Russian universities attract foreign talent

Russian universities attract foreign talent
By Sergey Shcherbakov
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In this episode of Learning World, we take a look at the opportunities on offer for foreign students choosing to study in Russia.


More and more foreign students are choosing to study in Russia due to the excellent education on offer and the low study costs compared to their own country. The Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow is ranked among Russia's 10 best academic institutions.

Russel Chan is a postdoctoral researcher at the university.

"I think that Russia has a very dynamic research environment that a lot of people in the West do not get to see. I have visited Moscow before and I have seen some research here. So I was really impressed with the work they are doing in Russia," he said.

Neuroeconomics looks at how economic decisions happen inside the brain and the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at HSE is one of the very best Neuroeconomics centre's in Eastern Europe. About 40 percent of the students that study at the Institute come from abroad.

Snigdha Mohan, an exchange student from the University of Warwick, has been able to study in English while doing her studies in neuroscience at the Institute.

"I’m from an economics background initially. But even I can study something like cognitive science which is related to economics psychology and neuroscience."

HSE's Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov says the university actively tries to attract foreign students.

"It is very important for us to attract talented young people to our university from all over the world. Firstly, we have various summer and winter schools, where we invite foreign students and leading scientists in their fields. The second approach is international scientific competitions. We organise them together with the Association of Global Universities. This is one of the most promising areas of work in which to attract talent," he says.

There are nearly 300,000 foreign students in Russia. But not all of them choose to study in Moscow. Sandro Araujo from Brazil is studying in Russia's far eastern city of Vladivostok. He says he was lured by both the high quality of education on offer and the cheap costs compared to Latin America.

"In South America the education is very expensive. Sometimes what you pay here in a year, is what you pay in South America in one month. That is why a lot people from South American countries like Brazil or Colombia, Ecuador come to Russia," he says. is a global online platform which enables foreign students to easily register at any of Russia's 500 universities.

Sandro says it was easy to apply: “I have done everything over the internet: my application, my visa as well. It's very easy. I have done everything by myself.”

Students from more than 70 countries study in Vladivostok. Many subjects are taught in English. For instance, at the university's centre for nanotechnology Russian scientists and colleagues from Vietnam are working to identify the most harmful nanoparticles emitted from cars, motorcycles and ships.

"Here we are studying the solid components of exhaust fumes from cars and all other vehicles with internal combustion engines. This is very important for our colleagues from Vietnam,” Valery Chernyshev, a researcher in nanotechnology, says.

To Trong Hien, an assistant research student from Vietnam, also says many of his compatriots came to study in Russia.

“There are many of my teachers that studied in Russia. That is why I decided to come here. This University has good conditions for studying."

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