Foreign languages are taught in Russian high schools and the students take a proficiency exam on a chosen non-Russian language as part of the national exam before they can take up college education. By 2018, the Chinese language test will become part of the Basic State Exam, which is compulsory for all Grade 9 students. Meanwhile, the Unified State Exam (USE), whose passers qualify to enroll in a university course and get a high school diploma, will include a Chinese language exam for Grade 11 students.
Exams in English, French, German, and Spanish are already part of the national exam or USE. Education authorities will expand the language list to include Mandarin as the Chinese language is now taught in 123 schools in 34 regions in Russia. Some 17,000 Russian high school students are learning the language at present.
Last year, education authorities included Chinese as one of the foreign languages that graduating high school student can take up in the USE. Mandarin is the first Asian language to be introduced in the national exam, which also serves as an admission test to a university.