Number of African students in Russia on the rise

Published 08/11/2019

The number of African students enrolled in Russian universities has reached over 17,000, thanks to renewed efforts throughout the continent to raise the numbers to Soviet-era figures.

One such campaign carried out in the past two years saw nearly 2,000 students enrolled from 49 different African countries, said Mikhail Kotyukov, minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation.

“We have a rich history of cooperation in education”

“We have a rich history of cooperation in education. Today over 17,000 students from the African continent are studying in Russian universities,” the minister told the recent Russia-Africa Summit and Forum in Sochi, referring to figures from the 2018 Russian Statistical Yearbook.

According to Kotyukov, the number includes those benefiting from Russian scholarships at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as those who were paying for their own education in the country’s universities.

The numbers are projected to continue to rise boosted by the bilateral deals Russia will be entering with individual African countries as a follow-up to the high-level summit attended by hundreds of African delegates and many heads of states and government.

The minister said his country was confident of more than doubling the numbers in the next few years.

“Today two-thirds of the African continent’s population are youth. This fact greatly defines our vector of cooperation and contributes to the importance of scientific and educational components,” the official told the event.

African students in undergraduate studies in Russian universities will also be helped transition and enrol in postgraduate programs, according to Vladimir Filippov, rector, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia.

This will be done via support to talented students interested in advancing their education in the hundreds of state and non-state owned universities in the former Soviet republic, the rector added.

Among countries prepared to sponsor their students to enrol in postgraduate studies in the Russian federation is Angola, which according to its Education minister will be sending 300 master’s students to Russia each year.

“We would like as many students to enrol in postgraduate studies as possible…we would happy to see these students study in Russia successfully,” added Maria do Rosario Braganca Sambo, Angola’s minister of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation.

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