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A unified center to recruit foreign applicants has been created at the beginning of this year by the Global Universities Association - a network composed by the 15 Russian universities participating to the 5-100 program of the Russian Government. The programme aims to make Russian universities more internationally competitive by attaining three main goals by 2020: to get five Russian universities into the world’s top 100 universities, to have at least 10% of international faculty and researchers, and to enrol at least 15% of international students.
The new unified recruitment center – that will start to have an impact in 2016 - has the primary function to centralise the application process, to ensure that candidates meet language and academic requirements, and to allocate quotas for international students (20000 in 2015) that are currently distributed by the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and the International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo).
The general goal of the whole operation is to promote the brand of Russian higher education, enhance the appeal of the member universities and to help them to attract students. In fact, one of the main weaknesses of Russian higher education is its limited international presence. No Russian university is present in the top-100 universities of the most important global universities rankings and the country has a low appeal as destination for international students.