Assessment of Conditions for Obtaining Higher Education by Foreign Students in Regional Institutions of Higher Education in Russia

By Pukhova, Anna; Belyaeva, Tatiana et al. | Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, January 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

Assessment of Conditions for Obtaining Higher Education by Foreign Students in Regional Institutions of Higher Education in Russia


Pukhova, Anna, Belyaeva, Tatiana, Tolkunova, Svetlana, Kurbatova, Alla, Bikteeva, Lolita, Shimanskaya, Olga, Journal of Entrepreneurship Education


INTRODUCTION

For most countries the most desirable category of migrants is foreign students. Today about 680 Russian educational institutions accept foreign citizens from 170 countries (Arefiev, 2016). In the recent decades, the competitive struggle of regional universities for foreign students has increased. Given the current demographic situation, Russia is actively using the migration potential of the youth from the near abroad countries and developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Currently, the number of students from foreign countries is constantly growing. This growth is caused by the CIS countries (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine). In the Privolzhsk Federal District the number of foreign students increased by 2,9 thousand who were enrolled in 116 universities (Arefiev, 2016; Khorasani, Maghazei & Cross, 2015). Most universities enter foreign educational markets on their own. According to many researchers, under the conditions of fierce competition this issue requires a state policy in order to promote the Russian educational system and to advertise the Russian educational institutions in other countries (Pukhova & Dvortsova, 2014).

METHODOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK

Russia has always occupied one of the leading positions on the market of educational services. The first universities, which at the end of the XIX century admitted students from Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia and other countries, were St. Petersburg, Moscow and Novorossiysk. However, the training of foreign citizens in pre-revolutionary Russia was not widespread.

In the Soviet period, our country occupied the third place in the world according to the number of foreign students studying in the universities of the USSR, behind the universities of the United States (419.6 thousand foreign students of colleges and universities) and France (136.9 thousand) (Arefiev & Sheregi, 2014).

After the collapse of the USSR, an effective system of education was destroyed in the country. The transformational processes that began in the country had a very negative impact on the domestic system of education and science. They significantly reduced the position of Russian universities in the world.

According to statistical data, studying in Russia are mainly the students from the Middle East and North Africa (16.9%), Africa (16.6%), CIS (11.9%) and Asia (7.2%), much less from the countries of Northern Europe (6.2%) (Arefiev & Sheregi, 2014).

According to the results of the polls, the main indicator of the attractiveness of studying in Russia for foreign students is a good quality of education with its low cost. According to the number of foreign citizens studying in Russian universities, the leading positions currently belong to the natives of China, India, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Malaysia, Morocco and Moldova.

The most popular fields of study for foreign citizens are: engineering, medicine and economics.

The overwhelming majority of foreign students in Russian universities study on the Specialist and Bachelor degree programs (only 8.8% of foreign students of the tertiary level of education are enrolled in master, postgraduate and doctoral degree programs). This is not a coincidence, because the level of education in the Russian higher school is still considered to be quite high.

The factor that inhibits an active growth of the number of foreign citizens in Russian universities is their difficult adaptation and socialization in the new environment.

At present, regional educational institutions are very active in attracting students from abroad (Pukhova, Belyaeva, Varakina & Ruzanova, 2016). The main influx of students is observed in the educational institutions of Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Yekaterinburg, Voronezh, Stavropol and other cities of Russia. This is related to a number of political, socio-economic and psychological factors in provincial cities: affordable cost of training, satisfactory level of security, satisfactory living conditions, the organization of which is treated with great attention by regional universities since the influx of foreign students significantly increases not only the revenues of universities, but also the country's budget in general. …

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