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    Russia needs fewer universities - Medvedev

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    The quality of education in Russia has deteriorated, and the country needs to cut the number of universities and colleges, President Dmitry Medvedev said.

    The quality of education in Russia has deteriorated, and the country needs to cut the number of universities and colleges, President Dmitry Medvedev said.

    "Higher education has been devalued. We have a huge number of higher educational establishments some of which are worth nothing," Medvedev said at a meeting with employees of government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta on its 20th anniversary.

    "The optimum number of universities should be substantially fewer than now," he said.

    The Russian leader said he is not calling for inferior universities to be completely shut down. "They need to either be strengthened or merged with others," Medvedev said.

    "When I studied at the university, we, as far as I remember, had two educational establishments in Leningrad [now St. Petersburg] that trained legal experts," the Russian president, who had received a legal education in the 1980s, said.

    "But when I was leaving St. Petersburg in 1999, there were already 50 of them," he said.

    MOSCOW, November 11 (RIA Novosti)

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