Russian higher education is among the world’s best ones, especially in the fields of engineering and medicine. Universities and other educational institutions have long traditions and provide students with competitive and recognized degrees. In 2014, the Economist Intelligence Unit announced, that the Russian education is the 8th best in Europe and 13th in the world.
There are more than 650 state and 450 private higher education institutions, officially recognized by the Ministry of Education. The oldest state ones are Lomonosov Moscow State University and Saint Petersburg State University. It is very common in Russia for institutions with a narrow focus in a certain field to be called institutes – such as The Academic Law Institute or Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography (the oldest film school in the world).
The higher education in Russia traditionally lasted for five or six years and graduates received a specialized diploma. As this model isn’t compatible with the Western university degrees, Russia moved towards the Bologna Process. Since 2007 the higher education is divided into Bachelor and Master. Because of this historical background, a Bachelors degree isn’t enough for a good employability – employers don’t see it as a completed education. Therefore, Masters degrees is Russia are valuable and appreciated.
Russians participation in the European Higher Education Area has a good impact on the number of international students as the degrees are internationally recognized.
You can study your Masters in English, but attending a Russian course will be a mandatory and gaining some knowledge in the local language will be of a great advantage for your life there.
If you decide to study at a Russian state university, make sure that you take advantage of the trainings and orientations for international students, provided by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
Academic year in Russia is from September to June and the postgraduate studies might be completed in full-time and part-time form.
Admission requirements vary slightly, but these are the most common documents you need:
Tuition fees for foreign students at Russian universities vary from one institution and study programme to another. However, if you don’t find a funding for your Masters, you will pay between 3000 and 8000 € for a 2-years programme at a state university.
As an international student you can apply for a Russian government scholarship. Keep in mind that it is performance-based and you will get it, only if you have good marks.
You can also look for funding from private organizations or projects in your fields of interest.
Education and life in Russia are not cheap, but affordable for most of the Western European students. Usually, the universities have dormitories with shared rooms for about 300€ monthly per person. The average food costs are approx. 200€.
Moscow is the most expensive city in Russia and the mentioned expenses are higher there. Together with St. Petersburg the two cities are also the most attractive ones for students as they offer plenty of possibilities for entertainment, sports, art and culture. Studying in Russia will be a great adventure full of new things to discover. Hermitage, the Kremlin Palace, Bolshoi Theatre are just some of them. You will definitely have the opportunity to embrace the living in a country with old traditions and a special spirit!