Russian university expels and evicts hundreds of students for refusing to leave their dorms during the coronavirus pandemic
The Russian State Social University (RGSU) in Moscow expelled and evicted at least 200 of its 1,568 students between April l5 and 23, reports the student journal Doxa.
Officially, the students were expelled for failing their exams. The students themselves insist that the university administration is actually attempting to quickly empty out its dormitories, in order to do renovations during the coronavirus pandemic.
The expelled students told Doxa that some of them faced problems retaking their exams (a typical practice in Russian universities). In several cases, the students in question were simply not notified that the date of their exam had changed; another student failed an exam because of one incorrect answer; and yet another was assessed by teachers who were not present during the examination itself. Several students associated their expulsion with their political activity.
Earlier, students reported that the RGSU administration had demanded that they all move into one dormitory building for the duration of the quarantine. Those who opposed the move or spoke to the media about it received threats from the university leadership, Doxa says.
Several dozen expelled students from RGSU have written a joint letter about the situation at the university, appealing to the Russian Education Ministry, the federal education watchdog, Rosobrnadzor, and the public health authority, Rospotrebnadzor. The students also intend to submit an appeal to the Investigative Committee and the prosecutor’s office, complaining about their unlawful expulsion and eviction from their dormitories, during the coronavirus epidemic.
RGSU’s press service told Doxa that over the last two months there were 413 students expelled from the university for poor academic performance, but only 17 of them were living in student dormitories. “This statistic is similar to the average rate in recent years,” the university press service noted.