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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New Rules For Foreign Teachers

The government has drafted a bill that will oblige foreign teachers to get work permits to work at educational establishments, ostensibly to root out those who promote ethnic hatred and threaten national security.

But the heads of two leading universities said the legislation would deal a considerable blow to the country’s education system.

The bill — which would apply to school teachers, university professors and English teachers at accredited schools — is slated to come up for a first reading in the State Duma in the fall, a source in the Duma’s Constitution and State Affairs Committee said Thursday.

The aim of the bill is to “boost control” over foreign teachers, some of whom have been involved in advocating “extremist ideology, inciting ethnic and religious hatred among students and other actions that contradict national security,” the government said in a note attached to the bill and posted on the Duma’s web site.

Another concern for the government is that foreign teachers “often lack documents that confirm their competence and qualification level,” the note said.

An exception would be made for academicians who arrive in Russia on foreign exchange programs, the note said.

Yaroslav Kuzminov, the rector of the Higher School of Economics, said if the bill was passed, the resulting bureaucracy would make it an overly difficult process for foreigners to become accredited teachers. “The consequences … would be disastrous for the intellectual capital of our country and its international image,” Kuzminov said, Kommersant reported Thursday.

 Sergei Guriev, the rector of Moscow’s New Economic School, called the bill an attempt to “sabotage” the development of an innovative economy, Kommersant reported.

The Education and Science Ministry did not reply to an e-mailed request for comment. The Moscow City Duma issued a positive review of the bill Wednesday, its web site said.