Russia is not only the largest and the coldest country in the world, but it is also home to many famous literary artists and scientists. Moreover, many universities across the federation are popular with regional international, and worldwide students. Each year a growing number of students are drawn to study in Russia because of the high-quality, affordable education. The priciest, of course, is the Russian capital, Moscow. Still, a large number of universities in the provinces can easily accommodate an international student in search of a cheap and quality education.
Not only is living in Russia more affordable yearly, but the Russian government also offers around 15,000 scholarships that cover full tuition fees and living expenses. But suppose you want to study in Russia and not have to worry about keeping with the conditions of a scholarship program. In that case, you can choose from any of the following affordable Russian universities to go to.
Cheap Universities in Russia
1. Altai State Technical University
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: RUR 40,560 – RUR 144,000
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: RUR 20,800 – RUR 152,000
Altai State Technical University is a public higher education institution in Southern Russia. Altai State Technical University is one of the most affordable universities in Russia in terms of tuition fees. Altai offers courses only in Russian and requires students to have at least a B1-C2 level of Russian.
Altai’s research priorities include biotechnology, nanosystems, and computer technology in control systems. Moreover, international students can gain degrees in humanitarianization of pedagogical processes in education. In addition, geological environmental monitoring is one of ASTU’s popular majors.
2. Moscow Region State University
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: RUR 73,500 – RUR 340,000
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: RUR 90,000 – RUR 408,000
Moscow Region State University (MRSU) started in the 1930s as a pedagogical institute. Today, it has expanded its operations and maintains four institutes and 15 faculties that cater to 11,000 students.
This affordable university in Russia only offers courses in Russian but provides Russian language skills programs to prospective students.
3. Kazan Federal University
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: RUR 132,360 – RUR 260,340
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: RUR 143,280 – RUR 450,000
Kazan Federal University remains the second-oldest higher education institution in the Russian Federation. The university is home to 50,000 students studying over 700 degree programs in different disciplines. A global university, Kazan has 11,168 international students currently on campus and is a member of 15 International Academic Associations. The university’s priority research areas include biomedicine and pharmaceutics, oil extraction, refining and petrochemistry, info-communication, aerospace technologies, and advanced materials.
The majority of the programs are delivered in Russian. The following courses are offered in English: Bachelor’s Degree in Management (Economics, International Business), Specialist Diploma in General Medicine, Master’s Degree in Mathematics (Algebra), Geology (Stratigraphy of Oil and Gas Basins, Complex Data Analysis in Geosciences), Petroleum Engineering, Management (General and Strategic Management), Law (European and International Business Law), International Relations. The university also offers a one-year preparatory course in Russian and in English for students who need it.
4. St. Petersburg University
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: RUR 217,400 – RUR 583,000
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: RUR 194,900 – RUR 562,400
St. Petersburg University (SPbU) is Russia’s oldest higher education institution, dating back to 1724. Throughout its history, the university has produced nine Nobel prize winners and two presidents of the Russian Federation.
Today, this cheap university in Russia continues to be relevant by forging partnerships with more than 500 universities overseas and 1,200 private companies. In the 2018 QS Graduate Employability Rankings, SPbU came out the top university in terms of Employer-Student connection in the country.
SPbU offers 400 Bachelor, Master, and Ph.D. level programs in Russian, ten double degree programs, and 24 Master’s degree programs in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. SPbU remains a top university of destination for international students not only because of its diverse course offerings but also because of the availability of fully-funded scholarships and other financing options.
5. Tomsk Polytechnic University
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: RUR 219,310 – RUR 361,310
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: RUR 238,710 – RUR 393,830
Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) is a public research university well-known for its physics, Applied Engineering, and Electronics expertise. It is ranked 51-75 in the ARWU Global Ranking of Academic Subjects in Mechanical Engineering. Moreover, the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects in Energy Science and Engineering (ARWU) placed Tomsk Polytechnic in the 301–400 best universities.
TPU has 29 bachelor’s programs, 32 master’s programs, and 19 Ph.D. Programs. TPU offers double degree programs in partnership with schools in Czech Republic, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, and the United Kingdom. It also maintains a placement system where 95% of its graduates receive job offers upon graduation. TPU is a sought-after study destination for international students, and that is why almost 30% of its 9,000 students are expatriates.
6. Herzen University
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: RUR 220,000 – RUR 710,000
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: RUR 220,000 – RUR 510,000
Herzen University, one of the cheapest universities in Russia, is located in the center of old St. Petersburg and houses a library with an extensive collection, including rare books from the 11th century.
Initially a teacher-training institute, Herzen now offers more than 300 programs and 150 postgraduate scientific specialties across 11 faculties and 14 institutes. The current student body of almost 20,000 students includes at least 2,000 foreign graduate students.
7. Novosibirsk State University
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: RUR 326,166 – RUR 471,129
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: RUR 260,933 – RUR 471,129
Novosibirsk State University (NSU) ranked 228th in the QS World Rankings of 2024. The university is located in the unofficial capital of Siberia and was included in the top 20 Best Student Cities in the world.
This affordable university in Russia is a part of Project 5–100, which aims to have at least five Russian universities enter the global university rankings. As a participant of this project, NSU has aggressively pursued international research grants, joint experimental scientific projects, developing the infrastructure and facilities of NSU, and delivering English-taught master’s and Ph.D. programs.
NSU offers the following one specialist degree program, nine master’s degree programs, and one Ph.D. program in English.