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International Student Numbers in Russia

International Student Numbers in Russia
© RUDN University

The number of international applicants who wish to get into Russian universities increases every year. Find out the origin countries for international students studying in Russia and the majors they choose.

Over the past three years, the number of foreign nationals studying full time at domestic universities has increased by 20 percent. The international students’ body at Russian universities reached 183,000 in the academic year 2014/2015, 200,000 in 2015/2016 and 230,000 in 2016/20171.

Statistics prove2 that Russian higher education is popular abroad. The bulk of foreign nationals come from the Commonwealth of Independent States. In 2016/2017, the number of students from these countries increased by 12 percent to 120,000 year-on-year. Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan became the top origin countries. As for other states, the number of Asian students increased by 17.6 percent to 57,362 in the designated period. China, India and Vietnam sent the most higher education students to Russia during that time. In the Middle East and Africa, Russia is also viewed as a study abroad destination as the the number of students from those regions increased by 19 percent to 31,360. The largest number of students come from Iraq, Morocco, Syria, Egypt, Nigeria and Ghana. Lastly, Latin America accounted for the largest increase in students studying in Russia (up 28 percent to 4,404). A majority came from Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil.

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© RUDN University

Russian universities: tuition fees

Affordable tuition is among the key advantages of Russian higher education. The average tuition fee at Russian universities is 136,333 rubles ($2,097) a year.

Many international prospective students (more than 60 percent of all foreign nationals) select self-funding. In the academic year 2016/2017, 49.2 percent of foreign nationals were self-funded students on bachelor’s programmes, 75.4 percent on specialist programmes, 82.4 percent on internship programmes and 85.1 percent on Preparatory Department programmes.

Self-funded study3 is a frequent option used by residents of China, India, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Italy, France, Germany, Malaysia, South Korea, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt, Iran, Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria, Angola, Ghana, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, USA etc.

Majors and universities

A broad range of majors is another advantage of studying in Russia. You can be trained for nearly every profession. Universities offer applicants more than 200 fields of study, from mathematical sciences to design, and more than 650 majors at different education levels.

Statistics say that 22.5 percent of prospective international students chose engineering majors as the most popular fields in 2016/2017. Following are the top sought-after fields: Architecture and Civil Engineering, Metallurgy, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Processing Technology, Power Generation, Power Engineering and Electrical Engineering, Geology, Prospecting and Mining etc. Quality engineering education is offered by Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Lobachevsky University, National University of Science and Technology MISIS, National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University, National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, Samara University, Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University “LETI”, ITMO National Research University, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University etc.

Prospective international students have been traditionally interested in medical majors which accounted for 20 percent of all foreign nationals in 2016/2017. Medical programmes are available at I.M.Sechenov First Moscow Medical University, Far Eastern Federal University, Kazan Federal University, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Novosibirsk State University, People’s Friendship University of Russia etc.

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© Higher School of Economics

The next fields in terms of popularity are economics and/or management accounting for 13 percent of applicants and followed by humanities and social sciences (12 percent) and Russian as a foreign language (11 percent).

Humanities majors are offered by South Ural State University, National Research Tomsk State University, Higher School of Economics, Siberian Federal University, Ural Federal University, University of Tyumen etc.

Our convenient search tool will help you find your major and minor; their descriptions include information on tuition feeds and supervisor’s contacts.
In 2016/2017, RUDN University had 9,580 foreign nationals, the largest international student body among Russian universities. St Petersburg State University and Peter the Great St Petersburg State Polytechnic University hosted the second and third largest number of foreign nationals, respectively. The top ten by the number of international students include Kazan Federal University, National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University and Higher School of Economics. The list of prestigious state universities is available on our website, browse the universities section for detailed information on each higher education centre. Also, you can contact university representatives directly. Sign into our website and write to the university you have selected. University staff will reply to you within ten workdays. 
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