Education in Russia

The modern history of education in Russia goes back to 1687 when the very first university in the country was established. Now, Russia is one of the highly educated countries in the world with a literacy rate of 99.7%, and the Ministry of Education and Science controls the education system of the country.

To make sure that all the people in the country get at least General Education, the Russian government has made 11 years of education compulsory for all the citizens.

Education System In Russia

In Russia, government institutions play a significant role in general as well as higher education and dominate the field of education. As per information available on the website of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, “the system of general education includes 66,909 educational establishments in which 20,825,000 students are enrolled. Some 607 private schools have been established over the last years.” Further, the country is home to 766 universities located in 82 regions across the nation.

In Russia, the academic year starts on September 1, and final examinations for the academic session are held in the month of June. One Academic Year is divided into four semesters.

The entire education system in Russia can be divided into two broad categories:

  1. General Education
  2. Higher Education

General education is divided into three stages:

Stages of General Education in Russia




Primary General Education [Elementary]

Four Years



Basic General Education [Middle]

Five Years



Secondary (Complete) General Education [Senior]

Two Years


Primary and Basic General Education, which is mandatory, takes nine years to complete. On completion of Basic General Education, students are issued the Certificate of Basic General Education.

After completion of Basic General Education, students are mandatorily required to complete two more years of secondary schooling and earn the Certificate of Secondary (Complete) General Education that is also called “School Leaving Certificate.”

After getting the School Leaving Certificate, students have the choice to pursue non-university level higher education or vocational programs as well or to pursue University-level higher education.

Children are enrolled in Primary General Education at the age of six. Accordingly, by the age students turn 17, they successfully finish Secondary (Complete) General Education and are ready for enrollment to universities for higher education.

Holders of School Leaving Certificate can proceed for admission to Universities, which is a competitive process. While screening applications for admissions, Russian medical universities consider several factors and techniques, including:

  • The performance of the student as indicated in School Leaving Certificate;
  • Grades secured in the entrance examination; and
  • Student screening interviews.

In the Russian Federation, a person is permitted to apply only to one educational institution at a time.

- Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation

Level of Education




General Education

Primary General Education [Elementary]

Four Years

Eleven Years

Basic General Education [Middle]

Five Years

Secondary (Complete) General Education [Senior]

Two Years


Higher Education

University-level Program (Tertiary)

Varies as per Program Duration

The State bears a big chunk of the cost of education in Russia, and the local authorities are allowed to charge students a maximum of 20% of the education cost. That means at least 80% of the education expense has to be borne by the State.

Indian students who have qualified NEET, are eligible for direct admission to medical universities of Russia. The duration of the Russian MBBS Program is six years.

Russian Education Statistics




First University established in Russia


Russia became the first country to make higher education free


Literacy rate in Russia

11 Years

Duration of Compulsory Education in Russia


Educational establishments in Russia


Private Schools in Russia


Universities in Russia


Women educated in Russia


Men educated in Russia


Russian education system ranking in Europe


Russian education system ranking in the world


Approximate number of international students in Russia


The student to teacher ratio in Russia


Fields of education in Russia

Facts About Education In Russia

Sl. No.

Facts About Education In Russia


1st September is celebrated as “Knowledge Day” in Russia.


With a literacy of 99.7%, Russia is one of the most educated countries in the world.


In Russia, 99.7% of the men and 99.6% of the women are educated.


The Russian Education system has been ranked as the 8th best in Europe and 13th best in the world by Economist Intelligence Unit (2014).


In 2016, Bloomberg, a US-based media company, designated Russia’s Higher Education as the third-best in the world. 


As per UNESCO Institute for Statistics (July 2014), Russia was ranked as the 6th most popular country for international students, with the total number of students climbing to 173,627.


In Russia, local authorities are not allowed to charge students more than 20% of the cost of education.


The student-to-teacher ratio in Russia is 11:1.


Russia has given the world a total of 42 Nobel Prize winners.


In 1990, the number of international students in Russia crossed the mark of 1,80,000.


In 1918, Russia became the first nation to make higher education free. 


There are 766 universities in Russia spread across 82 regions and providing higher education in 205 different fields. 


Russia is in the list of very few countries in the world that offer international students an opportunity to pursue higher education at the cost of the state.

Every year, the government of the Russian Federation offers “state-funded spots” to provide financial aid to international students and help them get admission to study in Russia. In 2019, 15,000 international students received government scholarships to get education in Russia.

Government scholarship includes the tuition fee for the entire duration of the program, maintenance allowance as well as the cost of University accommodation. If you win the scholarship, the only costs that you need to take care of are travel costs, living expenses, and the cost of your health insurance.

If you are looking forward to studying in Russia, we strongly recommend you apply for State Scholarship. More information regarding financing your education in Russia and getting a scholarship can be found on the “Learn about Financing & Scholarship” page on the website of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation. For more details regarding education finance and scholarship, you can also contact Rus Education Team.

Student Life in Russia

Russia is a huge country, and every region of the country has something special to offer to its students. While studying in Russia, beyond education, you will have much more to explore and enjoy. Throughout the year, Universities in Russia organize several events and extra-curricular activities, on-campus as well as off-campus. Besides joining classes, you can join a sports club of your choice, do participate in the next University play, or help fellow members organize and host the events; all of those activities provide so much fun along with the opportunities to develop new connections and evolve yourself in the international community.

Great music, theatre shows, delicious food, amazing sites, museums, cultural centers, and architecture are there in every part of Russia. Whatever city or town you go to study, make sure to take some time off from your studies and explore new places and cultures.

Universities in Russia also celebrate Indian festivals with custom Indian practices. So, don’t worry about your favorite festivals. You will not miss them in Russia! Every year, Diwali, Holi, Christmas, and all major festivities are very well celebrated on the campus across all universities.

Most of the outlets, cafes, and restaurants offer discounts to students. Embrace your student privilege, occasionally go for shopping and dining, and experience something new at the special price for you.

Russia and every part of it have special experiences to offer. As a student in Russia, you do have access not only to the high quality of education in Russia but the best of life that Russia offers. So, if you ever get the opportunity to study in Russia, study best, enjoy your student life to the fullest, and you will step out as not only a world-class professional but a world-class person too!

mbbs in russia
mbbs in russia
mbbs in russia