Dave Kaiser of Blogo Slovo (I urgently need to update my blogroll) links to CNN’s report on the fire in a dorm of the Patrice Lumumba People’s Friendship University in Moscow, adding: “I seem to remember that this university was usually attended by foreign students from Soviet client states, such as Angola, Vietnam, Cuba, etc.”
Well, not only client states, but all of them third-world countries. Eastern Europeans, it seemed, studied either at home or at the best Soviet colleges alongside mostly Soviet students. With a fair number of excellent institutes of higher education in the old SU, was there a need for an extra university for third-world students? Was it a matter of ideology then? These days, Lumumba‘s student body still seems mostly African and Asian, but I doubt the quality of education is on par with the best Moscow colleges.