There are 24 universities in Russia featured within the QS World University Rankings® 2018, 10 of which are placed among the top 400 universities worldwide. Russia also boasts a substantial presence in the QS EECA University Rankings, a ranking of the 300 leading universities in emerging Europe and central Asia, with a whopping 95 Russian universities currently featured.
Over the past decade or so, higher education in Russia has undergone significant change, with 390 billion rubles (~US$6.7 billion) allocated between 2011 and 2015 for upgrading facilities and technical equipment at Russian universities, and improving training for teaching staff.
Additionally, in 2003, Russia signed up to the Bologna Process, pledging to bring its system in line with most other countries across Europe. This means many universities in Russia now offer a choice between a four-year bachelor’s degree and a five-year specialist degree. Russia’s higher education system was ranked 26th in the world, in the first edition of the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings.
Lomonosov Moscow State University (Lomonosov MSU)is Russia’s highest-ranked institution, topping the table of the QS EECA University Rankings for the third year in a row. Lomonosov Moscow State University has a current enrolment of 47,000 students, of which 7,000 are undergraduates and 4,000 are international. Academic areas at Lomonosov Moscow State University are wide-ranging, with a total of 380 departments, 39 faculties, 15 research institutes, four museums and six branch campuses in Russia and abroad.
The frontrunner among universities in Moscow, Lomonosov Moscow State University offers a campus which is not only close to the rich culture of Russia’s capital city (less than five kilometers from the center) but is also one of the grandest campuses you’ll ever come across, with the main building claiming the title of the tallest educational building in the world.
The best-performing Russian university under 100 years old, Novosibirsk State University was established in 1959 and is ranked second in the EECA rankings. Famed for its rapid rise in reputation, Novosibirsk State University has a fairly small student community (6,000). It’s located just outside of the city of Novosibirsk, Russia’s third most populous city after Moscow and Saint Petersburg. While less internationally known than these two, Novosibirsk boasts thriving cultural and nightlife scenes, making it another attractive option for prospective students.
The oldest and one of the most prestigious universities in Russia, Saint Petersburg State University is ranked fourth in the EECA rankings as of 2018. Founded by Peter the Great in 1724, Saint Petersburg State University has a student population of around 30,000, of which around 3,000 are from outside Russia. Spread throughout the city of Saint Petersburg in over 400 buildings hosting 25 faculties, Saint Petersburg State University provides students with access to the city’s great array of museums, monuments and arts venues. Vasilievsky Island (in the historic city center) and Peterhof (a southwestern suburb) are where the university’s main two campuses can be found.
Ranked 11th in the 2018 EECA rankings (up from 20th in 2016/17), Tomsk State University is the oldest university in the Asian region of Russia, having been established in 1880. It currently has around 23,000 students in 23 faculty departments, and according to the most recent QS World University Rankings by Subject, is ranked in the top 300 in the world for modern languages and physics and astronomy.
Ranked 13th in the 2018 EECA rankings, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology State University (MIPT) was founded in 1946 and has a unique education system in which students commonly conduct their research outside the university. MIPT is ranked highly in the subject ranking for physics and astronomy as well as for the broad subject area of natural sciences. It has a current student enrolment of almost 5,700, and its alumni include many notable scientists, physicists and politicians.
Also featured within the top 50 in the QS EECA University Rankings are: Bauman Moscow State Technical University (20th), National Research Nuclear University “MEPhI” (23rd), Moscow State Institute of International Relations (33rd), Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University (36th), National Research University – Higher School of Economics (25th) and National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University (40th).