Ten years ago, there were only 13.5 thousand degree students of foreign origins in St. Petersburg. This number has increased to 31 thousand by now. If other education forms – such as short-term programmes or summer schools – are included, the figure rises to 38 thousand people.
Andrey Maximov, Chairman of the Committee on Science and Higher School of St. Petersburg, notes: It is a great responsibility to host so many international students. The infrastructure, its cultural, social and business components – they must meet the global standards. The primary role, however, belongs to universities. They have to provide high-quality education and need to guarantee decent living conditions. Students from other countries are only considering those study destinations where these facilities exist.
One of the most valued and highly ranked universities of St. Petersburg is the Mining University, wherein the Master’s Degree students from Spain and Kazakhstan have just completed a short-term educational programme ’Applied Geology’. What do they think of the choice they have made?
A student at the Technical University of Madrid, Ignacio de Sea Sarabia, says: Modern equipped dormitories and historic buildings were the first things I noted. But the labs and scientific centres – that is what impressed me the most! We learnt a lot through the use of simulators, analysers and other technical facilities.
Maria Rusina, a student of Karaganda State Technical University, has a high opinion of the lab classes held at the University’s premises: Students are usually overloaded with theory, but practical experience is lacking. This is not the case here, at the Mining University. Almost every lecture was followed by some experiment – for instance, we were drilling wells, even repairing them when needed.
The University’s plans for the future, of course, include increasing the number of international students.
As Rimma Plenina, Head of the Department of International Programmes and Scholarships at the Mining University, adds: There are over 800 full-time students of foreign origins who are studying in our University right now. St. Petersburg Mining University has also been involved in several large educational programmes, such as Erasmus Mundus, Tempus, DAAD, CIMO. By participating in these programmes, the University increases its competitiveness on the global education market. It also helps in expanding international cooperation in the field of higher education. For instance, last year, we accommodated about 220 graduate and post-graduate students who came from our partner universities in Europe and Asia to participate in short-term study programmes or as part of student exchanges.