(CSM) Generally, prestigious private universities with hundreds of students don't get shut down over fairly minor, six-month-old technical issues that have since been resolved.
But that is precisely the predicament facing the two-decade-old European University at St. Petersburg, a bastion of Western liberal arts, which has been ordered closed by a district court after a furious conservative assault against it. […]
Nikolai Petrov, a political scientist at Moscow's Higher School of Economics, says it might be all of those things. But he worries that closure of the European University might also herald an attack on the teaching of Western-style political science in universities across Russia.
He says it's an old Russian paradox, dating back to at least Peter the Great, that Kremlin leaders want what the West can give in terms of technology, science, and managerial expertise, but definitely do not want its political ideas.
"The tone today is that higher education is good when it's about technology and hard science, OK when it's economics, but bad when it teaches Western political values," he says. "There is pressure on political science departments around the country to 'merge' with other departments, like state management, which will inevitably change the way they teach." […]
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