1,800 international students from 47 countries: PSU is expanding educational borders
International Students’ Day, which is celebrated on 17th November, is a good opportunity to remind everyone about student’s friendship and understanding and to talk about why foreigners like studying in Russia.
Russian higher education is one of the most attractive in the world for international students. Mikhail Kotyukov, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the RF, spoke about that at the UNESCO General Conference in Paris.
Penza State University is the leading university in the Volga region concerning the number of international students (10% of the total number of students are international students). Today more than 1,800 international students from 47 countries of the world are getting higher education at PSU.
The university is aiming at increasing the number of international students and expanding the geography. “Let’s note that doubling the number of international students by 2024 (according to the order of the President) can solve several strategically important problems, one of them being the formation of the circle of loyal to our state citizens abroad”, said Mikhail Kotyukov in his interview to the Federal News Agency.
As the example of foreigners’ loyalty to Russian University we can emphasize the flow of students to PSU from Arab countries as well as the development of students’ academic mobility programmes. In 2018 there were about 300 Arab students at PSU, whereas in 2019 there are 400 students from 12 Arab states.
“They are conscientious in studies, active in social life and are proud to represent their states”, says Aleksandr Guliakov, Rector of PSU. Currently, the University arranges to open the Centre for the Arab language learning.
This year for the first time PSU has been hosting representatives from Ecuador who are taking a residency training course. “In Ecuador Russian education is of high value. In PSU there are a lot of practical classes. We visit operations, and the teachers want to help us in everything, explain if we don’t know Russian words”, said Alex Giovanny Lara Muñoz, the residency students of the Department of “Facial Maxillary Surgery”, PSU. By the way, the Medical Institute provides an opportunity to use the intermediary language for learning and teaching: the teachers conduct classes in English, and the students are also taught Russian.
According to interstate agreements, students from a number of countries are provided with state-finance openings. Russian universities annually enroll about 15,000 students from other countries including from those ones where there are war conflicts. “In 2019 541 students from Syria and 95 students from Yemen were enrolled”, said the Minister of Education and Science.
The first student from Yemen at PSU was Adel Makbol. He graduated from the Faculty of Dentistry and took a residency course, had a very active social life and was elected Chairman of the International Students Association of the Penza Region. “When I came to Penza and entered PSU, I was the only representative of Yemen. It wasn’t easy: I didn’t know Russian; I didn’t have any friends or relatives here. But the atmosphere at University was so friendly that I got adapted very quickly. Now I recommend everyone to come to Penza and enter Penza State University. The quality of education is confirmed by the figures: the number of students from Yemen and Lebanon has increased up to 100 people”, said Adel Makbol.
Aleksandr Guliakov is sure that students’ friendship can help overcome global problems.