EXCLUSIVE: Ambitious Russia foreign students recruitment plan welcomed

EXCLUSIVE: Ambitious Russia foreign students recruitment plan welcomed

In an exclusive chat with Global Education Times, one of the leading technological universities in Russia, ITMO University, has welcomed Russian government agency Rossotrudnichestvo’s plans to recruit over 7,000 foreign students to pursue IT studies in the country’s universities.

ITMO University, which is one Russia’s leading higher education and research institutions, specialises in Information Technology, Optical Design and Engineering.

Last week, Russian agency Rossotrudnichestvo’s head Eleonora Mitrofanova announced the launch of the ‘Human Resources for the Digital Economy’ programme, as part of which Russia would seek to recruit over 7,000 foreign students.

Speaking to Global Education Times, Irina Kim, Head of the International Cooperation Department at ITMO University, said: “Rossotrudnichestvo’s programme ‘Human Resources for the Digital Economy’ initiates a good trend in promoting Russian IT education abroad to attract schoolchildren of different levels, from elementary to high school students, as well as teachers and administrative staff.

“All activities within the programme aim to enhance the prestige of Russian IT education and make it visible on global educational market.”

Echoing Kim’s sentiments, Alexey Lizunov, Advisor to First Vice Rector at ITMO University, told Global Education Times: “It is definitely a positive move. It is a unique case when authorities of a country initiate a mass, multi-format project in the field of digital economy.

“27 organisations are involved in implementing it, chosen from more than 90 that took part in the selection process, and formats vary from online courses to hackathons, online contests and traditional courses for teachers.

Lizunov noted that a positive aspect about this initiative what that it will be targeted at schoolchildren as well as graduates, with some courses for kids as young as 7-8 years old.

Russian economy will benefit by becoming a hub for IT studies abroad, believes ITMO University

ITMO representatives believe there are several advantages for Russia in recruiting more foreign IT students as part of this programme.

Lizunov said: “For Russia, recruiting more foreign students means becoming the centre of attraction for talented young people who can make a valuable contribution to the Russian and global economy.

“It also makes Russian science and education more international and helps to create a competitive environment where the national research and educational system develops according to world standards.

“Third, it grows the community of graduates who may be interested in working with Russia in future. And, of course, the financial aspect, the increase of educational export, matters as well”.

Russia an attractive destination for foreign IT students

There is a general belief that Russia could use this programme as a platform to further its status as a good destination for IT studies.

Kim noted: “In Russia, you can find unique educational programme in cutting-edge areas conducted by highly qualified teachers.”

Russia’s lower cost of living could also be a draw for foreign students, ITMO representatives believe.

Lizunov added: “The Russian educational system is famous for its high quality, huge scientific background, especially in mathematics, physics and other technical fields, and strong traditions of fundamental education. All this comes with relatively low tuition fees and living costs.”

Rossotrudnichestvo’s announcement last week noted that major Russian technical universities will be helping to implement this programme until 2021.

Pic: ITMO News

Hari Srinivasan - Managing Editor, Global Education Times (GET News)

Hari is the Managing Editor of Global Education Times. Hari has clocked nearly a decade working as a communications professional with a focus on the education sector. He has also had stints in journalism and advertising in a career which has seen him live, study, and work, in three countries.
You can reach him at: hari@globaleducationtimes.org

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