MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. At least 270,000 foreigners are currently studying in Russia, with around 18,000 of them receiving education through government quotas, head of the Russian culture exchange agency, Rossotrudnichestvo, Yevgeny Primakov told a press conference organized in TASS.
According to Primakov, Russia has been increasing the overall quota allocated for foreign students to study in Russian universities for several years now.
"This year, there are 18,000 [students] who used Russian government quotas to study. There are many more foreign students in reality. We are now not counting those who arrived on a private, commercial basis and so on. It seems to me that there are between 270,000 to 300,000 of those studying in Russia," he said.
The agency chief also recalled that a special portal was launched this year, educationinrussia.com, to help foreigners apply for quotas and study in Russia. This year, the service is working on a test basis but "we believe that it will reach the level of full operation already next year," Primakov added.
He also recalled that 18,000 educational quotas "were allocated for 175 countries around the world," which particularly feature the Marshall Islands, Argentina and Peru apart from post-Soviet states. "From the 80,000 applications to take part in the selection we received, around 30% came from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) members. Most came from Tajikistan," he stressed. Primakov added that applications were sent from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Egypt, Syria, Sudan and China. "Many of these countries, which are seemingly not in the CIS, have strong political ties to and contacts with Russia, our businesses are developing there," he added.