Number of students paying for studying in Russian unversities is growing
Over half of school graduates of 2018 were able to enroll in Russian universities for free, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Kotyukov, said. According to him, total number of thise admitted to universities compared to 2017 increased by about 6 thousand people and amounted to 1.148 million people. This number includes bachelor, masters, and specialty programs.
“In the framework of our state program, 528 thousand people are now studying for free, which is 12.5 thousand higher compared to last year’s numbers. We can say with confidence that the issue of accessibility of higher education still exists, even if situation is improving. If we compare current figures to number of school graduates, only 57% enroll in universities. It's a fairly high number,” he said.
According to him, increase can be seen in almost all forms of education - bachelor degree, masters degree, now matter if it's full-time or part-time education.
Average score of the Unified State Exam (USE) in 2018 was 69.1 points. "The gap between admission in the framework of the state exam and paid admission still exists, and that's why we must think of additional measures to minimize this gap. Education must have more or less comparable conditions in order to ensure equal opportunities and employment conditions after graduation," Kotyukov said.
Speaking of popular specialties, he said: “In 2018, the most popular one was fundamental medicine, economics and management, as well as nursing. These are the three main specialties, although it must be understood that today students have opportunity to choose up to five universities to enroll to before making final decision. There's low interest in agriculture, forestry and fishery, musical art, physical education and sport. That's why there's still a lot of work to do.”
“Taking into account this data, we can say that quantitative parameters of the current system show positive dynamics, while quality indicators are also somewhat positive,” the minister concluded.
Meanwhile, rector of the Higher School of Economics (HSE) Yaroslav Kuzminov said that while summing up results of admission campaign, analysts studied not only results of leading universities and largest branches, like they did before, but all branches and all non-state universities. He noted that non-state universities are getting closer and closer to state universities.
Kuzminov stressed that monitoring doesn't include universities of art and universities of law enforcement agencies: "We focus only on those universities that mainly accept students based on the results of the Unified State Exam and olympiads. It's hard to compile data on other universities, as well as compare quality of talent of people who play on violin and those who are admitted to acting and other arts universities."
"What should be highlighted is that we see gradual increase in number of those students who pay for studying in universities," Kuzminov admitted.