Registration for the foreign graduate students “Open Doors” Olympiad ends on December 18, 2019. This is the first Russian project to attract talented foreign graduate students fr om all over the world to study at leading Russian universities. The 21 members of the Global Universities Association who are also participants in the Russian 5-100 Project organize it. The Olympiad is part of the national “Exporting Education” Project. This year 1.5 times as many applicants registered for the 11 Olympiad subject areas (33,369 students) representing 190 countries (an increase of 27) and submitting 45,047 portfolios (67% more than last year).
The Olympiad takes place online in two stages with a choice of Russian or English languages. This makes it possible for the most prepared and motivated foreign graduate students to participate. The competition helps promote Russian higher education opportunities in the open global market and to compete for the best applicants. Interest in the Olympiad has increased significantly over the three years of its existence. The participant profile has also shifted significantly with 64% of last year’s participants coming from non-CIS countries and 94% this year. Last year 80% of the participants registered to compete in English and this year 91%. This year Asian and African countries made up 88% of the applicant pool with 6% from CIS countries, 3% from America, and 1% each from Europe, Australia, and Oceania.
The online format consists of a first stage when participants submit a portfolio and the second stage when selected participants answer questions or solve problems related to their subject area.
I. General Information about the Olympics
Participants can compete “without leaving home”, all they need is an Internet connection.
To promote the Olympiad organizers have developed a special website, a mobile version of the registration system, and landing pages on university sites as well as posting videos on an Olympiad Group Facebook page.
Participants can prepare for the Olympiad with demonstrations and a prep test program that are available on the website.
The IT platform provides an automatic portfolio check that makes it possible to participate in multiple Olympiad subject competitions at the same time regardless of wh ere the participant is located.
New approaches were used to market the Olympiad including having universities inform target student audiences from their online courses, participants in their programs for foreigners and summer schools, and through Rossotrudnichestvo representative offices abroad.
In Stage One, the jury evaluates the participant’s portfolio of documents. Each Olympic participant has a personal account that provides all the necessary information. Support for Olympiad participants is provided through an E-mail center.
Methodological commissions and subject area juries are composed of representatives from different universities that may be located in different cities. Their work is coordinated by an Association member university.
Stage Two of the Olympiad is proctored. Participants install special software that identifies them and provides comprehensive monitoring during the three hour test period. This Olympiad on-line proctoring method was first tested in 2017 and the technology is now used regularly by universities.
II. Olympic Schedule
Stage One results will be announced on December 30. Finalists will participate in Stage Two that takes place in January 2020. Olympiad winners will be announced on February 20, 2020.
In the 2020 Olympiad, more than 300 winners will be chosen to receive a free education at one of the best universities in Russia. Winners and semi-finalists may be offered additional opportunities from Olympiad organizing universities.