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    MORE THAN 80% OF RUSSIAN CITIZENS WANT HIGHER EDUCATION

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    MOSCOW, February 27, 2004 (RIA Novosti)-More than 80% of Russian citizens want a higher education. However, only 30% plan to attend a higher educational establishment for specific professions. The rest think that higher education by itself will allow them to acquire social status and that it guarantees them more material possessions than a specialty education can provide. This data was acquired during a three year survey of the economy of education conducted in a number of regions in Russia.

    To ensure that a child will attend a higher educational establishment, 75% of Russian families were prepared to spend a large amount of money and 47% said they were willing to give bribes. "It is time to recognize that in Russia there is no such thing as free education," said the rector of Moscow's Higher School of Economics, Yaroslav Kuzminov.

    Experts note that two thirds of Russians are prepared to pay for education.

    Now half of the students pay for their education and soon the portion of the free tutors will be reduced to 45%, noted Mr. Kuzminov.

    Experts say that expenditures for educational services will continue to grow. By 2010 they will increase by 56% and in the sector of higher education they increase by 48%.

    Meanwhile, statistics demonstrate that more than half of the graduates from higher educational establishments cannot find the work that corresponds to their level of education, Mr. Kuzminov said. "The most agitating problem for Russia in the next decade will be the overstated professional merits of and lack of demand for the graduates from higher educational establishments. Russia needs to imitate Western Europe and draw cheaper specialists into the country." According to him, even now many institutes are troubled by this situation and 70% of them offer additional education programs.

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