Plan your higher education with the world's largest country sprawling across two continents and nine time zones, Russia. You can choose to study in Russia at 741 universities offering higher education to an overall 278,000+ international students (as recorded in 2019).
Higher Education in Russia has evolved dramatically for the past decade with an investment of 390 billion rubles (~ 6.7 billion USD) made to improve the facilities and technical infrastructure of Russian universities. Post Bologna Process, many Russian universities aligned their education system with Europe and now offer a choice between a four-year bachelor's and five-year specialist degree.
|1. Why Study|
|2. Top Universities in Russia|
|3. How to Get into Russian Universities|
|4. Rusian Student Visa|
|5. Tuition Fees|
|6. Living Costs|
|8. Part-time Work|
|9. Jobs For International Students|
Comprehensive University Education: Russia is best known for its academic schools offering medicine, natural science, physics, and mathematics. Russia is featured with its 28 universities in QS World Rankings 2021 and 95 universities in QS leading universities in emerging Europe and Central Asia rankings.
When planning to study in Russia you can choose from more than 400 study fields and 650 subjects in bachelor's, masters specialist, and postgraduate programs such as medical traineeships to study in 82 regions of the country.
Cost of Study: The cost of studying in Russia not only lies in the optimum ratio as compared to other countries like USA, Canada, UK, etc, but you can also study for free at the expense of the Government budget.
Getting a degree from some of the most prestigious universities in the capital costs 586,000 rubles (~8371 USD). The minimum tuition fees for UG programs were 83,000 rubles (~1186 USD). Alongside cheaper education offers, the Russian government awards several thousand scholarships (quotas) to its international students. For 2020, 15,000 such quotas were reserved with partnering Russian universities.
Note: 1 RUB= 1INR (Exchange rate as per Aug 2020)
Language: Not a barrier. Though many universities offer programs in Russian, there are tremendous amounts of language preparatory courses available for international students planning to study in Russia. Not only will you be offered opportunities to learn the Russian language, but there are plenty of programs being offered in English for your ease.
Opportunity to Obtain Dual Diploma: The joint programs offered to study in Russia in collaboration with foreign universities will allow you to receive a dual diploma- a Russian Diploma and a diploma from a European university. The advantage of obtaining a Russian diploma is its recognition in over 60 countries, such as India, China, Vietnam, Spain, Cuba, and more.
Students tend to aim at studying at top universities, specifically when planning to study internationally. Though Russian universities have currently just started entering the world university ranking lists, you can yet choose from 741 universities. 29 of these are national research universities, 10 federal and two special status universities.
Here are some of the top universities to opt from when planning to study in Russia, listed according to their QS rankings:
|National Rankings (2020)||University||World Rankings (2021)|
|#1||Lomonosov Moscow State University||#74|
|#2||Saint-Petersburg State University (SPbU)||#225|
|#3||Novosibirsk State University (NSU)||#228|
|#4||Tomsk State University (TSU)||#250|
|#5||Moscow Institute of Physics & Technology (MIPT)||#281|
|#6||National Research Nuclear University (MEPhi)||#314|
|#7||Bauman Moscow State Technical University (BMSTU)||#282|
|#8||National Research University Higher School Economics (HSE)||#298|
|#9||Tomsk Polytechnic University||#401|
|#10||Moscow State Institution of International Relations (MGIMO)||#348|
With a majority of Russian universities offering education in Russian, as an international student, you might want to brush up your language skills before you apply with any of these universities. In case, you are unable to do so prior to studying in Russia, you can apply for one-year preparatory courses before taking admission to your major.
Undergraduate international aspirants for Russian Universities must note that there is certainly less number of programs being offered completely in English. However, this does not apply to masters courses as there are relatively more universities that offer a master's degree with the mode of education as English only.
Where to Apply: You can apply for Russian Study Visa through Russian Consulate or Russian Embassy in your country. In some countries, like India, Canada, USA there are Russian Visa centers where you can apply for your visa.
When making applications for a student visa to study in Russia, you will need to submit the following documents:
Russian Visa Fees: 8246 rubles for multiple entries.
Duration of Stay: Initially a student visa is issued for 3 months, students can get an extension of a year from the local division of the General Administration for Migration Issues of the Ministry of Russia.
This whole process may take around two to three weeks. You can also get your visa processed faster for an extra fee.
When planning to study abroad, the cost is one of the major decisive factors for students while choosing a university and country to study. The cost of studying in Russia can be broadly considered an overall of tuition fees and cost of living.
