Russian Universities Representatives Answer International Students’ Questions

19 May 2017 © FEFU

Vkontakte StudyinRussia Group Live Stream on 18 May 2017.

More than 27,000 people in different countries followed live-streaming of the Q and A session. Another 35,000 viewers watched the recorded broadcast. As of now, total viewership reaches over 63,000. If you could not watch online streaming of the answers about study in Russia, see it right now.


Does Ural Federal University provide grants to prospective international students? Does it have priority study directions? What bonuses are offered to international students?

UrFU Deputy Vice Rector for International Relations Victoria Beliaeva:

The Russian government allots 15,000 places to international students at Russian universities every year. Our University is actively involved in this programme. I advise international students to contact the Office of Russia’s Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) in their country, and if it is not available, the Russian House or the Russian consulate.

UrFU has five basic directions of study: natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, physics and technology and engineering. You’re welcome to forward your questions to our Admissions Office on university website. Its specialists will give you competent answers and consider your circumstances.

We also play host to groups of Russian and international students coming for three-day stay at UrFU as part of the Test Drive university promotion project. They can take the plunge into UrFU studies and extra-curricular and international activities.

Could you tell about students’ life at Far Eastern Federal University, dormitory fees or rent-free options if any, housing conditions, how many students share a room and whether Internet access is available. Does FEFU provide sporting opportunities; does it have a swimming pool and sport competitions?

FEFU Vice Rector for Development Dmitry Zemtsov:

Click on the search bar and type “FEFU campus,” then go to “pictures.”  You’ll see a beautiful place where you can study if you choose to go to Far Eastern Federal University. We have dormitories and also hotels which were built for the APEC summit. Hotel suites were reserved for presidents. FEFU boasts high quality dormitories, offering at least 3 star accommodation. Dormitory fees aren’t very high averaging 4,000 roubles per month. FEFU offers wireless Internet access at affordable prices. 

We have three swimming pools and an all sports centre. Type “FEFU students have won” in the search bar and see for yourself that sport pursuits are available. FEFU women have won Russia’s sambo (martial art) championship team event. Andrei Terekhin has recently been awarded the Best Student Bastketball Coach title.  FEFU underwater robotics team won the Asia Championship having built the fastest underwater robot.

FEFU trains specialist’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree students in nearly all study directions available in Russia. We maintain contacts with heavy industry companies and the military. Our strong point is oceanic studies; we have our own medical school and a medical centre. Few universities can boast such facilities. Last, we are located in Russia’s Far East and consequently cooperate with Asian region countries.

I’m a bachelor’s student studying in Kyrgyzstan. How can I enrol in a Higher School of Economics master’s programme? What examinations do I have to take? Does HSE have preparatory course and how much does tuition cost?

Higher School of Economic Vice Rector for International Relations Ivan Prostakov:

First, choose a programme. The easiest way to do it is to go to our website and see the list of programmes in the prospective international students section. Submit an online application by 16 August. Create a personal account to attach documents and portfolio. Admission requirements might differ depending on the programme; some requirements are standard. Of course, a certificate of education is a must. Required documents might include a motivation letter and sometimes publications, proof of conference attendance and examination passing certificates. Please reference the list of programmes to find out about other requirements.

Incidentally, you can choose two programmes. If you fail to enrol in the first programme, your documents will be automatically submitted for a second programme. The applicant who submits documents by 1 June will be informed by mid-June if s/he has been admitted. Accordingly, if you submit your documents later, you’ll learn the results by August 26. Enrolment takes place in the last week of August. It is very important to compose a good portfolio and prepare all documents for positive review of your capabilities.

The university offers preparatory courses. Preparatory course enrolment opens in September; tuition fee is 72,000 roubles. Training is provided in “Economics,” “Advanced Mathematics”, “Psychology”, “Business Informatics”, “Law,” “Management” and “Russian Language.” Students can opt to enrol in a programme in English. Higher School of Economics has 25 master’s programmes in English in various study directions. HSE was established as a social sciences university, however, it has become multidisciplinary by now. For example, we have maths and computer science departments, a humanities faculty etc.

Programmes in English are available to all. Prospective students enrolling in an programme in English should prove their language skills in accordance with the requirements set by the programme they have chosen. Master’s programmes tuition fees average 290,000 to 330,000 roubles a year. Some programmes have higher tuition fees. For example, tuition fee for “Financial Analysis” programme is 380,000 roubles. I suggest that prospective students pay attention to HSE campuses not only in Moscow, but also in other cities, such as St Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Perm. Their quality of education is on par with Moscow’s while their tuition fees are lower.

