Russia launches $7.6bn school building programme 


Huge public-private partnership will deliver more than 500 schools in three years.

The Russian government has launched a major PPP scheme as part of an ambitious programme to position Russian education among the best in the world.  

As part of the national project, more than 500 new schools will open by the end of 2024 and will accommodate almost 650,000 children. More than half of the expected $7.6bn funding is expected to come from private capital.  

Russia is experiencing a significant change in its demographics. After a long period without population growth the number of children is now rising fast and it is thought 1.8 million additional school places will be needed by 2024.  

VEB.RF, a state development corporation, will be the primary partner of the private-sector investors involved. VEB.RF chairman Igor Shuvalov is positive about the prospects 

Shuvalov said: “PPPs in education will make it possible to deal with bringing new schools into operation at a faster pace, distributing and easing the burden on regional budgets and enabling good educational practices to be exported around the country.” 

Most of the new school places needed in Russia are in the major cities but there are also shortages in some remote regions with limited infrastructure. If successful, it is hoped these schools and other measures will raise Russian general education into the top ten in the OECD’s PISA student assessment rankings from its present level of 31st.  

Sergey Kravtsovthe Russian minister of education, expressed his optimism for the project, saying: “Population growth makes us devise plans to create new school places that would fully meet the vision of a high-quality educational process.”