Global tensions rile experimental university

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Science  08 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6282, pp. 136-137
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6282.136

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In 2011, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge surprised many education observers by teaming up with Russia to found a new U.S.-style research university. Many Russian scientists looked on with envy as the federal government poured tens of millions of dollars into the Skolkovo Institute of Technology (Skoltech), part of a high-tech park on Moscow's outskirts that was a pet project of former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Skoltech is still seeking to live up to its promise. The university is a beacon for the Russian diaspora: Russian returnees comprise nearly half the faculty. But Russia's deteriorating relations with the West have hampered efforts to recruit non-Russian faculty, and its hobbled economy is pinching funding.