Letter From St. Petersburg: Save the European University at St. Petersburg! #SaveEUSP

On March 20th, 2017, a Russian arbitration court revoked the teaching license of the European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP). We, the students and alumni of the EUSP, strongly disagree with the court’s decision and the assessment of the university’s work by the state educational watchdog agency (Rosobrnadzor).  The EUSP is a leading Russian graduate school in the social sciences and humanities serving a better future for the country and international academic cooperation.

None of the more than one hundred alleged violations that cost the EUSP its license stand any criticism. Most of them have been refuted, many through legal processes. However, a handful of miniscule and ridiculous accusations still were used to persecute the university. One example is that, according to Rosobrnadzor, the EUSP Department of Political Science and Sociology, the absolute leader in Russia in productivity in these fields, lacks a proportion of the faculty staff whose primary occupation is ‘practical’ work (the term not defined in any official documents). The other requirement that an educational institution is supposed to have a gym (which the EUSP does rent) contradicts the very state regulation that graduate schools are not required to have it.

We believe that the attacks of the watchdog agencies and the court decision follow the purposes of disturbing the academic and educational process in the EUSP and closing the institution for good.

The EUSP has gained its international reputation for excellent scholarship and making successful graduates out of Russia’s brightest students.  The EUSP safeguards high global university standards in Russia and the post-Soviet space. According to the Ministry of Education and Science, the EUSP is the number one university in Russia regarding research activities and financial efficiency. It is among the top universities in research citations. But, the significance of this institution lies far beyond official efficiency evaluations. The university has become an inalienable part of Saint Petersburg, serving as its vibrant intellectual and cultural center. It is vital not only to its students, professors, and staff, but to the citizens of Saint Petersburg who regularly come to its events, public lectures, and courses. To lose it will mean to lose an important and exceptional platform for free academic discussion in Russia.

The current governmental actions against the European University at Saint Petersburg present a severe threat to independent education and science! We call on the international academic community, students, public intellectuals, and all people of good will to stand in solidarity with students and alumni of EUSP and help us to save our university!

Support the European University in its struggle!

EUSP Students and Alumni

 

THIS IS HOW YOU CAN DO IT:

Take part in the protest on March 24th in front of the Russian Consulate in your city! Fb page of the event https://www.facebook.com/events/194472364380553/

– Organize and participate in solidarity actions on any other day and in any other place!

– Publish letters of institutional support on behalf of the organization you work or study in! Send it to us. EUSP publishes the letters on its website: https://eu.spb.ru/en/news?filter_40=support_letters

– Sign the petition! https://www.change.org/p/спасите-европейский-университет-в-санкт-петербурге

– Spread information about the current situation with EUSP through social networks and other media resources. Take photos with the hashtag #SaveEUSP!

Page of EUSP Support Committee https://www.facebook.com/groups/1880279938885032/

 

KEY MATERIALS ABOUT THE EUSP CASE:

– COURT REVOKES LICENSE OF ONE OF RUSSIA’S BEST PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES

https://themoscowtimes.com/news/court-revokes-license-of-one-of-russias-best-private-universities-57480

– COURT HEARING NEWS, March 20, 2017

https://eu.spb.ru/en/news/17466-court-hearing-news-march-20-2017

– SITUATION REGARDING THE SUSPENSION OF THE EDUCATIONAL LICENSE OF THE EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY AT SAINT PETERSBURG 12/12/2016

https://eu.spb.ru/en/news/17166-situation-regarding-the-suspension-of-the-educational-license-of-the-european-university-at-saint-petersburg

– COMMENTS ON THE SITUATION AROUND THE EUSP BUILDING

https://eu.spb.ru/en/news/17234-kommentarij-po-situatsii-vokrug-zdaniya-euspb