On June 1, 2021, Federal Law No. 85-FZ of April 5, 2021 "On Amendments to the Federal Law" On Education in the Russian Federation ", or better known as the Education Act, comes into force.
According to the introduced changes, educational activities are understood as: “activities carried out outside the framework of educational programs aimed at disseminating knowledge and skills, value attitudes, experience and competence for the purpose of intellectual, spiritual, moral, creative, physical and (or) professional development of a person, satisfaction of his/her educational needs and interests".
Who will be affected by the amendments?
• Any company, individual or sole entrepreneur carrying out activities that fall under the concept of education.
• For official institutions already licensed to provide educational services in the event of international cooperation.
Who will be in control?
• The Government of the Russian Federation will determine the procedure and conditions for conducting educational activities, preliminary by issuing appropriate licenses, however, this will be specified later in by-laws.
• For kindergartens, schools and colleges, permission to conclude international agreements on cooperation will be issued by the Ministry of Education, for universities - by the Ministry of Science, which is also likely to be monitored through scheduled and unscheduled inspections by Rosobrnadzor employees.
What will require approval?
• Any educational activities will require prior government approval.
• An agreement with a foreign teacher, agreements on scientific and technical cooperation, on holding international conferences and any other contracts aimed at holding events related to the implementation of international activities by educational institutions.
What restrictions are introduced?
The law opposes incitement of social, racial, national or religious hatred, including by providing students with inaccurate information about the historical, national, religious and cultural traditions of peoples, or inducing actions that contradict the Constitution of the Russian Federation, and also against negative foreign interference in educational process.
To sum up
Due to the extremely broad and general definition of educational activities, as well as the absence of norms establishing the procedure for determining, forms of control and liability, at the moment it is difficult to say unequivocally how and in relation to whom specifically the act will work, since any educational projects, bloggers, any companies that conduct seminars and lectures, any sites with useful information, channels, podcasts, etc. may be subject to new regulations.
The changes, however, will definitely affect many, but so far only educational institutions can fully realize all the consequences of the introduction of this act.
Despite the fact that the act was criticized a lot in the media and the Russian Academy of Sciences came out against it, changes are inevitable and we will monitor new rules and additional requirements to keep you informed.