Russia’s Public Diplomacy in Central Asia and the Caucasus: The Role of the Universities

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
Alexey Fominykh Volga State University of Technology Yoshkar-Ola, Mari El Republic, 424000 Russian Federation

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The article discusses the outreach practices of Russian universities in former Soviet republics in Central Asia and the Caucasus as a part of Russia’s public diplomacy effort. Perceiving the competitive environment of international education in the Commonwealth of Independent States in terms of geopolitical rivalry, the Russian government encourages state-owned universities to recruit more students and establish partnerships in this strategic region. As a result, focusing on Central Asia and the Caucasus for international student recruitment, Russian higher educational institutions not only pursue higher reputation and tuition revenues, but also perform as public diplomacy actors, supplementing and sometimes substituting the activities of official institutions.

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