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| Russian Universities Guide 2019

Foreign students at Russian universities

In the recent years studying at Russian higher education

institutions has become an attractive idea for foreign youth.

Russia holds the 7th place in the world by the total number

of students undergoing all education and training programs

(full-attendance and distance, 313,1 thousand people overall

in 2016/2017 academic year) after the USA (1,1 mln. pers.),the

United Kingdom (501,0 thnd. pers.), China (442,8 thnd. pers.),

Germany (362,0 thnd. pers.), Australia (327,6 thnd. pers.) and

France (329,3 thnd. pers.).

In order to create more suitable education environment for for-

eign students in Russia a priority national project was approved

in May of 2017 called “Development of export potential of the

Russian education system”. An ambitious goal was set for 2025 –

increase the number of foreign students studying at full-attend-

ance at the Russian universities, as well as at the institutions of

secondary vocational education up to 710 thousand people.

The total number of foreign students, trainees, postgraduate

students and attendants of preparatory programs studying at

the Russian universities in 2016/2017 at full-attendance (229 230

thnd. pers.) has increased by 28,6 thousand people or 14.2% as

compared to 2015/2016. The biggest community of foreign stu-

dents signed for the full-time courses in 2016/2017 consisted of

citizens of Kazakhstan (39,7 thnd. pers.), China (26,8 thnd. pers.)

and Turkmenistan (17,3 thnd. pers.).

The growth in the number of foreign students signed for the full-

time course took place mostly at the institutions of the Russian

Ministry of Education - by 13,7 thousand people, and institutions

of other subordinations (mostly the Ministry of health) - by 14,6

thousand people


- located in three federal districts – Central

(by 9,5 thnd. pers.), Volga (by 6,4 thnd. pers.) and Siberian (by 4,3

thnd. pers.). The increase of number of foreign students, trainees,

postgraduates, attendants of preparatory programs and other

categories of students was assured mostly thanks to the institu-

tions located in capitals of Republics, regional and administrative


Foreign students were studying at full-attendance during the 2016/2017 academic year at the institutions of 23 different ministries and agencies, as well as the institu-

tions pertaining to 27 municipalities or subjects of the Russian Federation.