Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) has a new $2-billion campus on Russky Island, near Vladivostok, Russia, a geopolitically important region on the edge of China–close to Manchuria and the Sea of Japan. Skeptics wonder whether students and faculty will come to the windswept outpost, where winds from the Pacific Ocean are incessant. Winters are especially bitter, lasting six or seven months, with temperatures that can drop to minus 49 degrees Fahrenheit.
Despite the challenging environment, Moscow has invested billions of dollars on Rusky Island to build a convention center, banks, shops, and housing, etc., along with three bridges across Vladivostok’s several bays. One of them, the world’s longest cable bridge, leads to the newly built $2-billion campus of FEFU. The campus opens formally next year, although some students will begin to move to the island’s dormitories next month. The result of a merger of several smaller nearby universities, FEFU will specialize in areas like Asian languages, marine biology, nanotechnology, and energy-conserving technologies and offer courses in both Russian and English.
FEFU hopes to attract top international professors and at least 30,000 students, 11,000 of whom would live on the island. It aims to lure students with local amenities, such as new swimming pools, as well as the promise of financial aid and an international education.