Russian Education Minister’s Live Phone-In
Valery Falkov answered questions from Russian and international students and their parents.
The Russian minister of science and higher education fielded questions for two hours in a live broadcast on 5 June 2020. He addressed problems encountered by international students.
One of the recurring questions concerned the mode of study which Russian universities would adopt if the borders remained closed in September. Will they organise online learning? The minister said that many higher education centres had already switched to online classes. The Russian education ministry has three summer months to help the universities - which have not yet launched this process – get on standby for distance learning. In the future, “hybrid classes” might be arranged with face-to-face teaching for some students and online instruction for others.
Another important question concerned the prolongation of visas of the international students who are currently staying in Russia. The minister said that on 17 April, 2020 the government adopted the resolution on foreign nationals who were unable to leave Russia because of the pandemic. International students can have their visas extended by up to 90 days at Russian regional police departments; this can be done repeatedly, no fee is charged. The Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education promised to arrange consultations for international students over visa and tuition issues amid the COVID-19 lockdown measures.
Valery Falkov also addressed accommodation for students. Russian universities keep renovating their dormitories; in 2020, the government allocated three billion roubles for these needs. Twenty-four new dormitories are currently under construction in Russian cities; they will accommodate 15,000 Russian and international students.