Can CIS students take double degree programmes at Siberian Federal University? What programme options are available and how much is tuition? Are there exchange programmes with foreign universities for international students?

Siberian Federal University Deputy Vice Rector for Science and International Cooperation Vera Upirova:

CIS students can enrol in double degree programmes like their Russian peers. We have several such programmes, differently priced. For example, there a double degree programme in law in collaboration with the University of Passau, Germany. It is free; exchange students will study in Germany for two semesters. German students come to our university on an equal exchange basis. As education is free in Germany, you don’t pay extra for it.

We have paid programmes, for example the double degree programme in banking in collaboration with the University of Siena. It is taught in English; tuition fee is some 200,000 roubles a year. Also, there are exchange programmes with Chinese and European universities, such as the exchange programme with the University of Cadiz and other Spanish universities. Tuition fees vary, but students are often awarded grants which partially cover their expenses. 

Does National University of Science and Technology (MISiS) have a preparatory department for international students? What subjects do they take at this department? How much is tuition? Does studying at a preparatory department give any admission advantages?

Pre-university Training Centre Director, MISiS Admissions Board Executive Secretary Maria Baranova:

Yes, our university has a preparatory department for international students. Its objective is to prepare students for receiving instruction in Russian. Preparatory Department students do mathematics, physics, chemistry and computer science with focused Russian language study. Learners are divided into groups depending on their Russian language skills. Teaching process is arranged to fit proficiency level of each group.

We also pay much attention to cultural events and leisure activities facilitating foreigners’ adaptation. These events are carried out by our senior students. 2016 tuition fee for CIS students reached 70,000 roubles a year. Dormitory places are available to all students.

After taking a preparatory course, up to 95 percent of prospective students pass entrance exams to enrol with MISiS. Explore the university website for details.

Is Samara National Research University planning to hold Summer Space School this year?  I live in Azerbaijan; how can I enrol for this course? What other summer schools will run this year?

Samara University Mobility and Recruitment Unit Public Relations Specialist Anna Berezina:

2017 Summer Space School application is closed by now. The school has two stages. The first begins on 9 January and lasts till the end of May. Forty contestants with the best results qualify for the second stage which is held onsite. It begins on 19 June and ends on 1 July.

We have other summer schools. High Development Business School has been gaining momentum. This course has drawn some 100 applications from different countries, including Malaysia, Brazil, Columbia, France, Peru and Sri Lanka. We have plans to run Russian Language and Culture Summer School in August and 2nd Technological Summer School in October.

What master’s programmes are available at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT)? Which are the most sought-after programmes? How much are tuition fees? <

MIPT International Students Unit specialist Dmitry Burovenko:

We train top notch specialists in physics, mathematics, chemistry, computer science and biochemistry who are in demand the world over.  Much of the training takes place at laboratories where students solve practical problems under the guidance of leading scientists. Funded research, participation in workshops and internships make the core of MIPT master’s studies. Prospective students’ preferences change every year, so identifying the most-in-demand programmes is difficult; they are all unique.

We offer master’s programmes in English to prospective students with insufficient Russian language proficiency. Master’s programme tuition fee is 300,000 roubles s year.

There are several options to enrol in MIPT master’s programmes. The most popular one is to take entrance tests. Depending on the results, students are offered government-funded or fee-paying places. See the list of entrance tests and admission requirements on our website.

Russian government quota is another MIPT study option. Prospective students have to place a scholarship request with the Rossotrudnichestvo office in their country and pass selection tests to become quota students. Successful quota aspirants are exempt from entrance tests.

MIPT outreach to prospective students includes annual events that give advantage in admissions. For example, MIPT Master’s Academic Competition exempts successful participants from entrance tests. 1st class diploma holders get 16 point out of 20, 2nd class diploma entitles to 14 points and the third class diploma to 11 points. Look up additional information on the university Admissions Board website.

What admission options can Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) offer to Kazakh students?

RUDN University Vice Rector for International Academic Mobility Larisa Efremova:

Admission to RUDN and other Russian universities for students from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and other CIS countries is regulated by the relevant agreements between our countries. That is, you can follow the admission rules for Russian citizens or take the Unified State Exam. This is the first option.

