If the above-stated assumption about the increasing interest of foreign citizens in studying in Russia is true, then it should be noted that this will require universities to make certain changes in the positioning and implementation of their educational programs. Of course, it is necessary to develop a range of educational programs in foreign languages – and not only in the field of medicine! It may be necessary to audit the demand for existing programs from foreign citizens, evaluate existing channels for their involvement and identify those subject areas in which it is advisable to launch an experiment with teaching in a foreign language. However, here it would be appropriate to ask the question: should there be an English-language program? With all the unambiguity of choosing English as a lingua franca (a large amount of literature, easily-selected teachers, etc.), think about the fact that even with the highest costs, the implementation of a Undergraduate program in management, say, in Arabic, will allow you to enter the market of Arabic-speaking countries, which, according to various estimates, accounts from 400 to 600 million people, and will increase the chances of recruiting full-fledged groups due to targeted positioning.
However, if we are talking about a serious program of academic migration, then, of course, it is necessary to increase the role of foundation courses. In the last EEM issue, we discussed this problem in detail in the chief editor's article, so now we will only briefly outline our position.
Foundation courses in universities should turn into comprehensive tools for the adaptation of foreign students. Ideally, Russian language training should begin a month before arriving in Russia using online learning tools so that a student can say at least something during border control and get to the university campus on their own. This will reduce or even prevent the effect of cultural shock and painful adaptation to our conditions.
The traditions of our higher school in terms of teaching foreigners the Russian language and socio-cultural adaptation date back decades. However, we believe that there is a certain problem: we do not fully take into account the nature of academic migration. The fact is that, until recently, speaking about the category of foreigners studying at their own expense, we were dealing with the so-called leaching academic migration, when guys go to Russia, more driven by issues of professional self-fulfillment than academic development. In our opinion, within the framework of the foundation courses, more active work should be carried out on social and legal adaptation, which will give foreign students a better understanding of the peculiarities of our legislation in terms of opportunities and limitations that the foreign student status gives. In addition, it is necessary to carry out cyclical work on the professional and academic orientation of students of preparatory faculties, because often their expectations about Russia do not come true, and they have to change their initial plans. We should help them by reorienting them, for example, to another area of training or even to receive secondary vocational education.
The trend of recent years, associated with the reduction of in-person contacts between university representatives and potential students, has formed new stable segments of university marketing work – online exhibitions and recruiting agents. The main difference between these marketing environments is the presence of an intermediary between the university and the applicant, which has certain properties that can both strengthen that can either improve marketing positions and advantages of the university or weaken them. It is obvious that the university needs to develop new advertising and information materials, learn how to use new mechanisms for delivering information and communicating with interested parties. That is, universities need to audit their marketing positions and offers and, if necessary, reformulate them.