Study in Russia

Sristy Sharma
Updated on Mar 14, 2022 10:53 AM IST

  • RUB 255743

    Average Cost Of Study


The number of international students in Russia has been steadily increasing since 2000- over the past 10 years. With a total foreign student enrollment of 297,995 in 2019-2020, the figure came close to its target of 310,000 by 2020, with India being the third largest country of origin among 168 countries. Russia is presently aiming for an even longer-term target of welcoming 710,000 international students by 2025. With an enrollment rate of 84.58%, Russia boasts of spending around 22% on higher education out of total expenditure every year.  

Data released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also points out Russia indeed has the most educated population in the world, outperforming Canada, Israel, Japan and the US. The QS World University Rankings 2021 features 28 Russian universities, 13 of which are ranked among the 400 leading universities in the world. The country also prides itself on the presence of a whopping 95 universities among the top 300 universities in QS EECA University Rankings 2021. In addition, Russia’s higher education system was globally ranked 25th in the first-ever edition of the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings.  

Although a majority of international students in the country opt for medicine/nursing programs, fields such as engineering, art studies & culture, international business, physics & astronomy and even law. Students get to choose from not only more than 400 fields of study but also from over 650 subjects available at all levels and more than 740 universities in 82 regions of the country.

While education in Russia is amazing, student experience in the country is more than campus life. From a moderate climate to Russian frosts, an international student living in different corners of the country gets an opportunity to experience it all. However, statistics highlight that over 43% of international students in Russia live in the Central, 17% in North-Western, 14% in Siberian, 10% in the Volga and 8.4% in Southern federal districts.  

Apart from all of these, the country is also known for its dazzling cultural life where concerts, exhibitions, shows, concerts are conducted every now and then at both national and international levels; sports; year-round travel, exciting student life and so on.

Int'l Students in Russia by Country of Origin, 2018

Here’s Why Indians Choose to Study Medicine in Russia.

Covid-19 Response

With cases rising every day, Russia is one of the worst-affected countries in the world, after the US, India, Brazil and the UK. Here are the latest updates on the country’s response to Covid-19 (as of March 2021) with relation to international students:

  • Russian borders are now open to international students enrolled in full-time courses at Russian universities and colleges.

  • Currently, students from Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Greece, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Maldives, Qatar, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, UAE, and Vietnam can enter Russia.

  • Students must inform their universities at least 10 days before going to the classroom to get approval. One must also submit a negative Covid-19 test report not earlier than three days before arrival.

  • Face-to-face classes will be allowed only for those who have negative Covid-19 test reports.

  • Russia has its own domestically-produced vaccine, the Sputnik V, which is currently being distributed across the country.

Also Read: Ukraine vs Russia: Which is Better for MBBS Abroad?

Why Study in Russia

The prospect of studying abroad is very attractive but when clubbed with the advantages offered by medical universities in Russia, it is a great deal that should be considered by every Indian medical aspirant. Given below are the reasons why every medical aspirant should consider pursuing MBBS in Russia:

Excellent Acceptance Rate: Russian universities have an acceptance rate of 98%. Hence, it is much easier to secure admission in Russian medical universities as compared to the universities in other countries, including India.

IELTS/ TOEFL not Required: Candidates need not take English proficiency tests in order to apply for MBBS universities in Russia.

Scholarships Available: Government universities in Russia offer excellent scholarship programs to international students, which brings down the cost of education for pursuing MBBS in Russia.

Hands-On Experience: Russian medical universities have collaborations with clinics, government hospitals as well as private hospitals. This enables students to take up practical training and internships, which provides excellent on-field experience to MBBS graduates.

No Donation or Entrance Exams: Students do not need to pay heavy donations to Russian Universities in order to secure admission. Also, there is no need to take an entrance exam in order to secure admission.

Low Tuition: The cost of tuition in Russian medical universities is much less as compared to MBBS fees in India.

Global Recognition: Russian medical universities have received recognition from medical councils and organizations around the globe. Any student who has completed MBBS from Russia is eligible to find a job in any country around the world.

Adaptive Classes: Russian universities offer preparatory courses to help students get used to the Russian language as classes are conducted in both Russian and English. This includes complete language training and lessons comprising Russian medical terms, enabling students to deal with local patients.

Education System in Russia

According to Russian law, the education system in the country is divided into two types including general and professional.

