Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized Mikhail Kotyukov, the Minister of Science and Higher Education. According to the Head of State, the ministry, based on statistical data, does not understand what is actually going on. The Russian leader said this at the session of the Presidential Council on the Russian Language, which was held in the Kremlin on Tuesday, November 5.

At the meeting, professor of the Voronezh State University Lyudmila Koltsova spoke about the current contradiction: in accordance with the requirement of the ministry, a class of undergraduates cannot consist of less than 12 people - at the same time, there are only six scholarship openings provided for the master's program of the Faculty of Philology of the Voronezh State University.

– If so, this is difficult to comment on. If a class in the master's program is considered functional with 12 people in it, and we have only six budget-funded positions, then how can it be formed? – the President asked Mikhail Kotyukov. – After all, this is not some kind of trendy specialty that provides high income.

According to Vladimir Putin, it cannot be assumed that "another six students will come to study at their own expense".

The minister tried to say that "we draw on the statistics available over the past three years".

– It's bad that you draw conclusions from bare statistics without understanding what is happening “in the field”, in life. In that case, you need to make some adjustments to your regulations, – the Russian leader is sure. – If you have already introduced a rule according to which a group cannot be formed of less than 12 people, then you must provide 12 scholarships.

Mikhail Kotyukov replied that it was planned to make changes in the system for allocation of budget-funded openings.

– Make the changes and report to me on how you’ve changed it because this is ridiculous, – TASS quoted Vladimir Putin.