Student loans in Russia
Over the past decade the Russian higher education system has experienced considerable financial and institutional change. Changes in the mode of financing higher education have not only been among the most radical elements of education reform, but also among the most sensitive public issues.
Introduced by the 1992 Federal Law on Education, tuition actually plays a major role in the financing of private higher education institutions and proves to be an important source of funding for public universities. According to the Russian Ministry for Education, 56 percent of the total number of students enrolled in 2001/2002 are charged tuition fees (only 15 percent in 1995, 46 percent in 1999, 51 percent in 2000) . Most of students who pay for their education are enrolled in public universities. Tuition-free admission to public colleges and universities is highly competitive and available only to students with the best score on entrance exams. Those who fall below the acceptable score on entrance exams are offered tuition fee paying places.
In 2001, public universities crossed the Rubicon: over 51 percent of students enrolled in public higher education institutions pay tuition . The share of tuition-based enrollments is much lower at elite classical universities and higher at weak educational institutions. For example, at Moscow State University only 850 or 22 percent of the 3,800 students enrolled in 2001 are charged tuition. In 2002, Moscow State University plans to enroll 4,400 students, including 1,000 tuition-fee paying students .
The tuition varies from US$ 150-200 to 7,000 with an average of US$ 600-650. The level of tuition is much higher in metropolitan areas than in the regions. While Moscow education institutions charge US$ 2,000-3,000 on average, the best regional universities cannot charge more than US$ 500...