Russia's national college entrance exam will include Mandarin as an elective foreign language, according to an announcement by Sergey Kravtsov, deputy minister of education and science of the Russian Federation on March 14, Sputnik News reported.
The three-year preparation work was completed in 2017, including technologies for written and oral tests, reference materials and talent reserves, according to the deputy minister.
Mandarin will soon become the fifth elective test item for Russian college entrance exam, in addition to English, German, French and Spanish.
Russia's Education Supervision Bureau was aiming to include Mandarin in the final exam for ninth-graders by 2018, and for 11th-graders in their college entrance exam by 2020.
The study of Mandarin has grown in tandem with increasing cooperation in trade and economics between China and Russia.
The number of Mandarin learners in Russia has grown two-fold in the past 10 years, from 17,000 in 2007 to 56,000 in 2017, according to a survey of a regional research center of linguistics in Russia.
Insiders from the Russia education industry confirmed students with both relevant professional background and Mandarin proficiency are more competitive in job applications.