General Education in Russia:

General education in Russia comprises the following levels:


Level According to ISCED


Preschool Education



Primary General Education


4 Years

Basic General Education


5 Years

Secondary General Education


2 Years

Professional Education in Russia:

Professional education in Russia comprises the following levels:



Training for Professions

Varies Depending on Profession

Vocation Education

3-4 Years

Higher Education (Bachelor’s, Specialist, Master’s)

2-6 Years

Postgraduate Education (Grad School, Residency, Assistantship, Adjunctura)

2-4 Years

Medical Education System in Russia

In Russia, the MBBS course is offered in both English and Russian languages. Students have the flexibility to choose any medium if they clear the mandatory eligibility criteria specified by medical universities in Russia. Unlike in other countries, the duration of MBBS course in Russia is quite different.

Students opting for MBBS course in English medium must note that the duration of the course is 6 years. Students willing to study MBBS course in Russian medium must note that the duration of the course is seven years, which includes 1 year in Russian language training.

Here’s What You Need to About the Russian Higher Education System.

Types of Higher Education Institutions in Russia

The country has both private and public higher education institutions (HEIs), many of which have branches outside of Russia. Currently, HEIs in Russia are divided into the following:

Federal University: It is a leading higher education institution as well as centre of research at the federal level. The country currently has 9 federal universities that were set up after the merger of many regional universities.

National Research University: With 29 of these universities, national research universities in Russia are integrating research activities at the regional level.

University: These are higher education institutions offering a wide range of programs in a variety of disciplines. They can be public, municipal or private that also undertake fundamental and applied research in a number of areas apart from delivering programs.

Academy: This HEI delivers a wide range of programs in specific areas such as agriculture, health, arts and more, and also carries out research in these areas.

Institute: These are HEIs that train students in specific areas for specific professions. They may or may not have third cycle programs and are also not obliged to perform research activities.

Notably, the country does not have any law to differentiate between universities and academies or institutes. All of them offer full-time, part-time, correspondence and external programs and some may also offer distance learning programs. 

List of Higher Education Organisations in Russia

The state provides almost all the education services to regulate education through the Ministry of Education and Science. Organizations at the regional level also regulate education with the framework of federal laws which are within their jurisdiction.

Given below are some of the higher education in Russia:

  • Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance and Career Development

  • Committee of Education and Science of the Volgograd Province

  • Committee on Education

  • Committee on Science and Higher Education of Saint Petersburg

  • Department of Education Administration of the Vladimir Province

  • Department of Education and Science

  • Department of Education

  • Department of Education, Culture and Youth Policy of the Belgorod Province

  • Department of Education, Culture and Youth Policy of the Chukotka Autonomous District

  • Department of Education, Science and Youth Policy of the Voronezh Region

  • Department of Education, Yamalo - Nenets Autonomous District

  • Department of General and Vocational Education of the Bryansk Oblast

  • Department of General Education of Tomsk Province

  • General Directorate of Education of the Kurgan Province

  • Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation

  • Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation

  • Ministry of Culture, Media and Ethnic Affairs of the Mari El Republic

  • Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation

  • Ministry of Education and Culture of the Kaluga Province

  • Ministry of Education and Science

  • Ministry of Education and Youth Policy of the Chuvash Republic

  • Ministry of Education

  • Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

On-Campus Student Life, Athletics & Extra-Curricular Activities in Russia

Studying in Russia can be competitive, challenging with a lot of focus on degrees in the fields of medicine and technology. Russian universities are beyond the classroom experience. It is extremely important that students are actively involved in conferences, exhibitions, science and educational seminars. In addition, students are also encouraged to engage in creative activities, beauty contests and humor contest clubs run by university students.

International students are highly valued in Russia, for which they are given a number of perks such as travel discounts, discounts at museums, service providers, businesses and more. Universities also have clubs to enable social adjustment as well as effective self-fulfilment that lead to exploring their full potential.

Student sport is not only available at universities in Russia but is also considered an important part of university life. A student is given immediate access to sports grounds, complexes, swimming pools, fitness halls and sports community. The universities also host their own interdepartmental, all-Russian, intercollegiate as well as international competitions and tournaments.

Universities also run a variety of creative associations or clubs such as bands, dancing groups, student theatres, music and singing studios, literary clubs, debating societies, hiking and travel clubs, volunteering groups and so forth.

