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University World News reports that president Yeltsin’s economic shock therapy in Russia in the 90’s will result in a slump of up to 30 percent in the birth rate among the youth who are ready for university studies in the coming few years. According to the Ministry of Education and Science 1,05 million leave school this year, compared to 1,32 million in 2005. It is predicted that this number will shrink to 930,000 in 2009 and 808,000 in 2010.
In the period after the 90’s, higher education in Russia has expanded significantly, which will surely result in higher competition between the institutions and also perhaps make entrance less competitive for prospective students.
It is assumed that this is a demographic dip and that student numbers will be up after some years. Anatoly Vishnevsky, director of the Institute of Demography at the Higher School of Economics, contends that there is a real danger that the authorities now will feel temped to reduce state supported places at institutions of higher education. He hopes this will not happen.