microchips available on the U.S. commercial market because it can’t produce such basic technology itself.
We firmly believe that the Putin Kremlin does not want it to be any different. A real university system would mean educated, powerful young people who are difficult to control. Putin wants Russians sick and ignorant, because they are so much easier to dominate and control that way. Why else would Putin take the appalling action of kicking UNICEF out of Russia, denying thousands of Russian children a healthier, better life? It’s the same attitude the rulers of the USSR had, the same attitude that drove the USSR to collapse onto the ash heap of history.