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Educational programs and services of Russian universities. Russian education, known for its fundamental and interdisciplinary nature, is held in high regard across the world. Regardless of what they major in, alumni of Russian universities demonstrate impressive expertise in their field.

Russia has signed over 100 international agreements on recognition and equivalency of qualifications, academic titles and degrees. Graduating from a Russian university is a guaranteed way not only to acquire expert knowledge, but also to secure employment opportunities across the world. That is why more and more foreign students choose to come to Russia to get their degree.

Russia is in sixth place when it comes to the number of foreign students, both on-campus and off-campus, with the US, UK, China, Germany and France being in the lead (during academic year 2015/2016, 296,200 foreign nationals studied in Russia). The academic year 2014/2015 saw a considerable increase, with 32,700 more foreign students coming to Russia than in the year before that.

The number of on-campus foreign students has been growing consistently. In the academic year 2015/2016 there were 200,800 of them, in 2016/2017 the number reached 219,000. Kazakhstan nationals constitute the largest group of foreign students (35,100), followed by students from China (22,300) and Turkmenistan (14,000). Compared to the previous year, in the academic year 2016/2017 the total number of foreign nationals studying in Russia grew by 8.9 percent.  

Engineering and technical competences are the most popular ones among foreign citizens who decide to study in Russia accounted for by approximately 25% of all on-campus overseas students, but there are two more fields that attract students from abroad: these are medicine (1 in 5 international students) and economics and management (1 in 6 students). At the same time, Russia continues to be one the main “producers” of mathematicians and, recently, high-quality IT specialists, which contributes to the unyielding popularity of these professions.   

Foreign students study at Russian higher education institution across the whole country. The majority of educational institutions that teach students from abroad is amassed in Moscow (150) and Saint Petersburg (67). Today, universities of these two mega-cities lecture 4 out of 10 foreign students, trainees and postgraduates.

Foreign nationals who come to Russia for in-class higher education flock to state educational institutions: almost 97% of all overseas students prefer such universities.    

Regarding the overall number of foreign students across all in-class programs, the RUDN University has lately been the unfailing leader (over 8,000 students from abroad), then comes the Saint Petersburg State University (5,200 students), and, finally, the Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University (upward of 4,500 students).   

Russian education is easily accessible for overseas students outside of classrooms as major Russian companies has started to organize special programs in collaboration with informational educational institutions.

For instance, Rostselmash, a famous manufacturer of agricultural equipment, has set up special classrooms in the Latvia University of Agriculture, the State Agrarian University of Moldova, the Estonian University of Life Sciences and also the Shevchenko Pridnestrovian State University.

Teaching foreign students at Russian higher education institutions: statistical compendium. Issue #14 (2017). Moscow: Ministry of Education And Science of the Russian Federation – Center for Social Research; Export of Russian educational services. Statistical compendium. Issue #7 (2017). Moscow: Ministry of Education And Science of the Russian Federation – Center for Social Research; Russia in figures. Brief statistical compilation (2017). Moscow: Federal State Statistics Service.

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