International students at Russian universities will be required to sit compulsory Russian language tests, the country's education minister has announced.
Speaking in an interview with the state-run TASS news agency on Monday, Olga Vasilyeva said that students would be supported by dedicated preparatory courses in order to sit the tests.
“A required level of Russian language proficiency will help them [foreign students] to succeed in their studies alongside their Russian peers,” she said.
Russia currently has just 221,000 foreign students studying at state universities. The government has recently launched a number of projects to try and boost the country's attractiveness to foreign students, including 15,000 scholarships annually over the next three years, the Sputnik news website reported in March.