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Higher Education in Russia for Turkish Nationals

Higher Education in Russia for Turkish Nationals

Russian universities offer various academic degrees to prospective Turkish students. This article highlights university entry options and guidelines on meeting document requirements.

Russian education is appreciated in Turkey. Engineering programmes, such as nuclear physics, are popular with prospective Turkish students as Russia and Turkey have been promoting cooperation in the energy sector. The Rosatom state corporation is building the Akkuyu nuclear power plant on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. The NPP needs specialists. They are trained at leading Russian universities such as National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University, Ural Federal University etc. The first Turkish nationals who had taken the specialist programme in Nuclear Power Plants: Design, Operation, Engineering graduated from MEPhI in 2018. Russia’s Gazprom is implementing a large project to build a new gas pipeline “TurkStream” to Turkey. The pipe length exceeds 1,000 kilometres. TurkStream will supply gas to customers in Turkey and south-eastern Europe, so Turkey needs field engineers in oil and gas. Training for this profession is provided at Siberian Federal University, Kazan Federal University, Far Eastern Federal University etc.


Among popular engineering fields are computer science, civil engineering, mathematics and mechanics and physics. They are offered at Far Eastern Federal University, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Novosibirsk State University, Samara University etc.

Russia and Turkey are long-time partners in tourism and the Russian language has been popular with Turkish applicants who often choose philology and language studies. Some prefer international relations, regional studies, economics, law and tourism. Programmes in these fields are available at Russian People’s Friendship University, National Research Tomsk State University, Higher School of Economics, South Ural State University etc.

Turkey regularly hosts education fairs at which Russian universities present their programmes. In October, Ankara and Istanbul play host to Education in Russia – A Start to Successful Future; A2: International Education Fairs run in these cities in autumn and spring. Study in Russia opportunities are presented not only at fairs; you can explore them on the studyinrussia.ru website right now.

What should I start with?

In the first place, choose the university, field of study and programme. Pay attention to the host city location, read international students’ testimonials (the website contains more than 270 testimonials, including those written by Turkish students) and see the university’s international rankings. Use our search tool to browse fields of study and programmes, see the length of study, tuition fees per year or semester, supervisors’ contacts etc.

Language of instruction: Russian or English

Russian universities offer both Russian- and English-taught programmes. If you wish to enrol in a Russian programme, you have to take an examination in Russian in addition to other subjects. The language exam is not necessary at some Russian universities such as South Ural State University which accepts the TRKI (test of Russian as a foreign language) proficiency certificate at level B1 or higher. If you do not speak Russian, you can learn it at the Preparatory Department. Foreign nationals take year-long courses in the Russian language and profession-oriented disciplines, take examinations at the end of studies and get a pre-university training certificate. Now they can enrol in a Russian-taught programme at any Russian university.

If you choose an English medium programme, you have to produce a certificate of language proficiency or take an examination. Even if you decided to study in English, it is recommended that you learn basic Russian anyway as you will certainly find it useful in daily life. You can join a winter or summer language school at Russian universities or take a Russian course after enrolling in a major to learn the language simultaneously with the profession-oriented subject.

After you have decided on the key criteria, contact university representatives over the application deadline, admission requirements and examinations. Sign into the website and write to the university directly; it’s free. University representatives will reply to you within ten workdays.

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Paid education

Self-funded students find it advantageous to study in Russia where tuition fees are lower than at European or U.S. universities while education quality is high. Following are reference tuition fees in popular fields of study at Russian universities. Use the search tool on our website to see precise costs.

The fee for an undergraduate programme in nuclear physics ranges from 213,460 rubles ($3,284) to 632,580 rubles ($9,732) a year, for a graduate programme from 393,640 ($6,056) to 415,200 rubles ($6,388) a year and for a PhD programme from 112,224 rubles ($1,727) to 413,400 rubles ($6,360) a year.

Tuition fees for undergraduate programmes in oil and gas field development start upwards of 154,000 rubles ($2,370); the maximum fee amounts to 200,000 rubles ($3,080) a year. The fee for master’s programme in this field ranges from 229,620 rubles ($3,530) to 490,000 rubles ($7,540) a year.

The undergraduate programme in computer and information sciences costs 122,000 rubles ($1,880) to 220,000 rubles ($3,380) a year, tuition fees for the graduate programme range from 109,000 ($1,680) to 338,000 rubles ($5,200) a year and for the PhD programme from 148,000 rubles ($2,280) to 357,500 rubles ($5,500) a year.

Undergraduate programmes in civil engineering cost, on the average 200,000 rubles ($3,080) a year, tuition fees for the graduate programme range from 120,000 ($1,850) to 300,000 rubles ($4,615) a year and for the PhD programme from 216,500 rubles ($3,330) to 305,000 rubles ($4,690) a year.

