The Education and Science Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) have proposed to increase the quota for foreign students in Russian higher education establishments by a third, Kommersant said on Friday.
"A government resolution drawn up by relevant agencies was posted on the portal regulations.gov.ru (presumably, it will take effect on January 1, 2016). The number of budget-funded foreign students in Russian higher education establishments may grow from 15,000 to 20,000," the newspaper said.
According to Kommersant, an explanatory note gave a reason why the quota might grow so much, first of all, it was about "higher effectiveness of Russia's 'soft power'." The project authors see the training of foreign nationals in Russia as a way "to form pro-Russian national elites who would be effectively promoting Russian interests, including those long-term," in their home countries.
The newspaper recalled that the same tactics was used by the Soviet administration. A number of alumni of People's Friendship University of Russia took governmental positions in socialist countries in a later period.
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