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Russian University Enrolment Advice for Chinese Nationals

Russian University Enrolment Advice for Chinese Nationals

Prospective Chinese students can study at prestigious Russian universities. Find out how to apply.

An increasing number of Chinese applicants choose Russian universities. In the academic year 2015/20161, 12,000 Chinese were receiving higher education of various levels in Russia; a year later their number grew to 13,500. China is the top country of origin in the Asian region for those studying in Russia. Chinese nationals choose Russia as their study abroad destination for several reasons. Firstly, Russian universities can provide good theoretical knowledge and practical skills in various fields. Students have the opportunity to engage in research and development projects and take internships at large Russian and foreign companies. Secondly, education in Russia is much cheaper than in Europe or America. Third, Chinese are traditionally eager to learn more about Russia and its culture. Fourth, the two countries are implementing many joint projects in various fields, from oilfield development to civil engineering and trade. This creates a demand for the specialists having field-specific education and proficient in Russian.

Prospective Chinese students are interested in receiving engineering education in Russia in nanotechnology, computer science, power engineering, mechanical engineering and civil engineering. They also take programmes in economics, finance and credit, chemistry, biology etc. Regional studies and Russian as a foreign language are among other popular programmes; graduates can always find jobs as translators at Russian/Chinese companies. Chinese students have a high opinion of the quality of teaching at Russian universities; read their testimonials.


The Russian language is popular in China. It is studied in the provinces of Liaoning, Shandong and Heilongjiang which border on Russia. A new Russian class was launched in the town of Sanya, Hainan, in 2017. The Russian Language and Culture Centre offers languages courses taught by native speakers. Russian is taught at many Chinese universities. Chinese cities (Beijing, Shanghai etc) hold regular Russian language weeks.

Russian universities launch partnership ties with China which enables Chinese students to take joint programmes. In 2016, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University opened its mission in Shanghai. SPbPU is implementing joint undergraduate programmes together with Chinese higher education centres such as Jiangsu Teacher’s Training University (in engineering fields). Its collaboration with East China Normal University envisions student exchanges under the programme “Regional Studies: China” as well as internships in engineering sciences, IT, civil engineering and transport systems. There is a joint postgraduate programme with Harbin Engineering University and Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture.

Far Eastern Federal University cooperates with Peking University, Tsinghua University, Harbin Polytechnic University and Heilongjiang University successfully implementing student exchange and research programmes. As of now, FEFU has 10 Russian language centres in China.


The Sino-Russian Institute, a joint project of Novosibirsk State University and Heilongjiang University has operated in Harbin since 2011. It trains undergraduate and masters students in chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics, economics and law.

Ural Federal University in partnership with North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power developed new bachelor’s and specialist's degree programmes in geodesy, water supply and power engineering. Three hundred Chinese students are to be admitted to these programmes in September 2018.

These Russian universities hold presentations of their programmes in China and participate in China Education Expo in Beijing.

Russian University Entry Options

A majority of prospective Chinese students turn to local recruiting agencies for assistance in applying to universities, preparing documents and obtaining a visa. They can do without intermediaries’ services however. “Prospective Chinese students can choose between doing it on their own or through a Chinese recruiting agency. If a student sends an application and meets all university requirements, nobody can deny them an invitation to come to study in Russia,” said Irina Mironikhina, leading specialist, International Relations Office of Peter the Great St Perersburg Polytechnic University. For example, some 80 percent of Chinese applicants entered the Far Eastern Federal University unassisted, and that the remaining 20 percent sought the help of recruiting agencies.

Chinese applicants entering Russian universities can train for any profession. If you have decided to study in Russia, choose the appropriate programme and the university using the convenient search tool at studyinrussia.ruSign into the website and write to the university directly. It’s free and won’t take much time.

To enrol at a prestigious Russian university, an applicant has to pass competitive selection. The decision on admissions is made by the university; applicants can be qualify on the strength of a notarised copy of the education certificate and Russian language proficiency test results (TORFL), the other option for Chinese applicants is to take the entrance exams held by some universities.

Affordable tuition fees are among the advantages of studying in Russia. According to the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, tuition fees for undergraduate and specialist's degree programmes in computer and information sciences, economics and management, law, language and literature studies start upwards of 89,000 rubles ($1,480) a year, masters programme – 96,000 rubles ($1,600) and PhD programmes 103,000 rubles ($1,700).

