Universities in Russia

Click here to see the list of universities in Russia.

About universities in Russia

To say the Russian people and government value higher education would be a grand understatement.  According to a recent study conducted by UNESCO, over half of the adult population in Russia has attained a tertiary or post-secondary education, a percentage that ranks Russia among the most educated countries in the world, a statistic that by comparison is more than double that of the United States.
As of 2010, close to 9 million students were enrolled in tertiary institutions, a figure that includes those enrolled at military and police institutions, as well as those attending academic-oriented universities.  In Russia, there are more than 650 public or state-run universities, and just over 500 private institutions of higher education, all governed by the Ministry of Education.  These enrollment figures include foreign or international students, who account for nearly 6 percent of the total enrollment.
Russia is currently in the process of transforming and modernizing its tertiary education system to make it compatible with the Western “Bachelor/Master Degree” system.  These changes are the result of the Bologna Process—a process aimed at standardizing the credit system and degree structure in universities throughout the European Union to facilitate the process of students transferring between universities.  Russia signed the Bologna Declaration in 2003, but progress towards conversion to this new system has been slow, largely due to adamant resistance from university administrators, faculty and a significant percentage of students.
In the traditional model of higher education in Russia, the majority of students pursue their studies at specialized institutes.  In these narrowly focused schools, which include institutions that concentrate solely on engineering, physics, medicine, education, law and even cinematography, students have the opportunity to earn “specialist” degrees by completing comprehensive courses of study, most of which span five to six years in duration depending on the discipline.  This is very different than the system established by the Bologna process, one that is separated into 3-4 year bachelor degrees and an additional two years of study to earn a Master’s Degree.
The main goal of the Bologna Process—facilitating student transfer between universities—is one of the characteristics that have led to the most resistance in Russia.  Russian universities openly discourage students from transferring between schools, as they believe this disrupts the consistency and fluidity of a student’s education.  Most believe that a focused 5-6 year program better prepares students to work and have success in their field of study upon graduation.  Nevertheless, in October 2007 Russia enacted a law that replaces the traditional one-tier system with the new two-tier system of bachelor and Master’s Degrees.
Post graduate studies in Russia have not changed, however, as these schools have retained the structure that has been in place since 1934.  Under this system, there are two types of doctorate-level degrees students can pursue:  an academic doctorate, one that represents advanced educational attainment and mastery in a specific academic field (economics, business, engineering, etc.); and the more prestigious scientific doctorate, signifying significant scientific discovery and/or achievement.  Needless to say, the latter of these two post-graduate programs is much more research-oriented, and the admission requirements are much stricter.

List of universities in Russia

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