The undergraduate programme in international relations/regional studies costs 142,500 rubles ($2,190) to 330,000 rubles ($5,080) a year, graduate programme tuition fees range from 146,000 rubles ($2,250) to 350,000 rubles ($5,380) a year and PhD programme tuition fees from 200,000 rubles ($3,080) to 290,000 rubles ($4,460) a year.

Tuition fees for undergraduate programmes in philology range from 99,000 rubles ($1,520) to 350,000 rubles ($5,380) a year, for graduate programmes from 120,000 rubles ($1,850) to 320,000 rubles ($4,920) a year and for PhD programmes from 104,600 rubles ($1,610) to 357,500 rubles ($5,500) a year.

An undergraduate programme in tourism costs 137,000 rubles ($2,110) to 200,000 rubles ($3,080) a year and a graduate programme 162,000 rubles ($2,490) to 260,000 rubles ($4,000) a year.


Russian government scholarships

If you seek a government-funded place you must have good grades in your transcript as well as research achievements (if you plan to enrol in graduate, postgraduate or internship programmes). The prospective student’s social activity and knowledge of foreign languages, Russian in the first place, is a plus.

Turkish nationals might consider several scholarship options.

  • Take part in an international Olympiad.

Every year, Russian universities hold online or onsite international intellectual competitions to attract talented prospective international students. Onsite competitions are arranged at different towns across Russia or abroad. For example, Higher School of Economics holds International Youth Olympiad for prospective undergraduate or specialist students. It has Olympiad venues in 15 countries including Turkey. Competitions are held in 16 subjects.

Olympiad winners enjoy various advantages as they enter Russian universities, such as extra points for individual achievements, partial scholarship for self-funded students or admission without entrance examinations. Look up the incentives at the universities’ websites. See more information on international competitions in the Olympiad section.

  • Win the Russian government scholarship (quota) contest.

The Russian government annually sets aside 15,000 places at domestic universities for foreign nationals who take programmes of different levels. In the academic year 2018/2019, Russia allocated 55 government-funded places to Turkey. To qualify for Russian government scholarships, candidates have to pass rigorous competitive selection which is handled by the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo). The Agency has an office in Ankara (Ebu Ziya Tevfik Sk., 11/7,Çankaya Mh., Ankara, Türkiye, 06680).

If you have failed to get a scholarship, apply for paid education. You can send your application using your account on our website. You do not pay for sending your application or its processing; the application goes directly to the university which will reply to you by all means.

Meeting document requirements

After you have chosen the university and contacted its representatives to get information on entrance examinations, you have to prepare your documents.

Initially, Turkish nationals have to provide a copy of the education certificate (secondary school or university degree certificate for those who apply for masters, postgraduate or internship programmes), a copy of passport, a filled out application and a photo. All documents have to be translated into Russian, notarised and apostilled in Turkey; the Apostille or Tasdik Serhi stamp has to be translated into Russian as well. Hire only certified translators to render this service. Some universities accept initial application documents without Apostille, but you will need it at the admission stage anyway. Contact the university you have chosen for precise information.

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If the prospective student with a degree from a Turkish university is enrolling in graduate studies or internship at a Russian university, they have to complete the degree recognition procedure upon arrival in Russia. They can select one of the two options:

  1. Submit the documents to the Main State Expert Centre for Education Estimation (Glavexpertcentre) for the procedure of recognition and equivalence assessment.

  2. Apply to one of the 46 universities (see the list) authorised to handle the recognition procedure for foreign education certificates. See more information on requirements for education certificates issued in foreign states. 

Degree from Russian university in Turkey

After getting a degree from a Russian university, a Turkish national should have it apostilled before leaving for their home country. This service is rendered by the Federal Service for the Supervision of Education and Science (Rosobrnadzor) or its regional branches. On returning to Turkey, a Russian university graduate has to verify their degree at Turkey’s Council of Higher Education (Yükseköğretim Kurulu). More information on Russian university degree legalisation is here.

Russian visa for Turkish nationals

Turkey residents planning to study in Russia need to get a student visa. They can apply for a visa at the Russian Consulate in Antalya (Gençlik Mahallesi, Yenikapı Park Sok. No:30, 07100 Muratpaşa) or at visa centres in Istanbul, Antalya, Ankara or Trabzon. Addresses and contacts are available on the Consulate’s website. To apply for a visa, a student needs a host university invitation.

Migration rules for Turkish nationals

A Turkish national should register with Russian migration authorities within seven workdays from the date of arrival in the country. The administration will complete the procedure for the students who opted for dormitory accommodation. Those who want to rent an apartment or room have to register the address where they will live. More information on migration registration for foreigners is here.

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