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    RUSSIAN ORPHANS TO ENTER UNIVERSITIES WITHOUT COMPETITION

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    MOSCOW, February 13, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - At its plenary session Friday the State Duma adopted in the final third reading the law "On introducing amendments and changes to the federal law 'On Education'", a RIA Novosti correspondent reports.

    The amendments envisage that orphaned children and children left without parents' custody may enter institutes and vocational schools on a non-competitive basis.

    The previous edition of the law On Education allowed orphanage graduates to enter secondary vocational schools and institutes on a non-competitive basis if they were under 18. Older children entered schools on a common basis.

    The adopted amendments extend privileges for orphaned children till the age of 23.

    The law's authors believe that this will give more children an opportunity to receive vocational or higher education.

    With the necessary 226 votes, the law was passed by 418 deputies, with no votes against or abstains.

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