Eastern European University Association

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24 January 2014

The past five years have shown dramatical increase in international activity of the CIS universities who have been putting enormous efforts into international cooperation development. The recent survey of Eastern European University Association contains comprehensive data on the state of CIS universities market and reflects its readiness for international collaboration.


90 universities from Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries took part in the survey providing information on the actual state of their International Relations Department, its goals and development tendencies.


According to the survey Russian education is becoming internationally-oriented as 91,01% of the respondents have a functioning International Relations Department that administers university’s international activity. This department is mainly engaged in establishing and expanding international partnership ties thereby promoting various student and tutor exchange programmes, as well as joint or dual degrees and research grants.


CIS universities are struggling to stay competitive on international education market and meet foreign requirements. For instance, 40,23% of the interrogated universities now offer graduate courses in English medium, whereby 26,44% of the respondents are willing to start English medium courses in case at least 10 students enroll for the course. These numbers are constantly growing as it becomes still more obvious that without English medium programmes the university will simply lag behind its peers.



In terms of forms of cooperation 87,06% of the interrogated universities are mainly interested in student exchange programmes, 82,35% put special emphasis on joint grant applications, 78,82% focus on joint degree programmes, 68,24%  try to develop tutor exchange.


40,51% of the interrogated universities indicate that it is possible to take such language proficiency exams as TOEFL, TOEFLibt, CAE, PET, IELTS, FCE, DELF-DALF, TestDaf, onDaf on university premises.


All these efforts would be vain without the corresponding financial support however. Whereas previously many CIS universities used to suffer from the lack of funding for international activity, now the survey shows that the majority of the interrogated universities, namely 68,67%, are allocated state budget for international activity.


Talking about partners 67,86% of the interrogated universities can boast having more than 5 active international partner universities, while 28,57% claim to have 1-5 international partners. A mere 3,57% indicate that they still have not established any partnership but are willing to do so in the nearest future.


Most of CIS universities are seeking international partners from Western Europe (52,63%) and Asia (28,95%). Among the countries indicated as desirable partners are China, Germany, Poland, Russia, France, Ireland, the USA, Belarus, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Malaysia, Brazil, Japan, Switzerland, Kazakhstan and South Korea.


2,63% of respondents are interested in cooperation with African countries.


In terms of promotion CIS universities are trying to put themselves on the map by participating in various B2B (53,73%) and B2C events (47,76%). 43,28% of the respondents fall back on student recruitment through agent networks, 35,53% collaborate with foreign language schools.


At the same time some of CIS unis are actively trying to boost their global awareness with the help of various social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (43,28%). 44,78% of the respondents use direct offline advertising while 43,28% take advantage of direct online advertising.


53,57% of the interrogated universities indicate that the information on the university website is available in 3 languages - native, Russian and English. 20,24% offer university website information in more than 3 languages.


Overall the survey results show downright positive tendencies in CIS international education market and demonstrate that Russian, Ukrainian and other CIS universities are interested and capable of establishing solid partnerships with their foreign peers from around the globe.


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