Founded in 1930, Tyumen State University (UT) is the dominant university in the region. Vice Rector and Executive Secretary of the Admissions Office Ivan Romanchuk, explains why international students should come and study at the University of Tyumen.
– How many international students are currently enrolled at UT?
– About 800 out of 10,000 on-campus students are foreigners. Not many but we only started international recruitment last year. In fact, 20% of freshmen this year come from outside Russia.
– What countries do your international students come from?
– Vietnam, South Africa, Australia, China, Mongolia and others. But the majority come from the CIS – Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Many of them apply on the same terms with Russian prospective students. We are very serious about selection and our staff is involved in external entrance tests. For instance, this year we only admitted 79 out of 426 students from Uzbekistan whom we tested. Competition is formidable, but international students still have a chance of claiming state-funded spots. Particularly in natural sciences where the quota is bigger.
– Which disciplines are popular with international students?
– Physics, Biology, various IT disciplines (our large Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science offered around 220 state-sponsored spots to international prospective students). International Relations and Linguistics are the most popular fee-paying programmes. We are trying to make higher education affordable, so tuition fees at UT never exceed $2000.
– Do you offer double diploma programmes?
– That’s right. We currently have four dual diploma courses in Law, Economics, Linguistics, Business and Financial Law in the Oil&Gas Sector with partner universities from France, Norway and United Kingdom. Moreover, UT students may take part in academic exchange programs with universities of Spain, France, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia, Sweden, Norway, Macedonia, Germany, Serbia, Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, China, Chile and Mexico.
– What do you do in order to attract foreign students?
– We take part in education fairs. We are planning to visit Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in spring 2017. Besides, we send our faculty to other countries where, with the aid of Rossotrudnichestvo, we coach international students ahead of entrance exams in Russian, Physics, Mathematics, Biology and History.
– Do you have a preparatory department for foreigners?
– Yes, it is available for prospective Bachelors and Masters, classes start in October. For a year applicants will study Russian as well as their future majors (Engineering, Economics, Humanities or Natural Science). By the way, there were 200 state-sponsored spots in the Preparatory Dept. last year.
– What Olympiads for foreigners are available at UT?
– We run Mendeleev Interregional Multidisciplinary School Olympiad together with several other universities (including those from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan). Olympiad’s first round is held online in December-January, the second one is organized in March. Olympiad adds 10 points to respective entrance exam results; moreover, best scorers get 30,000 rubles – in 2016, 40 students collected their awards.
– Do you hold summer or winter schools?
– We have five holiday schools in different subjects: in winter we hold a school in Physics and Mathematics; in spring – one in Russian, Literature and History; in summer – two schools in Biology, Ecology, Geography and Chemistry and Robotics and Programming; in fall – a school in Economics, Law and Foreign Languages. Both Russian and international students are welcome. Attendants need to pay their travel expenses, while everything else (accommodation, education and entertainment) is covered by the university.
– What makes UT attractive to international students?
– First, our tuition fees are low; second, we guarantee accommodation in dormitories; third, our International Student Support helps foreigners from the moment they meet you at the airport or railway station. They assist with accommodation and any household issues. Student Support staff speak English, Uzbek, Tajik and Kazakh languages, they help newcomers adapt to life in Russia. During orientation days at the start of the academic year, we tell students about Tyumen, the university and the learning process. Certainly, international students can also turn for advice or help to the International Relations Dept. at any time.
– Please describe your city.
– Tyumen is a rather small but modern city that has everything one needs for a comfortable life: restaurants, clubs, movie theaters and malls. Tyumen was recently recognized as Russia’s best city in terms of quality of life – indeed, Tyumen attracts significant investment and citizens enjoy high salaries. UT students every year run a game for international freshmen called City Quest, which helps them get the hang of the city and learn the whereabouts of various attractions. By the way, there are direct flights to Tyumen from all CIS countries, which is important – getting here is convenient for most students.
– What are your dormitories like?
– All dorms resemble flats and are located in the historical city center; students live in double or triple rooms; we try to provide international students with the most comfortable accommodation. There is a large well-equipped (fridge, electric stove, kettle, etc.) kitchen in every floor. There are laundry, ironing, cleaning and drying rooms downstairs, free Wi-Fi is available. There are also study rooms, a meeting room, a computer lab, a leisure room and a student board room in every dorm building. There is also a medical room within 15 minutes’ walk from the dormitories. Students pay 800 rubles ($13) per month for dorm accommodation.
– What do students do in their spare time?
– There are many leisure opportunities. We have a swimming pool, a gym and a skiing center in the countryside – you can have a great time there. Besides, there are various clubs: foreign languages, photography, drama, journalism, guitar and movies. We also hold diverse events for students – China Days (cultural forum), Friendship Route (sports relay race), Student Spring (creativity contest), Note (singing festival), etc.
– What admission advice can you give?
– You can apply via our website or studyinrussia.ru (they have all the necessary information). We advise all international students who want to enter the University of Tyumen, help them prepare and check required documents, so usually they don’t have any paperwork issues. We have representative offices in some countries which provide diploma nostrification services free of charge. All in all, I’d recommend studying what you like and choosing a profession based on what you are interested in and what you are good at. Whether the discipline is popular or not, is less relevant. Every field needs solid experts.