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Kyrgyz Education Ministry To Close 14 Universities

BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz Education Ministry said today it has revoked the licenses of 14 universities in the country, which will be closed, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Among the schools to be closed are the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Academy, the Kyrgyz-Kazakh Academy of Law and State Service, the Moscow University of Economic Statistics and Information branch in Bishkek, and the International University of Kyrgyzstan.

The ministry said students currently attending those universities should transfer to other institutions by April.

There are reports that more institutions of higher education could be closed in Kyrgyzstan.

In May, the Education Ministry conducted a licensing audit of Kyrgyz universities and then sent written warnings to about 30 universities and colleges for them to improve various aspects of the school within three months.

They said 14 universities failed to address the problems they were asked to correct.

The OSCE regional headquarters and the OSCE Academy in Bishkek said they are concerned about the ministry's decision.

OSCE officials in Bishkek said they did not receive a notice telling them that their license has been revoked and that they should end their activities.

The number of universities in Kyrgyzstan has quadrupled since 1990, giving it the highest number of universities per capita in the Commonwealth of Independent States uniting most of the former Soviet republics.