Education trajectories of the youth from CIS-countries in Moscow
National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia email@example.com
The article considers factors shaping educational strategies of potential students from the CIS-countries applying to Russian universities. On the basis of interviews conducted in Moscow in 2014 we identify factors that explain the choice of specific Moscow universities by such students: 1) “common history”; 2) opportunities for tuition-free study; 3) family connections; 4) intention to emigrate from their home country. The article considers information sources on opportunities to study in Russia. We argue that the mastery of Russian language is not the most important or prime factor for the choice of Russian university: students rarely select specific university, but rather choose a town they would like to study in. The choice of Russia as a place to study is to a significant degree driven by the existing social and/or family ties. Student choices are also shaped by perception of relative prestige (or its lack) of a given university, which are largely determined by the Soviet-era inertia, and not the university’s place in global rankings or any certainty regarding the quality of education there.