Russian universities for foreign students

The number of applications from foreign students in Russia increased by 20 percent in 2019. Almost 115 thousand international applicants decided to get higher education in Russia in 2019.

The most popular universities among foreigners were St. Petersburg State University, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia and Kazan Federal University. The top five universities, which sent a maximum of foreign applications, also included the Higher School of Economics and the Ural Federal University.

It may seem strange to someone that there is no Lomonosov Moscow State University in this list. This is because the main university of the country selects foreign students independently.

St. Petersburg State University

St. Petersburg State University is the oldest university in Russia, founded in 1724. For 291 years of existence, SPbU has secured the right to be called one of the best universities in Russia: a rich historical past, modern broad research, active development, and innovation allow SPbU to be at the forefront of Russian science.

St. Petersburg University trains according to its own educational standards that are higher than federal ones and prepares graduates in demand in the modern labor market in leading companies and various industries.

Among the graduates of St. Petersburg State University are six chairmen of the government and two presidents of the Russian Federation; nine Nobel Prize winners studied and worked at the University.

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia

RUDN University is the only international classical university on the planet that unites students from 150 countries. More than 85,000 of its graduates, over 5,500 candidates and doctors of sciences work in more than 170 countries of the world. Training of specialists is carried out in more than 70 areas of training and specialties.

The university provides wide opportunities for training foreign students and graduate students; internships; implementation of joint master’s programs with leading universities in Europe, the USA, China, and the CIS. This makes it possible to obtain diplomas from leading foreign universities simultaneously with the RUDN University diploma.

Innovative educational programs meet the latest labor market and the challenges of globalization, focusing on the extensive training of highly qualified specialists who can be successful in different countries of the world. RUDN employs a multinational staff of teachers, students, graduate students who are representatives of more than 500 nationalities.

Kazan Federal University

Kazan Federal University is a higher educational institution of Kazan, one of ten Russian federal universities, one of the oldest in Russia.

Studying at KFU allows a unique opportunity to travel, get acquainted with the culture of different countries, have internships in major world companies and implement different projects. University and partner companies offer 9 grant programs that help students realize their potential.

The Higher School of Economics

The Higher School of Economics is a research university that carries out its mission through scientific, educational, design, expert analytical and socio-cultural activities based on international scientific and organizational standards. It is a part of the global academic community with wide international partnerships.

In 2019, the HSE entered the 16 subjects and 3 industry QS ratings. The top 100 HSE is represented by 3 subjects: Sociology, Politics and International Relations, Economics and Econometrics, and the Social Sciences and Management industry. In these subjects, the HSE is the undisputed leader among Russian universities.

The Ural Federal University

The Ural Federal University was created in the context of implementing the concept of long-term development of the Russian Federation as one of the global leaders in education and research and innovation.

The university’s mission is to increase the international competitiveness of the Ural region and ensure reindustrialization, increase human and scientific and technical potential, balance the renewal of traditional and development of post-industrial sectors of the Russian economy, primarily in the Urals Federal District.

The strategic goal of creating a university is the formation in the Ural Federal District of a scientific, educational and innovation center, the core of which is the university. This will ensure the leadership of the university in the field of natural, humanitarian and technical sciences, its inclusion in the number of leading world educational and intellectual centers.

Most popular degrees among foreign students

Experts noted the growing interest of foreign youth in Russian technical education. For example, the Moscow Physics and Technology University in 2019 received three times more foreign applications via the Internet than a year ago. The number of foreigners interested in studying at Tambov Technical State University doubled. Also, noticeable growth is at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation.

“Today it’s not enough to develop several foreign-language programs, and then just wait until international applicants come to the university,” commented Svetlana Tagieva, head of the Office for Admission Campaign Management at the Financial University. “We work in several areas: we participate in foreign educational exhibitions, develop a network of foreign partner schools, open representative offices in countries”, she said.

What are foreign applicants interested in? More than half of those who enter the undergraduate or specialty, have chosen medical practice, economics, management, dentistry, and international relations.

Those who come to study at the magistracy have similar interests; but instead of medical practice (there is no master’s level degree), construction is included in the top 5 popular educational programs.

The Federal project “Education Export” stipulates that by 2024 there will be 435 thousand foreigners studying in Russia. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Russia ranks sixth in the world in attractiveness to international students.


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