MEPhI: a University That Trains Nuclear Engineers


MEPhI: a University That Trains Nuclear Engineers
© MEPhI

National Research Nuclear University MEPhI is a top Russian university specialising in training nuclear industry specialists. Vice Rector Nikolay Dmitriev tells why MEPhI is the right university for international students.

– How many international students are studying at the university?

– We have about 1,500 international students at the present time, including those who enrolled in 2017. MEPhI Moscow branch has a student body of 6,500.

– What are the top origin countries for international students at MEPhI?

– The largest inflow comes from Russia’s state corporation Rosatom partner countries: Turkey, Jordan, Bangladesh and Vietnam. We have about 300 students from Vietnam now. Many new entrants are Сommonwealth of Independent States nationals, mostly from Kazakhstan.

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– What are your priority regions?

– These are the countries which already operate a nuclear power plant or plan to build a NPP, such as Turkey, Bangladesh, Egypt and Jordan. In the recent years, we’ve been developing relations with Bolivia.

– What are the most popular majors international students choose to study?

– Nuclear Physics and Technology and Nuclear Power Plants: Design, Operation and Engineering top the list. Information Technology is the second most popular major.

– Do you have English-taught programmes?

– Yes, we a have quite a few programmes that are taught partially or fully in English, for example BA programmes Optical Information Technologies, Methods of Nonlinear Dynamics and Mathematical Modelling, Theoretical Physics, Mathematical Modelling and Software Engineering for Computers and Computer Networks, Nanoelectronics, Spintronics and Photonics.

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English-taught MSc programmes are Biomedical Photonics, Biomedical Nanotechnologies, Information and Analytical Support of Financial Monitoring, Mathematical Physics and Mathematical Modelling, Nanobioengineering, Nanoteranostics, Nanoelectronics, Spintronics and Photonics, Carbon Photonics etc. We’ve designed new programmes this year and will increase their number in the future.

– Does your university have Russian courses for foreigners?

– Yes, they learn Russian at the Preparatory Department taking instruction from teachers of the Russian as a Foreign Language Department. The Preparatory Department also provides training in general disciplines: physics, mathematics and informatics. After pre-university studies, students enrol in basic undergraduate or graduate programmes; they continue to learn Russian in the first and second years. Preparatory Department courses begin in autumn (September-November) and last nine months. Applications are open throughout the year. Foreigners can opt for a study contract with the Preparatory Department (tuition fee is 160,000 rubles a year).

– What do you do to attract international prospective students?

– Our university representatives go Jordan, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and other countries to select prospective students. The Russian Centres for Science and Culture in these countries arrange Olympiads and meetings and interviews with applicants. Also, we’re a regular participant in international education fairs. As I’ve said, we have been increasing the number of English-taught programmes.

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– Please tell more about MEPhI Olympiads.

– We traditionally arrange our Olympiads in CIS countries. A group of MEPhI teachers travels there to work with applicants. Academic competitions can have one or several stages depending on study track. The points won at MEPhI academic competitions carry over to the university entrance examinations score. Our university runs physics and maths Olympiads jointly with Rosatom every year. Tryouts are usually held in December; the finals take place in February-March. The Olympiad winners taking entrance exams at National Research Nuclear University MEPhI have an advantage.

– Do you have summer schools for foreigners?

– Yes, we offer several short summer programmes every year. International summer school in Engineering Computer Modelling is quite popular; it is a short programme in English. School participants can learn more about mathematical modelling of physical processes and work with engineering codes to solve various problems. Applications are accepted until mid-May; the school runs in July.

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– What can you tell about international students’ living conditions?

– We have several corridor-type and apartment-type dormitories conveniently located near the teaching blocks. The rooms are rather spacious; each has furniture, equipment and free Internet. Students are provided with bed linen sets with towels; bedclothes are replaced every week. 

A dormitory has a refreshment room, a reading hall and laundry rooms. We try to place students from the same country together, but we are not always successful become students arrive at the university on different dates. In general, we have no problems with dormitory places, however we gradually add new facilities as the number of students increases. A new building in Proletarsky Prospect is a recent addition. Accommodation is quite affordable with the rates at 500 to 600 rubles per month.

– Do you help international students get their bearings in new environment?

– Yes, we do; we have special staff to handle everyday issues. Supervisors provide assistance to newcomers helping them integrate into campus life.

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– Can students pursue sports at MEPhI?

– The university holds many sport events; international students are welcome to participate. The Moscow-based campus has a large free-of-charge sport complex; the gym at the Obninsk branch has recently been renovated.

– What advice would you give to international prospective students planning to enrol at MEPhI?

– First of all, I’d recommend them to decide on the area of study in advance. It is difficult to change one’s major after enrolment. It is also important that they study Russian migration legislation, read the instructions on the website and fill out all forms properly and on time.

– What advantages does MEPhI offer to international prospective students?

– We provide best training for all areas of the nuclear fuel cycle. Classes are conducted by well-known scientists and specialists. MEPhI has modern facilities for running various experiments. International students have opportunities to do research using unique equipment.

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