Russian education is becoming increasingly attractive.
Over the last two years, the number of international students coming to Russia rose from 220,000 to 270,000 and reached 5% of the total student ranks, according to Vedomosti newspaper. Chinese youth are particularly interested in education in Russia. 10,500 Chinese nationals are studying at Russian universities, as reported by the Ministry of Education and Science.
Certain Russian universities are engaging prospective students in China directly. For instance, Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University opened a representative office in Shanghai in April 2016. Around a thousand Chinese students are currently enrolled in SPbPU, and 300 more are expected to join their ranks in 2016/2017 (constituting a 30% year-on-year increase).
Far Eastern Federal University has already opened a number of Russian Language Learning Centers (similar to preparatory departments) in various Chinese provinces. Their 10th center was opened in Dongning (at the premises of Shangdong Professional College) in May 2016. Chinese nationals comprise 60% of FEFU’s foreign students totaling 2500.
Many Russian universities collaborate with their Chinese partners. For example, Novosibirsk State University and Heilongjiang University (Harbin) have dual bachelor, master and post-graduate programmes in Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Physics, Law and Economics. A total of 720 students were enrolled in these programmes in 2015/2016 academic year.
Chinese students are applying for a variety of programmes: Computer Science, Construction, Engineering, Nano Electronics, Economics and Mechanical Engineering. Russian Language and Journalism are also very popular. Many prospective students appreciate the diversity of programmes available from Russian universities. Financial considerations also matter – higher education in Russia is cheaper than in China, while its quality has traditionally been high.