Curriculum and Degrees Offered in Russia

First-Cycle Programs (Bachelors):

This is the first level of higher education in Russia that allows one to be ready to start a career in a particular field. Here are the key highlights of a Bachelor’s degree in Russia:


4 Years



Graduate Qualification

Bachelor's degree

Graduation Document

Diploma of Bachelor's degree

Further Education

Second-cycle (Master’s degree)

For a Bachelors course, curriculum is developed and regulated by the federal HE standards that set the structure, requirements, learning environment and teaching qualifications. Based on the same, a curriculum is developed by university/college methodological associations under the Ministry of Education and Science.  Universities, however, are free to develop their curriculum on their own that are in compliance with the regional and local labour market requirements.

Second-Cycle Programs (Masters):

Here are the key highlights of a second-cycle or Masters program in Russia:


2 Years


Bachelor's/specialist degree

Graduate Qualification

Master’s degree

Graduation Document

Diploma of Master's degree

Further Education

First+Second and Third-cycle (Specialist/Doctoral degree)

In general, the curriculum for a masters program consists of 120 ECTS credits that last as long as 2 years. Developed on the basis of a similar format as bachelors programs, 70% of it focuses on content that meets the needs of the labour market. The country’s Law on Education is aimed at enhancing the quality of education such that graduates are adequately prepared for their corresponding fields of study. Another important aspect of a graduate program in Russia is emphasis on preparation of the master thesis.

Find and Compare the Medical Programmes in Russia Using Our Comprehensive Search!

First+Second Cycle Programs (Specialist)

Here are the key highlights of a first+second cycle or Specialist program in Russia:


At least 5 Years


Secondary education or equivalent

Graduate Qualification

Specialist degree

Graduation Document

The Diploma of specialist’s degree

Further Education

Third-cycle (Doctoral degree)

A specialist degree not only focuses on fundamental but also practical preparation that enables one to engage in the workforce right after graduation. A specialist program is usually for military, technical disciplines such as computer security, fundamental mathematics, technological machines and complexes, mechanics and more. 

Third-Cycle Programs (Doctoral/Postgraduate):

Here are the key highlights of a last and third cycle or Specialist program in Russia:


The Postgraduate Military Course

Assistantship Training


3-4 Years

2 Years


Bachelor’s or Specialist Degree

Master's degree/Specialist degree in the field of culture

Graduate Qualification

Research degree, research professor

Higher qualification specialist, professor in the higher school

Graduation Document

The postgraduate Diploma

Assistantship training diploma

Further Education

Doctoral dissertation defense

Candidate dissertation defense, Doctoral dissertation defense

This is the most important stage of study in Russia that prepares a student for scientific personnel. It primarily comprises the blocks of education, pedagogical activities, practice and research. After completion of a postgraduate study, one is required to defend their dissertation to receive the first degree - candidate of science degree.

Academic Grading System in Russia

The grading scale in Russia for higher education is in accordance with the following:





Excellent (5)



Outstanding knowledge - Possible with negligible inaccuracies

Good (4)



Very good -  Knowledge is above average


Good - Good work with simple mistakes

Sufficient (3)



Satisfactory - Few shortcomings but good work

Sufficient - Knowledge that meets minimum requirements

Fail (2)



Fail - Not good/satisfactory enough; Needs more effort




Passed - Meets all program requirements




Fail - Does not meet program requirements

Top 3 Places to Study in Russia

Russia has a number of advantages to offer depending on the city one chooses to study in. Considering several important factors, here are the top-ranked student cities in Russia:

Moscow: The Russian city was ranked among the top 40 student cities in the world in the QS Best Student Cities 2017. It is the country’s cultural capital, well-known for its numerous galleries, museums, monuments, buildings and so on. It is home to several popular global universities including Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University), People's Friendship University of Russia, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) and more.

Saint Petersburg: Today, Saint Petersburg is Russia’s second and Europe’s third largest city. It is popular for its rich history reflected in museums, monuments across the city, theatres and galleries. In addition, it also hosts leading universities such as St. Petersburg Polytechnic University and Saint Petersburg State University.

Tomsk: Tomsk in Russia is the most popular city among international students who like snow. With a long history of educational excellence, contribution to the fields of science and IT, the city offers a lot to explore. Approximately, 20% of its population includes students from different parts of the world who add to its cultural diversity. Universities including  Tomsk State University and National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University are the top two universities in the city.

Cost of Studying in Russia

The average study cost in Russia for an international student is as follows. It may, however, vary from university to university.


Average Tuition Fees for International Students (Per Year)


INR 1,16,917-8,39,895


INR 1,16,917-6,03,846 


INR 1,40,300-4,39,036

Doctoral (Postgraduate)

INR 75,686-3,94,178

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