Second, you can apply for a government-funded place, which my colleagues have elaborated upon. Or you can contact the Russian Centre of Science and Culture, if you have it in your country, or the Russian Embassy to go through the selection procedure there. Third, you can take examinations and sign a study contract.

How and in which year do Lobachevsky University (UNN) students delve into science?  When do students gain access to the work on the supercomputer?

Lobachevsky University International Students Faculty Deputy Dean Lilia Erushkina:

As a rule, students take up research in the third year. Research topics depend on the study direction. For example, Supercomputer or IT Technology direction might include such a topic as optimization methods and mobile applications development.  Students mostly tend to choose what they feel might be useful in the future. Practical training is obligatory; students apply their theoretical knowledge to gain hands-on experience.

As a rule, students are introduced to supercomputing basics in the third or fourth year of Bachelor’s studies. Supercomputers is a UNN master’s programme, with students specializing in this particular area and gaining expert level proficiency.

Does Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University "LETI" cooperate with foreign universities? Are there internships and advanced training opportunities? Where do your graduates work? Do you train specialists for state-owned CIS companies?

ETU LETI  Vice Rector for International Affairs Victor Tupik:

ETU LETI has many foreign partner universities all over the world; in Korea, Europe and America.  To be more specific, Germany would be a prime venue for advanced training and academic mobility studies. We closely cooperate with it in exchange and double degree programmes. Finland is another option; travelling there is quite easy because of its proximity to Russia.

When sending students to partner universities we make no distinction between international and Russian students. The most important criteria for universities are students’ academic performance and English language skills. LETI graduates have many job opportunities. As for where they work, some of our international students are now ministers or ambassadors, although LETI is focused on electric engineering. Of course, LETI graduates work at state-owned companies as well.

Nearly all study directions are popular with international students including automation, mechatronics, robotics and computer specialties. Tuition fee depends on the programme; for bachelor’s studies it is 65,000 to 180,000 roubles a year and for master’s studies 190,000 to 200,000 roubles a year much like at other universities.

A prospective student from Uzbekistan asks what documents are required for enrolment in master’s programme. 

RUDN University Deputy Vice Rector for International Cooperation Elena Gorozhankina:

To apply to a Russian university, foreigners, including Uzbek citizens, have to prepare five documents. The first document is an application form with standard questions, available on the website of any Russian university. The second is a copy of your passport with which you will enter Russia. The third document is a certificate of education. For example, if you enrol for master’s studies, you need a bachelor’s degree certificate. The applicant also needs two medical certificates specifying that they have no diseases or contraindications to study, and no HIV-infection.

Can I transfer from my university in a CIS country to a Russian university? Or can I transfer to another Russian university while keeping my government-funded place?

RUDN University Deputy Vice Rector for International Cooperation Elena Gorozhankina:

Regrettably, the new law on education does not address the transfer from foreign universities. Foreigners must enrol in the first year. If they present a document confirming completion of certain courses at their national university, it will be reviewed by a special commission. In that event, the student might be transferred to the course matching the one designated in their document, to pick up where they left off.

The issue of transfer cannot be resolved between two universities without the Ministry of Education and Science. A student should first request transfer with the university administration, which will then ask the Ministry of Education whether such an opportunity is available and whether the target university has a study place at this level and in this specialty. It things go well and the target university has government-funded places, the student gets the transfer in most cases.

A question for Far Eastern Federal University: what academic competitions do you hold?  Do you require academic competition participants to take any examinations later on?

FEFU Vice Rector For Development Dmitry Zemtsov:

We have the Ocean of Knowledge academic competition which has been held in CIS states since 2012 in five subjects: physics, maths, biology, chemistry and Russian. We also organise other academic competitions, such as “Lomonosov,” initially launched by the Moscow State University (MGU), and some other competitions. FEFU mostly recognizes academic competitions held by other universities.

Academic competitions in Russia fall into two categories. One is based on the list of competitions set forth by the Ministry of Education and Science which give major admission advantages. If you have won such an academic competition, you should confirm your knowledge level with 75 points scored in the Unified State Exam. That secures your admission to the university.

Academic competitions of the second category give the participants the benefit of personal achievement which is a bonus in university entrance tests. The Admissions Board can can add one to ten points to your score. Find out more about individual achievement grading on the university website.

A question for Ural Federal University (UrFU) from mother of a prospective student: “Will anybody meet my child at the airport and help with accommodation?” Is there any special service?

