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Russia expects to attract more Chinese students

(China Daily)

09:41, May 16, 2013

Russia is expecting more young Chinese to study in its universities, said a Russian education official in Beijing on Tuesday.

The Russian government will step up efforts to promote its education resources and work with Chinese agencies to introduce more young people to Russian universities, said Margarita Barzhanova, the representative of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, attached to the Russian Embassy in China.

During Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Russia in March, the two countries agreed to bring the total number of their overseas students in each other's countries to 100,000 by 2020.

Judging from current bilateral relations, the target will surely be fulfilled and Russia is expecting a new wave of Chinese students, said Barzhanova in an interview with Xinhua.

"Russia's educational institutions are of high quality and less expensive than those in Western Europe and the United States. Also, we do not set a threshold concerning language," she said.

According to the Russian official, it normally costs 5,000 to 15,000 U.S. dollars a year to study in a renowned university in Moscow or St. Petersburg and about 3,000 dollars in a university outside the two big cities.

In addition, the Russian government offers scholarships for 10,000 foreign students every year, she said.

The two countries have a tradition of educational exchanges. In the 1950s, after the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Chinese government sent more than 10,000 students to the Soviet Union, mainly studying science and engineering.

About 20,000 Chinese are currently studying in Russia and 70 to 80 percent of them are majoring in language, said Liu Limin, China's vice minister of education.

The Chinese government would like to encourage more young adults to study science and technology as a number of Russian universities are known for high-level research and development, Liu said.

On the other hand, the number of Russian students in China has been increasing over the past few years.

A total of 13,000 Russian youths are studying in China and the number of newcomers in 2012 increased by 7 percent from that in 2011, according to Barzhanova.

Kateryna Danylova will graduate from a postgraduate program at Beijing Language and Culture University this summer and has received a job offer from a Beijing media group.

"Besides the interest in Chinese history and culture, the booming employment market in China attracts us," she said.

The exchange of overseas students is the best way to improve understanding between young generations of the two countries, Barzhanova added.

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