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How Tunisian Nationals Can Get into a Russian University

How Tunisian Nationals Can Get into a Russian University
© UrFU

Russian universities offer a large choice of professions in engineering, natural sciences, humanities and medicine. Read the guidelines on preparing documents to enter a university, applying and passing competitive selection.

Russia and Tunisia established diplomatic relations in 1956; in the 1960s and 1970s, the countries signed several cooperation agreements and had robust bilateral trade. The USSR exported cars and industrial equipment to Tunisia and imported foodstuffs, wool and raw hide. In 2018, two-way trade reached 800 million dollars. Currently, petroleum products make up more than 50 percent of Russia’s exports to Tunisia. Russia imports Tunisian ferrous metals, ammonia and wheat.

The two countries have fruitful cooperation in water resources and tourism. The Soviet Union helped Tunisia build hydroelectric power plants, dams and water supply lines in the capital and southern parts of the state. The flow of Russian holidaymakers to Tunisia grows every year. In 2017, 520,000 Russians visited the country while in 2018, their number increased to 600,000. 

Nuclear power engineering and space exploration have tended to be new areas of cooperation in the recent years. In 2016, Russia and Tunisia signed a cooperation agreement on peaceful use of nuclear energy. The Agreement is the legal basis for design and construction of nuclear power and research reactors, uranium exploration and mining and training of nuclear specialists. In 2019, Russian aerospace companies Sputnik and GK Launch Services and Tunisia’s Telnet Holding reached the accord to jointly develop small satellites and parts. The first 30 units are expected to be launched in 2023. Tunisia plans to launch the Challenge One satellite from the Baikonur cosmodrome in 2020.

The two countries have a long record of cooperation in education. Russia helped Tunisia open National Engineering School of Tunis in 1969, which is now an established engineering university. It trained more than 11,000 specialists in engineering fields over five decades. Russian and Tunisian education institutions develop ties by implementing joint programmes, research and student exchanges. Cooperation accords were signed by Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University and Carthage University, and the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia Institute of Foreign Language and the Carthage University Higher Institute of Languages.


The interest in the Russian language has been growing in Tunisia. It is currently studied at four universities and 26 lyceums in 16 towns across the country. The Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Tunisia runs Russian language courses for some 100 foreigners. Youths are mostly motivated by their wish to work in trade, economy or tourism, the interest in Russian culture, and the intention to get higher education in Russia. According to official statistics, the number of Tunisian students at Russian universities reached over 1,300 in 2017, a 3.5 times increase from 2006.

Where do I start?

First of all, you have to choose your field of study, programme and language of instruction. If you want to study in Russian but only have a beginner’s skills, enrol at the Preparatory Department for foreigners which is available at many universities. You will take an intensive language course and improve your knowledge of basic disciplines. This enables a prospective student to take examinations for degree programmes at any Russian university.

In Russia, students can study in English. Universities offer foreign students a wide range of English medium programmes in various fields. Use our convenient search tool to find the appropriate programme. Sign into the website and apply to the university you have chosen. You will get a reply within ten days.

Funding options

Self-funded study

A majority of prospective Tunisian students choose self-funded study. It is a good option as tuition fees in Russia are more affordable than in Europe or America with students getting good value for their money. Accommodation fees and food prices in Russian cities are considerably lower than in Europe or America.

Tuition fees for programmes in nuclear power engineering: 112,224 to 632,580 rubles a year ($1,730 – $9,730). Universities: National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University, Ural Federal University etc.

Programmes in service and tourism: 100,000 to 305,500 rubles ($1,540 – $4,700). Universities: Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, National Research Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod, Far Eastern Federal University, South Ural State University, Siberian Federal University etc.

Economics and Management: 99,000 to 500,000 rubles a year ($1,520 – $7,690). Universities: Higher School of Economics, National Research Tomsk State University, University of Tyumen, National University of Science and Technology MISIS etc.

Water engineering and heat power engineering: 183,000 to 325,000 rubles a year ($2,815 – $5,000). Universities: Siberian Federal University, People’s Friendship University of Russia, National University of Science and Technology MISIS, and National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University.

These are reference prices; to see precise education costs, use our search tool and choose the programme.

© UrFU

Russian government scholarships

Tunisian nationals can get into a Russian university as scholarship students. The following scholarship options are available:

  • Take part in an international Olympiad. Every year, Russian universities arrange Olympiads for prospective undergraduate and graduate students. The Olympiad language is Russian as a rule, but some academic competitions are held in English such as Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology’s “Phystech.International” Olympiad for undergraduate students, “Open Doors: Russian Scholarship Project” for masters students and People’s Friendship University of Russia’s “Open Russian Language Olymipad.” In Tunisia, it is held for masters students. See the list of academic competitions here.

  • Win the Russian government scholarship contest. In 2017/2018, the Russian government allocated 15 scholarships to Tunisia. The scholarship competition is tough as the government-funded places are only awarded to prospective students with good academic achievements. The Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) handles the distribution of scholarships. Contact the Rossotrunichestvo office at 34 Avenue de La Liberté, Tunis 1002 to get scholarship information.

  • Sometimes, universities provide extra scholarships. Contact representatives of the chosen university to find out if extra scholarships are available. Create a personal account and forward your question from our website.


Document requirements

After you have selected the programme and funding option, you have to prepare documents for application. In initial application, you have to submit a copy of passport, a secondary education certificate or university degree, a filled-out application (the form is available on the website of the university which can also mail it to you upon request) and a photo. The education document has to be translated into Russian and notarised. Apostille or consulate legalisation of documents is not required. Document requirements differ from university to university, so contact the Admissions Board for accurate information.

Entry into Russia

If you have been admitted to the university, the next step is to obtain a student visa. Contact the Consulate Section of the Russian Embassy in Tunisia (16, Rue des Bergamotes, B.P. 48, El Mаnar 1) over visa issues.

Students have to register with Russian migration authorities within seven days from the date of arrival in Russia. If you are going to live in the dormitory, its administration will register you. If you plan to rent a room or apartment, ask the owner for help.