MOSCOW, March 13, /ITAR-TASS/. Foreign students’ demand for education in Russia should be maintained in order to help the Russian language preserve its positions and status in the world, believes Russian Deputy Prime Minister for Social Affairs Olga Golodets, who chairs the Council on the Russian Language under the Russian government.
“This year, more than 1,500 citizens [school graduates] will take the Unified State Exam abroad,” she told a council’s meeting on Thursday. “There are also Russians among them and citizens of other countries who want to pass the USE and to get education in Russia. But the demand is much higher.”
“Our task is not only to sustain this demand but also to make education interesting, good, modern and available,” Golodets said.
The Russian language is the sixth most popular language in the world with more than 260 million people speaking Russian nowadays. However, the number of Russian speakers has hardly increased in the recent years.
Last October, the Russian government decided to establish a council to promote the Russian language abroad.
The Council should help fulfil the government's policy aimed at popularizing the Russian language. This is an advisory body, tasked to consider key issues in the area of state support and development of the Russian language, and to work out proposals to improve the state policy in that sphere.
Among the Council's tasks will be the opening of Pushkin Institute linguistic centres in about 50 countries, including former Soviet republics, Europe, the United States, China, Japan, Syria, Iraq and several other Middle Eastern nations.