Some 35 Russian higher educational institutions are attending the annual Chinese showcase of international universities.
Main building of Tomsk State University. Picture: The Siberian Times
Surprisingly, only five are from Siberia and the Russian Far East.
With China's students increasingly travelling abroad to study and broaden their experience, the trend is both potentially lucrative for universities but also leads to forging key links for the future.
Two Tomsk institutions were represented at the China Education Expo 2012, which began in Beijing before going on the road around six other major mainland cities before ending in Guangzhou on November 3.
The Tomsk State University and Tomsk Polytechnic University are both represented.
The polytechnic university has been highly successful in recruiting foreign students from both East and West and its website gives a taste of what to expect as a student in Tomsk:
'Experience a friendly and multinational environment and build life-long friendships at Tomsk Polytechnic University.
'The University offers a wide range of dynamic and relevant study programmes in Computer Science and Engineering, Geology and Oil and Gas Industry, Material Science and Technology of New Materials, Mechanical Engineering, Public Relations, Marketing, Advertising, Economics, Management, Linguistics, etc. at all levels both in Russian and in English.
'At the University, we combine high academic excellence in teaching, internationally-rated innovative research and cutting edge facilities. The cosmopolitan nature of the University is mirrored in a diverse international student community and exceptional student support services which provide advice and practical help.
'The University is located in a beautiful, cultured and friendly city of Tomsk that offers a unique living and learning atmosphere.
'Institute of International Education and Language Communication welcomes international students to study at a truly international Tomsk Polytechnic University and get experience in forward-thinking and multicultural environment. '
The Pacific National University and Vladivostock State University of Economics and Service were also represented in a list dominated by Moscow and St Petersburg. Also seeking to woo Chinese students to the Russian Far East was the Vitus Bering Kamchatka State University.
The expo comes at a time when senior Russian officials have repeatedly stressed the importance of Asia in developing the economy. In all, some 580 educational institutions were represented from 23 countries.
Russia faces strong competition from 'educational powers' in the West in attracting Chinese students with the numbers studying abroad having soared from 118.500 in 2005 to 339,700 last year. This year, the total is expected to be in excess of 400,000, says the China Daily citing the Ministry of Education.
Canada - the favourite foreign destination for Chinese students - has 94 institutions at the exhibition while the US and UK both have more than 80.
This month it was announced that 29 Chinese higher education institutions sent their teaching staff for the training on teaching Russian as a foreign language in Beijing and Tianjin. The training is organised by the Pushkin State Russian Language Institute.
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