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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2 Leading Universities Will Get More Funds, Autonomy

Two of the nation's most prestigious universities are to see their funding doubled and are to receive more control over how they spend their money and design their curricula, Kommersant reported Friday.

President Vladimir Putin is expected to issue a decree in the coming months giving Moscow State University, or MGU, and St. Petersburg State University, or SPGU, the new "federal university" status.

Education and Science Minister Andrei Fursenko underscored that the new status would give MGU and SPGU far more autonomy. "They will not be subject to state educational standards," Fursenko said.

The decree would double the budgets of both universities, and additional funds would be allotted for other projects, such as the construction of new dormitories.

MGU's budget for 2007 is about $213 million, while SPGU's is around $115 million.

MGU has more than 40,000 undergraduate and 7,000 graduate students, and more than 4,000 professors and lecturers. Another 15,000 support staff work for the university. The campus includes more than 600 buildings encompassing more than 1 million square meters, according to its web site.

SPGU has 32,300 students, including 2,500 pursuing Ph.Ds, according to the university web site. It employs a total of roughly 15,000 people.