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The goal of Project 5-100 is to maximize the competitive position of a group of leading Russian universities in the global research and education market.

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Vladimir Putin signed the bill that allows international students in Russia to work their way through university

February 6, 2020

Starting in August 2020, amendments to the law on the legal status of foreigners in Russia will allow international students to undertake paid work on a student visa alone, with no extra documents required. The bill was signed by President Vladimir Putin.

Experts believe that this initiative will increase the appeal of Russian education for international students who sometimes drop out of Russian universities because current legislation makes it difficult for them to get a job to pay their tuition and living expenses.

“Once enacted, the bill will help foreign students not only solve their financial problems without violating migration and tax regulations, but also gain practical skills and improve their command of the Russian language, meet new people and integrate into the Russian society,” believes Yefim Fidrya, Vice-Rector (Vice President) for Social Communications at Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University (IKBFU).

Experts have welcomed this measure. Ekaterina Yurovskaya believes that letting college-goers take up paid jobs related to their major field of study would benefit both them and their universities' home regions. On the one hand, she points out, graduates with such a background should be more marketable, which is a boon to them; on the other, positive work experience gained while at college means that young people are much more likely to find employment locally after taking their degree, which would supply the regional economy with skilled labor.

Alexey Maleev, Vice Rector for International Programs and Digital Innovation at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), says that giving international students in Russia a chance to work their way through school should provide them with a more comfortable university experience, which they would praise to their relatives and friends at home. This should cause more foreign nationals to come to study in Russia, thereby increasing their consumption of this country's educational and other services.

Russia seeks to double its international student count by 2024. One initiative that has been implemented to meet this target is the National Project for Education, which seeks, among other things, to make Russian higher education more marketable worldwide. Under Project 5-100, launched in 2013 with the express aim of rendering this country's top higher learning institutions more competitive internationally, universities have seen their administrative processes streamlined, long-term development strategies upgraded and faculty and staff quality improved, partly through hiring leading academics from inside and outside Russia.