MOSCOW, April 18 (Itar-Tass) —— The government on Wednesday referred to the State Duma the bill proposing to remove barriers to getting education for foreigners staying in Russia on a work visa.
The bill “will first of all remove barriers to education in Russia to labor migrants from near-abroad countries,” Leonid Slutsky, the head of the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs and Ties with Compatriots, told reporters. “These legislative norms will make it possible to cut the time and expenditures for foreign citizens who wish to get education while working in Russia,” he said.
Slutsky believes that the deputies might manage to have the first reading of the bill before the end of the spring session. At the same time he came out for a comprehensive approach envisaging, among other things, the introduction of education training of would-be migrants in their home countries and urged the government to intensify measures of support for existing projects in this area along the lines of the Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, Compatriots Abroad and Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo).
Dmitry Sablin, the first deputy head of the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs and Ties with Compatriots, said, in his turn, that if the bill is passed, “foreigners staying in Russia on a work visa will be able to study in educational establishments while working in Russia. The bill will also enable foreign citizens to extend their stay in Russia for the duration of their studies.
On the whole, Sablin stressed, the bill is called upon “to create mechanisms for work with foreign citizens, also with compatriots, to stimulate their studies and employment in Russia.” Endorsement of the bill will also help “optimize labor migration to preserve, accumulate and develop the intellectual potential of the country,” said the MP.
Grigory Balykhin, member of the State Duma Committee for Education, ex-head of the Federal Agency for Education (Rosobrazovaniye), said there is no need to fear that foreign students would take up most of the budget-financed places in Russian higher educational establishments. “Young people from CIS countries mostly study in Russian higher educational establishments, and they mostly receive education on a contractual basis,” he said.
“It is gratifying that ever more young people from neighbor countries want to get education in Russia,” said the MP. According to his information, the number of students from CIS countries studying in Russian institutes of higher learning increased ten-fold in the past ten years. According to experts, young people from Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Belarus most often come to study to Russia.