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Russia's Envoy to Africa: Higher quota for foreign students in Russia is of great political importance

October 09, 2013, 13:12 UTC+3
Russia's Special Envoy for African Affairs, Mikhail Margelov, has called the enlargement of admission quota for foreign students in Russia an important foreign policy step
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MOSCOW, October 9 (Itar-Tass) - Russia's Special Envoy for African Affairs, Mikhail Margelov, has called the enlargement of admission quota for foreign students in Russia an important foreign policy step.

“That is an important political decision by our country’s authorities to increase quotas for international applicants. As President Vladimir Putin remarked very correctly, 'it is the export of education and culture that helps create favorable conditions for Russian products, services and ideas’," Margelov said about the government resolution to increase the number of government-funded places for foreigners at Russian universities from 10 thousand to 15 thousand a year.

He said that the world was constantly changing its configuration, becoming multipolar, and in this new context, the so-called “soft power” was becoming no less significant than military, political or economic factors.

“One of the main instruments of this power, which can attract other countries, is the promotion of language and cultural values, or in other words, the export of education,” Margelov said, stressing that the “soft power” was both an effective and long-term foreign policy instrument.

“For instance, those Africans who have graduated from our universities in the Soviet period, are still very friendly towards us”, Margelov said, adding that he would meet with the Committee on Education, Science, Culture and Information Policy of the Federation Council upper house of Russia’s parliament in the near future to discuss the implementation of the government's resolution.

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