The number of African students receiving scholarships to study at Russian universities has increased by 150% in the past three years. This increase is part of Russia’s strategy to prioritize education as a key aspect of its cooperation with Africa.
President Vladimir Putin announced that the number of African students studying in Russia is projected to reach nearly 40,000, with 35,000 already enrolled. As a result of these scholarships, the total number of African students in Russian universities on state scholarships is expected to exceed 10,000 by 2024. Currently, around 6,000 African students are benefiting from these bursaries and pursuing their studies across the Russian Federation.
To strengthen educational ties with Africa, Russia plans to establish campuses of leading Russian universities in African countries. These campuses will offer a range of subjects taught in Russian, aiming to enhance academic and research cooperation between the two regions. Additionally, the creation of joint schools is underway, where adapted teaching materials combining Russian and African education programs will be utilized.
Beyond higher education, Russia is also committed to assisting African countries in developing their vocational training systems and expanding teacher training programs. President Putin emphasized that this collaboration in skill development and education will further foster mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and Africa.
Furthermore, Russia aims to promote the Russian language internationally, particularly in Africa. The country plans to open Russian schools in Africa, where various subjects will be taught in Russian. An international Russian language organization is set to launch in 2024, inviting interested countries to join and promote the language and culture.
The recent Second Summit and Russia–Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum witnessed the signing of 51 agreements focused on education and science, highlighting the deepened cooperation between Russia and Africa in these areas.
Russia’s efforts to attract African students have achieved significant success, with the number of scholarships provided to African students growing from 1,700 in 2020 to an anticipated 4,700 by next year. The minister of Science and Higher Education, Valery Falkov, highlighted that over 310,000 qualified specialists from Africa have been trained in Russia throughout their history of cooperation.
In light of this development, universities in Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo have expressed their intention to introduce Russian language programs and foster academic collaborations with Russian institutions.
Russia’s commitment to education as a cornerstone of its collaboration with Africa showcases its dedication to expanding opportunities for African students and strengthening ties between the two regions.