HSE applicants were forbidden to mention “foreign agents” in their exams

HSE applicants were forbidden to mention “foreign agents” in their exams

The Higher School of Economics, one of the most prestigious Russian universities, issued an order according to which entrants to the bachelor’s degree in journalism are prohibited from mentioning the materials of so-called foreign agents in their exams. Because of this, the results of the entrance exams or the interview may be annulled, the document says.

In addition, “Novaya Gazeta – Evropa” clarifies, applicants cannot use publications that fall under federal laws on protecting children from “harmful” information when preparing for admission to a university. For example, any materials about LGBT+ can be considered as such.

At the entrance exams, future journalists need to demonstrate “the author’s position and awareness of current events and problems.”

Earlier, the administration of HSE in St. Petersburg warned the leaders of student organizations that their use of feminisms even in correspondence on social networks will be equated to participation in the “international LGBT movement”, recognized by the Russian authorities as extremist.

  • Legislation on “foreign agents” in Russia appeared in 2012. The law allowed the Ministry of Justice to recognize non-profit organizations as “foreign agents” if they receive funding from abroad and engage in political activity. The criteria by which such activity is determined are not clearly defined in the law, which allows the authorities to pursue organizations working in the fields of education, culture, health care, ecology, and protection of human rights. Subsequently, it became possible to recognize mass media and individuals as “foreign agents”, including those who do not receive foreign funding, but “are under foreign influence”.

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