Tuition fees for bachelor’s/specialist's degree programmes in chemistry, biology, architecture, civil engineering, electronics, radio engineering and communication systemes, instrument engineering, electrical and heat engineering, mass media start at 103,000 rubles ($1,700) a year. Tuition fees for master’s and PhD programmes start at 109,000 rubles ($1,800) and 115,000 rubles ($1,900), respectively.

Tuition for bachelor’s/specialist's degree programmes in nuclear engineering and technology, physics and technology, aircraft and rocket equipment, nanotechnology and nanomaterials starts from 96,000 rubles ($1,600) a year, masters programmes from 161,000 rubles ($2,683) and PhD programmes from 161,000 rubles ($2,683).

The final price depends on the university, region, mode of study and other factors. If you wish to find out the price of a certain education programme, use our search tool or sign into our website for free and write to the university directly.


The most talented prospective students with good grades in the education certificate can seek a government-funded place at a Russian university. Following are the scholarship options they can try.

Take the Unified State Exam

It is the most difficult way as the candidate needs to be perfectly proficient in Russian. The Unified State Exam is taken by ethnic Russians living in China (permanently residing outside Russia, emigrants from Russia, the RSFSR, the USSR and the Russian Federation and their descendants).

The exam is taken in the Russian territory or at special centres abroad. In China, it is held at the school operating under the aegis of the Russian Embassy. The Unified State Exam covers 14 general subjects in Russian; a Chinese applicant can choose several depending on their future profession. Contact the Russian Embassy school for details.

Take part in an international Olympiad

A government scholarship at a Russian university or extra points for study contract can be obtained through participation in Olympiads held by universities, their associations, the Russian Ministry of Education and Science or the Rossotrudnichestvo (Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation). Olympiads are usually held in Russian and English; tryouts are occasionally held in Chinese.

The ongoing project Time to Study in Russia launched by the Russian and Chinese Education Ministries is successful,” said Director of the People’s Friendship University Foreign Students Recruitment and Support Nikolay Krivolapov. “Its objective is to consistently promote Russian education in China. Russian academic recruitment personnel visit Chinese schools, hold presentations of their universities and the Russian education system in general, and organise an Olympiad to select the most talented students. The winners and runners up win scholarships within the quotas for foreign nationals set by the Russian government.”

Those who seek to enrol in a graduate programme at a Russian university, can take part in the International online Olympiad Open Doors: Russian Scholarship Project. Olympiad winners can enrol in masters programmes without taking entrance examinations. See information on other international Olympiads.

Win the Russian government scholarship contest

Every year, the Russian government sets aside 15,000 university places for foreign nationals. The selection of students for quota places is handled by Rossotrudnichestvo in close cooperation with the Chinese Education Ministry. Rossotrudnichestvo has missions in many countries across the world, including China. In Beijing, it is located at 9 Dongzhimen Inner St, DongZhiMen, Dongcheng Qu. Please contact Rossotrudnichestvo over government scholarship questions.

Prospective Chinese students can study in Russian and in English as many Russian universities offer English medium programmes in various fields. However, learning the basics of Russian is recommended for easier adaptation to the country. Basic Russian can be learnt at summer/winter schools or by taking an intensive course at Russian universities. You can also enter a university Preparatory Department. Its advantage is that the students, aside from language learning, also study field-specific disciplines which helps them pass the examinations to enrol in undergraduate, specialist’s degree, graduate and PhD programmes.


Education documents

If you have decided to receive higher education in Russia you should know that Russia recognises certificates of full secondary education issued in China2. The same applies to Chinese higher education certificates. China, for its part, recognises Russian state university degrees which enables their graduates to continue their education in China, get a PhD degree and work in their profession.

Document requirements

An international prospective student who applies to a Russian university submits their application, passport and secondary education certificate translated into Russian as well as other documents. Document requirements might differ from university to university, so contact the Admissions Board for details. Sign into the website to contact university staff.

Russia entry rules

Prospective Chinese students entering Russia require a student visa. You can complete the visa procedure on your own or through a recruiting agency. If you use the services of a recruiting agency, it will undertake to prepare all documents. If you do it on your own, you have to contact the Russian Embassy’s official accredited visa centre located at Xiao Guan No.56, Dongzhimen Wai Xie Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing. Obtaining a student visa is possible if you have an invitation from a university or have been officially recommended for university study by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. Visit the website of the Russian Embassy in China for necessary information.