The minimum tuition fees for Russian universities is determined by The Ministry of Science and Higher Education. However, the overall tuition will vary as per the specific curriculum, duration of the program, and the institution. Discussed below is a range of tuition fees as per the level of education you wish to pursue:
|Level of Education||Duration of Study||Minimum Tuition Fees (rubles/yr)||Maximum Tuition Fees (rubles/yr)|
|Bachelor’s Degree||4 years||240,000- 260,000||122,000-880,000|
|Specialist Degree||5 years||240,000- 260,000||122,500-632,580|
|Masters Degree||2 years||260,000-280,000||147,000-460,000|
|Other Postgraduate Programs||3 years||280,000-300,000||79,300-413,000|
|Preparatory Courses||Few months to a year||160,000 averagely|
|Summer Schools||3-8 weeks||450,000 averagely|
|Medical Degrees (like MBBS in Russia)||Varies as per the choice of level||145,000-149,500||310,000-405,000|
|Engineering Degrees||Varies as per choice of level||122,000-137,000||200,000- or more|
The education in Russia will cost you between RUB 122,500 to 880,000 based on various factors mentioned above.
The cost of living will include all your expenses from lodging to food, transportation to the internet, clothing, and more. Here is a brief detail of these expenses that will help you plan your finances in advance.
|Type of Expenses||Cost (RUB)|
|Lunch in Cafe/Restaurants||800-2,000|
|Transport||1970 (60 journey travel card)|
405 (underground travel card for students)
|Cellular Communication & Internet||300-400 (standard services on a sim)|
|Cultural Pursuits||400-2,500 (movie tickets)|
200-1,000 (museum tickets)
|Wellness||1,700-4,00 (fitness centers monthly pass)|
300-500 (swimming pool pass)
*Depends on the city of residence
We have already discussed that costs to study in Russia can reach as high as 1-8 Lakhs INR and the cost of living goes up to 20,000 INR a month. To cut down your costs and to encourage international students to participate in programs offered by Russian Universities, the government of Russia offers scholarships covering tuition fees, accommodation, and such expenses.
There are three major kinds of scholarships being offered to international students studying in Russia. These are Government-funded scholarships, Non-governmental Russian scholarships, and University-specific scholarships.
|Government of Russian Federation Scholarship||Govt-funded||Free tuition|
|Participate in selection process comprising of interviews, tests, and exams)|
|BP in Russia Research Scholarships||Non-Govt||RUB 15,000-30,000 per month||Pursuing Energy & Economics degrees at one of the partner Russian university|
|Open Doors-Russian Scholarship Project||Non-Govt||Complete tuition fees||Studying masters in mathematics, physics, economics, or computer science|
|HSE University Scholarships|
(multiple scholarships for all level of studies)
|University-specific||25-100% of tuition fees||Academically excellent International student|
|St. Petersburg Polytechnic University Scholarships|
|University-specific||Tuition or cost of accommodation is covered||International student pursuing education in programs taught in English|
|Vladimir Potanin Foundation’s Olympic Scholarships Program||University-specific||Cover tuition, accommodation, and monthly stipend||International students pursuing masters in sports administration at Russian International Olympic University|
With a vast range of scholarships covering the major expenses for international students, Russia becomes one of the most ideal countries to pursue your higher education in Europe. The costs are lesser than the UK, educational standards are met with that of other European countries.
In case, you are unable to receive any of the scholarships available to study in Russia, another alternative to lowering down your expenses is a work-study option.
To work in Russia while studying, international students need to be of 18+ age and have a work permit. You will not need a work permit if you are employed at university or affiliated organizations even outside class-time and/or during vacation.
Work-Permit: Your work permit will be issued to you within 10 days of making applications. You will require the following documents to make applications for the same:
If you work without a work permit in Russia, you will be fined a sum of RUB 2,000-7,000.
Moscow is Russia’s economic and financial center, foreign internationals can plan to work in Moscow after completion of graduation. Saint Petersburg also is another flourishing city of Russia offering a better average pay scale than Moscow.
Russia is home to multinational companies like Oracle, Pepsico, Goldman Sachs, Intel, Dolby, Google, Honeywell, etc. Among some of the top employers in Russia are:
|Top Employers||Annual Salary (RUB)|
|McKinsey & Co.||6,298,000|
The average hourly wage as recorded in 2019, was RUB 600. You must note that the salaries offered in Moscow and St. Petersburg is higher than those offered to employees in suburbs. Some of the other top paying cities are Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Chelyabinsk, etc.
The wage gap between the two genders is of 8%. The overall distribution of average annual national salaries (RUB 1,240,000) is as follows:
Apart from global employers, international students can work with Russian companies like Gazprom, Rosneft, Lukoil, VTB bank, Rostec, Magnit, Systema, Rosetti, etc. If you wish to begin your career with a startup, here are some of the promising startups in Russia:
All these opportunities, cheaper education in comparison to other European Union countries like the UK, value for money, and education standards at par with European nations has helped Russia climb up the ladder of international education and study abroad destinations for students from across the world. Another factor that contributes to Indian students being attracted to study in Russia is value of Indian currency matching up to the Russian currency.