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Article

Why international students choose to study at Russia’s leading universities

Many governments invest significant funds to promote their national higher education systems in the global education market, and Russia is no exception. In 2013 the government launched the Russian academic excellence 5-100 Project ‘to maximize the competitive position of a group of leading Russian universities in the global research and education market’ and to attract international staff and students from all over the world. Although Russia is currently in 7th place for international students globally (IIE 2017), it has one of the fastest growth rates compared to its previous position in the global market. Existing literature on the motivation of international students who choose to study in Russia is minimal. In order to fill this gap, this study uses the results of interviews with international students to discover what brought them to Russia. The conclusions drawn highlight the need for the Russian government to improve its migration policy for international students as well as to publicize the quality of Russian higher education.