Several thousand children from Russia study in private schools in the U.K. At last year end, our country was on the fifth place in the world by this number. Russian billionaires and celebrities are willing to pay big money for high-quality education of their descendants. There are plenty of governmental officials’ and Deputies’ children in British schools as well. How can their parents, having pretty humble official incomes, spend thousands of pounds sterling every year on the education of their offsprings?
In mid-January, Vedomosti (News) newspaper has reported, citing KnightFrank consultancy, that Russia became one of the leading countries in the world by the number of its children enrolled into private British schools. Since 2005 to 2017, their number has increased by 77%. In 2005/2006 academic school year, 343 children from Russia have joined private English schools, while in the last year – as many as 608 children. In total, over 3 thousand Russian citizens currently study in the U.K. This is the fifth position after China (7.9 thousand students), E.U. (7.2 thousand), Hong Kong (4.9 thousand), and U.S. (3.5 thousand). After the crisis, the number of Russian students has slightly dropped – in 2015/2016 academic year, their number was higher: 753 children. But even the reduced figure looks impressive.
It is commonly known that studying in a private school in the U.K. is a pretty expensive luxury. A year in the most prestigious college – Eton – costs some £37 thousand. Education in less famed Westminster School costs the same amount. What kind of Russian citizens can afford spending almost 3 million rubles ($53 thousand) every year on the education of their kids?
First of all, this is about successful Russian businessmen. A large number of billionaires from the Forbes list opted not to entrust the education of their children to domestic schools and universities. For instance, the only son of Mikhail Fridman, co-owner and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Alfa Group Consortium whose wealth is estimated at $13 billion, is studying in the U.K. Two older daughters of Fridman, Lora and Ekaterina, had studied in Yale University in the U.S. His son Aleksander Ozhel’sky, born in 2000, studies in Kent School, a prestigious British private school. There Aleksander made friends with Pavel – a son of another Forbes billionaire Oleg Tinkov. The teenagers are running joint IT projects and have launched Apple Tech Info information portal.
Mikhail Fridman with son Aleksander Ozhel’sky
Two daughters of German Khan, another co-owner of Alfa Group Consortium whose wealth is estimated at almost $9 billion, live in London as well. The older daughter, 23-year-old Eva, has already graduated from Saint Martins College in London and currently studies history of arts in Courtauld Institute of Art. Her younger sister, 17-year-old Eleonora, still studies in one of the most prestigious private schools. Similarly with Eva, she likes to paint.
German Khan with daughter Eva
Billionaire Mikhail Gutseriev, founder of BIN Industrial and Financial Group, whose fortune is estimated at almost $5 billion sent his only son Said to Foggy Albion as well. The boy had been living in the U.K. for 17 years, he has a British citizenship. Upon graduating from prestigious Harrow School, he joined the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford. Then he studied oil and gas management in the University of Plymouth and in 2014 returned to Russia to take charge of an oil company subsidiary to BIN Industrial and Financial Group. In addition to shares in father’s oil companies, Said currently owns shares in such appliance retail chains as Eldorado, M.Video, and Tehnosila.
The fortune of oligarch Gennady Timchenko known for his friendship with Vladimir Putin is estimated at $11.4 billion. He also does not trust the Russian education system. Natalia, the eldest daughter of the billionaire, studied English literature in the University of Oxford and then returned to Russia to become a filmmaker. His younger daughter Ksenia studied philosophy and French language in the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and graduated with distinction. Ivan, son of Gennady Timchenko, currently studies international affairs in the University of Geneva in Switzerland.
Ksenia Frank, daughter of Gennady Timchenko
Dzhangakhir Makhmudov, the only son of Iskander Makhmudov, primary shareholder of Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company whose wealth is estimated at $4 billion, has also spent his juvenile years in London. Upon graduating from the London School of Economics and Hult International Business School, Dzhangakhir returned to Russia to be the successor to his father.
The only son of billionaire Leonid Fedun, co-owner of Lukoil, has settled in the capital of Foggy Albion as well. Anton Fedun has graduated from the Regent’s Business School in London and studied tourism management in the University of Surrey. Currently he manages his own five-star hotel TheAmpersand in London. Concurrently Anton Fedun is the Director of Garlick Hill Hotel Project. Ekaterina, daughter of Leonid Fedun has also graduated from the Regent’s Business School and became a PR specialist.
Many Russian businessmen not put on the Forbes list yet are also taking every effort to send their children to private British schools. If you have enough money – why not spend a fortune on the education of future ladies and gentlemen?
Similarly with oligarchs, many Russian celebrities opt to send their children to private schools and universities in the U.K. For instance, actress Nonna Grishaeva sent her daughter from the first marriage with actor and musician Anton Derov to a private school in Britain. Currently Anastasia is studying graphics and illustration art in the University of London.
Nonna and Anastasia Grishaeva
The daughter of ‘beautiful nanny’ Anastasia Zavorotnyuk and famous businessman Dmitry Stryukov had studied in a private school in London. The Great Britain became a native country for Anna Stryukova, but she returned to Russia to pursue an acting career.
The eldest daughter of Ekaterina and Aleksander Strizhenov has also graduated from a prestigious British school. This enabled Anastasia Strizhenova to enroll at famous Parsons School of Design in New York. Anastasia has married wealthy financier Petr Gerashchenko in the U.S. and the couple settled in New York.