UrFU Deputy Vice Rector for International Relations Victoria Beliaeva:

Not to worry: we have a special service to handle things like that. Service members wear T-shirts with the words “Your First Friend.” Use hashtag #buddyUrFU on Instagram to see a large number of photos showing the arrivals from the very first moment as a welcoming party meets them at the airport to the very last moment, when they are seen off. This service helps students get accommodation in the dormitory, obtain medical certificates and quickly pass all formal procedures which regrettably exist in Russia as elsewhere in the world. They take the newcomers on a tour of university campus, show them the dormitory and introduce them to everybody. 

Socializing enables students to easily involve in entertainment and cultural events on the campus. Several weeks ago, we held an international student festival. Nearly all international students were involved; there was a procession featuring national flags, an amazingly beautiful show. In short, there is nothing to worry about. Also, Yekaterinburg is a close-knit city as was already mentioned today. We have many communities lending strong support to their fellow countrymen.

A question for RUDN University: I live in Latvia. I can enrol at Russian universities only as a self-funded student? Can I count on a grant?

RUDN University Vice Rector for International Academic Mobility Larisa Efremova:

You can enrol in a state-funded place under government quota. The Russian government allocates 15,000 grants to citizens of other countries every year. Contact Rossotrudnichestvo http://rs.gov.ru/en to apply for a grant. Baltic States residents are advised to contact the Russian Embassy to find out more about admission requirements and application timeframe. Document requirements differ little from those mentioned by my colleague Elena Gorozhankina.

Our embassies, the Moscow-based Rossotrudnichestvo federal agency and the Russian Centres of Science and Culture have information on their websites on when the selection of scholarship aspirants will take place. Each country has its own specifics: some practice tests or interviews; Russian university representatives sometimes visit the Russian Embassies and the Russian Centres of Science and Culture to aid them in the selection procedure.

In addition, there is a big academic competition “Time to Study in Russia” supported by the consortium of large Russian universities. The competition identifies technical specialties students who qualify for Russian government scholarship. I advise the prospective students to keep track of the competition timeframe. I know that nearly all countries have completed selection tests in May.

A question for Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. Is MIPT Admissions Board coming to Bishkek this year? Can you name the date? Here’s another one: I don’t speak Russian well, but I wish to study in Russia. My English is average. What study options do I have?

MIPT International Students Unit specialist Dmitry Burovenko:

The Admissions Board visiting sessions dates have not been set yet. Follow the information on MIPT website, it will be updated by the beginning of June. As for your second question: we offer training at our preparatory department to those whose Russian is limited and who do not wish to take a programme in English. The preparatory course is focused on Russian language instruction and training in natural science, technical and engineering subjects, as well as on social and psychological adaption of foreign citizens. Length of study is ten months, from September 1 through 30 June.

During the first term, students have intensive Russian language studies in groups of seven to ten learners up to 30 hours per week. In the second term, the number of language study hours decreases to 18; the extra time is taken by job-oriented subjects, such as physics, mathematics or chemistry depending on the programme chosen by prospective students.  Russian language tutors are philology teachers with extensive experience in instructing international students. Profession-oriented subjects are taught by staffers of the Departments of General Physics, General Mathematics etc. This efficient team will guide you through the preparation for MIPT enrolment.

A question for Lobachevsky University: a prospective student wonders if he might be bored in Nizhny Novgorod. What about UNN leisure activities?

Lobachevsky University International Students Faculty Deputy Dean Lilia Erushkina:

Student’s life is not only about study or research. It’s important to find friends and apportion your time between personal life and campus activities. Our university offers international students a wide ranges of sports, from badminton to arena soccer. We host many festivals involving foreign citizens where students can show their talents. So I don’t think students will be bored in Nizhny Novgorod.

A question for Samara National Research University: can your students go to other universities on exchange? Do you have government-funded places and grants for master’s students?

Samara University Mobility and Recruitment Unit Public Relations Specialist Anna Berezina:

Indeed, there is an opportunity to study at other universities as exchange students. The university has agreements on exchange courses with the University of Stuttgart and several universities in China and the United States. Terms of exchange programmes differ depending on the agreement. As for government-funded places, they are available in all master’s programmes.

Can I come to Russia on a tourist visa to take exams?

Higher School of Economics Vice Rector for International Relations Ivan Prostakov:

Yes, you can come to take exams on a tourist visa. However, you should understand that even if you’re admitted to a Russian university you’ll have to return to your home country and apply for a student visa. If an applicant comes to Russia on a student visa for exams, and if they are successful, they can have their visa extended at the university later on.


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