Overview on Edu­ca­tion in Rus­sia

Rus­sia has a free edu­ca­tion sys­tem, which is guar­an­teed for all cit­i­zens by the Con­sti­tu­tion, how­ever entry to sub­si­dized higher edu­ca­tion is highly com­pet­i­tive. As a result of great empha­sis on sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy in edu­ca­tion, Russ­ian med­ical, math­e­mat­i­cal, sci­en­tific, and aero­space research is gen­er­ally of a high order.

Since 1990, the 11-​year school edu­ca­tion has been intro­duced. Edu­ca­tion in state-​owned sec­ondary schools is free. Uni­ver­sity level edu­ca­tion is free, with excep­tions. A sub­stan­tial share of stu­dents is enrolled for full pay (many state insti­tu­tions started to open com­mer­cial posi­tions in the last years).

In 2004, state spend­ing for edu­ca­tion amounted to 3.6% of the GDP, or 13% of the con­sol­i­dated state bud­get. The Gov­ern­ment allo­cates fund­ing to pay the tuition fees within an estab­lished quota or num­ber of stu­dents for each state insti­tu­tion. In higher edu­ca­tion insti­tu­tions, stu­dents are paid a small stipend and pro­vided with free hous­ing if they are from out of town.

The old­est and largest Russ­ian uni­ver­si­ties are Moscow State Uni­ver­sity and Saint Peters­burg State Uni­ver­sity. In the 2000s, in order to cre­ate higher edu­ca­tion and research insti­tu­tions of com­pa­ra­ble scale in Russ­ian regions, the gov­ern­ment launched a pro­gram of estab­lish­ing “fed­eral uni­ver­si­ties”, mostly by merg­ing exist­ing large regional uni­ver­si­ties and research insti­tutes and pro­vid­ing them with a spe­cial funding.