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    Russia: Why International Students Choose the Study at Higher School of Economics

    Russian Universities Facing Double Challenge

    Increasing student numbers is a fundamental factor towards the shift in educational systems worldwide, and is attributed by the rising number of students opting for an overseas education. Many states have begin investing significant funds to drive national systems of professional education in the global education market, while universities have begun to push their educational programs overseas intensely.

    Russian universities typically encounter (1) challenges throughout the internal changes of system of higher education (2) changes in Russian political, economic and social order after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    Although transformation challenges of Russian universities were widely reflected in academic papers, there is still a lack of research on the motivation of international students who opt to pursue a Russian education.

    Potential students from CIS Countries

    Through a sociological survey conducted among the majority of foreign students representing the CIS countries, the results show that the two basic reasons for selecting a higher education institution include: high level of education provided by a higher educational institution and good job prospects.

    In addition, close to half of high school leavers were considering the option of getting free education; while the rest noted that the perusal of a higher education would be dependent on the tuition expenses. The respondents were also asked about their plans after graduation and more than half (57.6%) intended to stay in Russia.

    Students from Non-CIS Countries

    According to a survey conducted by HSE Center for Institutional Research, inclination of foreign students pursuing short-term and long-term programs (bachelor’s or master’s) can be rather dissimilar. Students who are enrolled in the short-term programs are typically attracted by the opportunity to learn more about Russian culture. On the contrary, students who opt to be enrolled in long-term programs typically take into consideration the university’s reputation and selected academic programs. In addition, they see it as a way to gain greater exposure and as a form of challenge.


    In conclusion, for CIS nationals, obtaining for a Russian higher education primarily has to do with the aim of securing jobs in the Russian economy after graduation. However, much more work and effort will have to be done in order to gain the interest of foreign students towards the perusal of a higher education in Russia.

    Source: HERB

    Join us in the upcoming QS WORLDWIDE 2018 from 22-23 May 2018 in Moscow, Russia, as we discuss the topic on “In Search of University Excellence: Perspectives from Russia and Central Asia”.

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