The education in Russia has been focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), with its spectacular feats of sending the first man, first dog to the Moon. There cannot be better proof of the merits and efficacy of the education system in the country. The charm of Russia with its unique history and political narrative is one that has taken centre stage internationally. From the stark weather in Siberia to the warm hospitality of historic townships of Leningrad and Moscow, Russia has a wealth of experience as being a beacon of progress, leadership and innovation, since the period of the industrial revolution.

Having maintained their reputation for being technologically advanced, Russian universities offer preparatory programmes (training for enrolment on Bachelor’s, Master’s and Specialist Degree courses), short courses (summer university, a single term in Russia, summer schools), Russian as a foreign language courses, professional development and additional vocational training. There are 896 universities in the 85 regions of the country, from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok where 657 subjects in Bachelor’s, Master’s, Specialist and Postgraduate Programmes (medical traineeships, postgraduate military courses), and internships and assistantships are offered to national as well as international students.

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Saint Petersburg State University, Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Novosibirsk State University among others are a few which find place of pride among the QS, THE and ARWU rankings, which is a testament to their commitment to excellence. Also, the universities are renowned for being the most reasonable when it comes to tuition, medical expense, living expenses etc. when compared to education in Singapore or even, China. Not surprisingly, there are more than 210,000 international students from about 200 countries of the world, currently studying at the Russian State Universities, whose degrees are internationally recognised.

For admission to any of these universities, it is imperative that applicants send the documents certifying their previous education (a diploma or a certificate), a cover letter, and they confirm their level of English with either an IELTS or a TOEFL certificate. At some institutions you need to submit a CV, a portfolio, references from teachers, and complete an interview in English (by phone or Skype). For further details, please visit https://studyinrussia.ru/en/why-russia/world-university-rankings/.

While most of the courses are taught in Russian, there are certain courses like MBBS, MD, Masters in International Relations etc. that are taught in English in order to attract foreign students. For admission to the Bachelors of Medicine/Dentistry degree, the minimum eligibility is 50% aggregate in Physics, Chemistry, Biology at the Class 12 Higher Secondary Level plus the other requirements stated above. The university fees for the course per year ranges from 1.8 lakhs to 3 lakhs, depending on the university. Similarly, for Engineering, the fees range from 1.8 to 2.5 lakhs per annum.

The fees are subsidised by the Russian government by almost 80% and thus, these benefits also pass on to students from foreign countries through Russian government sponsored scholarships, in your home country. Allocation of quotas is carried out by Rossotrudnichestvo (The Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation) through its international network of offices, as well as through embassies of Russia abroad.  However, the government quota for admission is only applicable to Russian nationals and citizens of Russian declared fellow countries.

Once the university offer is received, the student must apply for a visa at the nearest Russian consulate. Initially, a student visa is issued for three months. After this period you should apply to the local division of the General Administration for Migration Issues of the Interior Ministry of Russia for a visa extension. For the required documents for the issue of a student visa, please visit https://studyinrussia.ru/en/life-in-russia/arriving-in-russia/visa/. Furthermore, there are mandated medical tests that must be completed for the visa process.

The economy in Russia has been slowly advancing and the current government welcomes foreign investment which has led to the privatisation of sectors, bringing an influx of expats and foreign companies. However, your stay in Russia is limited to your study period and if you wish to extend your stay and work, you would need to apply for a work visa permit. Read more about the particulars of the work visa requirements at https://studyinrussia.ru/en/actual/faq/get-job-after-completing-studies/. The greatest demand for workers is in the following: sales managers, sales executives, skilled employees and engineers.

The medical and pharmaceutical sector faces a deficit of skilled labour, while marketing specialists, lawyers, and advertising professionals are far too many. The most competitive jobs in Russia for English speakers are in governmental institutions, publishing and mass media. The average pay for a graduate would be roughly three times greater in Moscow than in Leningrad or St. Petersburg. Moscow also enjoys the lowest unemployment ratio in the country. For more information on the various placement agencies and websites to search for jobs, please visit https://www.expatica.com/ru/employment/Jobs-in-Russia_509599.html.

With the cosmopolitan environment and famed Russian hospitality, it is certain that students who choose to study in Russia enjoy their brush with history and the rich cultural heritage that Russia has come to exemplify. As a prospective student, you have the chance to see first-hand the seat of the former superpower, the U.S.S.R and to experience the wonderful education that has earned Russia a place of pride on the world map.