South Ural State University (SUSU) is located on the border of the European and Asian parts of Russia, in the city of Chelyabinsk. The convenient location and good academic traditions have led to more than 2000 international students from 52 countries studying in our university today. What academic fields are popular among students from Uzbekistan? Are university graduates in demand in the international labour market? Olga Yaroshenko, Vice-Rector for International Relations at SUSU, spoke about this with a correspondent from Sputnik.
‒ How many students from Central Asia are studying at SUSU right now? What fields of study do they choose?
‒ There are many students from the countries of Central Asia studying at SUSU right now. We have 130 students from Uzbekistan, more than 200 students from Tajikistan, and 80 students from Kyrgyzstan for now.
International applicants choose various fields of study. Often, these are fields that they have heard about from acquaintances who have got a degree at our university and returned home to work. The choice depends a lot on the economy of their native country and the availability of state-funded places at SUSU.
‒ How much attention does your university pay to working with international students?
‒ We of course feel a sense of responsibility towards the people who come here to study. Our main goal is not just that they enrol at our university, we want them to successfully complete their studies, too. So we do everything we can for them, beginning from various services to help with their arrival.
We meet international students at the airport and help them get settled in the dormitories. Our Sociocultural Adaptation Centre helps new students in unfamiliar situations, and every first-year student is assigned to an upperclassman from the same country. We show our students the city and equip them with everything they need. We hold informational days for them and introduce them to the migration policy and rules for staying in the Russian Federation.
In addition, we find talented athletes and send them to train in the Institute of Sport, Tourism, and Service. For example, wrestling is popular among our students, we have candidates and masters of sport.
We have an Association of International Students, which includes representatives of all countries. They have a unique opportunity to speak with representatives of many nationalities and tell them about their culture. They can study Russian with Russian students not in lessons, but in activities done together.
‒ Please tell us about the requirements for applicants (level of language proficiency, general academic preparation, participation in Olympiads)?
‒ Unfortunately, we do not count Olympiad participation for foreign citizens. Students from Uzbekistan complete complex testing which includes a Russian language test and, depending on their chosen field, physics, chemistry, or mathematics.
‒ Are SUSU graduates in demand in the international labour market?
‒ There are 200 thousand universities in the world, and we are proud that we are in the top 1000. The quality of education that students receive at SUSU helps them find jobs. They are in demand both in the Russian market and abroad.
Project-based learning is used actively in our university. Students have the unique opportunity to work with any of the eight international-level laboratories, and we are planning on opening more.
Our students study in a multilingual environment, they speak with people from different countries, and they improve their level of English. We have international teachers, and the international laboratories are headed by professors of world renown. In addition, our students can study in programmes coordinated by English-speaking teachers. All of this speaks of the very high level of academics.
Being located on the border of Europe and Asia, we preserve the values of both continents and provide an education which is highly valued both in the European and Asian labour markets.