Young Russians show a sophisticated awareness of British higher education as highly qualified applicants increasingly cherry-pick courses and universities.
Most inquiries about undergraduate and postgraduate places at Moscow's British education fair came from students who had done substantial research and were armed with astute questions, according to exhibitors.
Alexandra Broekema, an international officer for Nottingham University, which has 35 Russians students, said: "Top universities now are not looking only for numbers in international students - if so, we could just go to China to recruit - but we are also looking at how well qualified and intelligent the students are, and you can find those in Russia."
Paul Norton, assistant director of the British Council's Moscow office, said: "British universities account for 1,700 of the 9,000 Russians studying at higher education institutions overseas and the number has almost trebled over the past eight years."
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