During a meeting with delegates from Russian universities, Eleonora Mitrofanova, the deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, said Russian universities' yearly earnings from the international education market total $150 million (the gross market volume is $40-50 billion).
Mitrofanova said Russian higher education institutes are fully capable of increasing their share in the global market to $2 billion.
The deputy minister approved of Russia signing up to the Bologna Convention and thinks that it will, "promote Russian integration into the European system of education." The main goal of the convention is to create a unified European higher education zone by 2010.
Currently, 90,000 foreign students (40,000 from CIS countries) are enrolled in Russian universities. The Soviet Union educated 11% of all international students in the world. Today, Russia educates less than 4%. The deputy minister said she can see a much greater potential in that area. She noted that Great Britain earns $5.3 billion a year from foreign students.
Russian President Vladimir Putin got the West worried again by signing Decree No. 915. The news did not produce any public effect in Russia