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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Students Are Lining Up to Get Into University

MTStudents chatting on the campus of Moscow State University on Tuesday.
Competition to get into institutes of higher learning is unusually fierce this summer, and demand for majors involving high technology has skyrocketed, school officials said.

The country's 657 universities and colleges stopped accepting applications last week and are sorting through them to pick out by the end of July the 594,381 students who will be granted admission, Education Ministry spokeswoman Larisa Chegayeva said.

Moscow State University, or MGU, has received a total of 19,813 applications for 3,660 openings in 25 of its departments, almost 500 more than last year, MGU spokeswoman Yevgenia Zaitseva said.

The most-sought-after departments are mathematics, computer sciences and biology, Zaitseva said. Eight students are competing for each of the 400 openings in the mathematics department.

"With the rapid development of modern technology, fundamental knowledge is in great demand," Zaitseva said.

"Young people understand that they can receive this kind of knowledge only at specialized departments and later apply it in several different fields."

Moscow's Bauman Technical University has received more than 7,000 applications for its 3,100 places, with most competing for openings in the information technology and programming departments, university spokesman Andrei Volokhov said.

The radio electronics and laser medical techniques department also is in high demand, he said.

"Some companies start interviewing students of this department for future employment a year before they graduate," Volokhov said.

Workplace demand for graduates familiar with high technology was nonexistent five years ago and only started growing in 2001, said Natalya Vasilyeva, a consultant with the Graduate recruitment agency. She said the graduates are employers' top picks this year.

Other popular majors this year are public administration and financing.

The Higher School of Economics has six applicants competing for each opening in the public administration department, while the Finance Academy is seeing the same ratio for its finance and management department, Gazeta.ru reported.

The number of applicants from the regions also is increasing. Almost half of the tuition-paying students that MGU expects to enroll in the fall will come from the regions -- a sharp contrast from a few years ago, when two-thirds were residents of Moscow and the surrounding Moscow region.

"In the financially troubled 1990s, the flow of students from the regions was low because many parents could not afford housing for their children in Moscow and the cost of hiring tutors," Zaitseva said, referring to the widespread practice of hiring professors to provide one-on-one assistance in preparing for entrance exams.

Bauman expects to enroll up to 1,500 students from the regions and would enroll more if the university had more housing, Volokhov said.