Moscow State University (MGU) Rector Viktor Sadovnichy has signed an order allocating 30 million rubles (about $394,000) to support the university’s students, instructors, and researchers during the coronavirus pandemic, the state news agency TASS reported on Thursday, November 19.
The university is set to establish a list of tuition-paying students who are in need of financial support by November 30. “I believe that this will make it possible to compensate for potential costs associated with distance learning,” Sadovnichy said.
The university plans to wave accommodation fees for tuition-paying students who choose to leave residence between November 16, 2020 and February 6, 2021 (the Education Ministry has mandated that its subordinate universities use distance learning exclusively until that date). MGU will also cover travel expenses for students who decided to go home for the duration of their online studies.
Students who were assigned state social scholarships as of November will receive a one time payment of 10,000 rubles (about $131), while PhD students and medical students working as residents treating coronavirus patients will be entitled to 20,000 rubles ($262).
On November 18, Kommersant reported that a group of tuition-paying MGU students were preparing to file a lawsuit against the university over the transition to online learning. They urge MGU to partially refund tuition fees paid during the spring and fall semesters, wave residence fees for those who left during distance learning, and recalculate the cost of living in residence in the spring of 2020.
On November 19, Presidential Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova said that she considers it “reasonable” for universities to recalculate tuition fees following the switch to remote learning.