ZongoNews Editorial: Global Education – International Migrant Destinations (Part 4) by Lesley Shepperson

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Lesley Shepperson is Managing Director at Shepperson & Shepperson Consultants, United Kingdom

Did you know that according to the United Nations, the number of international migrants has grown faster than the world’s population? ‘As a result, the share of migrants in the global population reached 3.3 per cent in 2015, up from 2.8 per cent in 2000.’  We have already seen in our recent articles that the world distribution i.e. destinations vary, but there are also differences in relation to percentage (%) of the destination population. United Nation data indicates that ‘In Europe, Northern America and Oceania, international migrants account for at least 10 per cent of the total population. By contrast, in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean, less than 2 per cent of the population is an international migrant’. 

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The same data also states that in demographic terms ‘Assuming a continuation of current migration patterns, in Asia, for every 100 persons of working age (from 15 to 64 years), there will be 28 dependent older persons (aged 65 or older) in 2050, compared to a ratio of 11 per 100 in 2015. Likewise, during the period 2015-2050, old-age dependency ratios are projected to increase from 26 to 48 per 100 in Europe, from 22 to 38 per 100 in Northern America, from 11 to 31 per 100 in Latin America and the Caribbean, and from 18 to 30 per 100 in Oceania. Only Africa is projected to have an old-age dependency ratio below 10 per 100 by 2050. This will hugely increase the potential economic generation ability of Africa. 

The Russian Federation is our third migration destination hotspot.  Did you know that Russia has been reported as having the highest literacy rate level in the world with 99.5%?  It has also been suggested that Russia is one of the best places to study in the world with ‘more than 1000,000 foreign students studying in Russia.  This makes Russia the 9th largest destination in the world for studying abroad. 

In Russia, the academic year is divided into two sessions with the first one being February until June and the second from September to January.  Children enter Kindergarten or pre-school between the ages of 3-5 before going on to primary education at the age of 6 for four years and basic general education at 10 years for a further 5 years.  At the age of 15 students then take one of two main routes; either secondary general education to prepare for higher education either at university or non-university or become a qualified worker or, the second route leads them to vocational education where students become qualified workers. 

For those wishing to study higher education, there are six main federal universities that deliver four levels of Higher Education. Level 1 is a two-year diploma, level 2 is a four-year programme known as a Bakalavr degree, level 3 is a three-year scientific degree and level 4 is a 5-10-year scientific degree which achieves a Doctor of Science. 

Proof of residency remains a huge challenge for many migrating people in many parts of the world and is a monumental barrier to access to education.  The Federal Migration Service and the Ministry for Education and Science of the Russian Federation websites provide some information and guidance on their policies. 

Lesley Shepperson is Managing Director at Shepperson & Shepperson Consultants Ltd. United Kingdom.

www.sheppersonandshepperson.co.uk