Russia is a transcontinental country located in Europe and Asia. It is the world’s largest nation by area and the 9th most populous one. This country is one of the least densely populated, with most of the population living in the more urbanized western part. The country’s capital is Moscow, which is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world and the largest in Europe with a population of over 20 million.

After the catastrophic collapse of the Soviet Union, which left most of Russia’s population living in poverty, the country has made significant economic progress in recent years and is now the 11th largest economy in the world.

Russian Universities are very well respected and popular, especially among students from other Eastern European countries. In today’s article, we will talk about cheap universities in Russia that provide excellent value for money.

Affordable Schools in Russia for International Students

1. Altai State University (ASU)

Altai State University (ASU) is the cheapest educational institution in Russia for international students. This university is a public research university based in Barnaul, Southern Russia. It was established in 1973 and now consists of 13 departments for many different fields and areas of study.

Barnaul’s proximity to China and other nearby Asian nations attracts a large number of Asian students to ASU, and there is a dedicated International Affairs Department that assists them in any way they may need. There is also a Department of Educational and Extracurricular Activities which deals with making sure that students can spend their free time productively by joining different clubs or discussion groups.

2. Moscow Region State University (MRSU)

  • Admissions
  • Tuition Fees: from RUB 73,500/year (Undergraduate) | from RUB 90,000/year (Graduate)

Moscow Region State University (MRSU) is one of the largest universities in and around Moscow. This cheap university in Russia was founded in 1931. It has a rich history of many achievements and discoveries in science and research.

MRSU was a leading institution in Soviet times and has evolved into a modern institution that uses the latest technology to prepare its students for educational and professional success. Most of MRSU’s 250 international students are involved in Russian studies.

3. Kazan Federal University (KFU)

Founded in 1804, Kazan Federal University (KFU), a cheap university in Russia, is located in Kazan, the fifth most populous city in Russia. The most famous student is Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, also known as Lenin, the head of government in Soviet Russia and the Soviet Union from 1917 until 1924. Over the years, KFU has achieved tremendous feats, primarily in the field of chemistry, as the university is known as the birthplace of organic chemistry and electron spin resonance.

4. Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU)

The Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) is located in Vladivostok, a Maritime Territory in the Far East of Russia. It is much closer to countries like Japan and Korea than it is to Moscow. The University is one of the oldest as it was established in 1899. It has since been reformed multiple times and is now one of the leading higher education institutions in Asia. It consists of 9 faculties covering different fields of study, including law, economics, IT, and more.

FEFU closely collaborates with nearby Asian countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea, and it also has branches in the United States. The university also has partnerships with different ministries, such as the Cultural Center of Germany. This involvement in international collaboration has attracted a large number of foreign students over the years, and FEFU continues to be a leader in this category among Russian universities.

5. Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University (LETI)

  • Admissions
  • Tuition Fees: from RUB 164,675/year (Undergraduate) | from RUB 99,000/year (Graduate)

Next on our list of cheapest universities in Russia is the Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University. LETI, as it is popularly called, was founded in 1886, when it became the first European higher education institution that specialized in electrical engineering. It is located in Saint Petersburg, the second-largest city in Russia, and one of the most culturally important not only in Russia but the entire world. This makes LETI a very attractive option for many international students, and today, there are over 10,000 students enrolled at this university.

6. Tomsk Polytechnic University

Founded in 1986, Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) is one of the oldest technical universities in Russia. It is located in the city of Tomsk in South-Central Russia. TPU consists of 13 educational divisions covering different technical fields, including nuclear science & engineering, computer science & robotics, advanced manufacturing technologies, and others. Over the years, the university has produced over 100,000 technical specialists, and today, they are home to 22,000 students.

7. Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia

The People’s Friendship University of Russia, a cheap university in Russia, is based in Moscow. It was founded in 1960 and was originally used as a higher education institution for “third-world students,” becoming an important part of the Soviet Union’s plan to spread its ideology to nearby nations.

Today, it consists of 11 faculties and institutes in many different areas of study. While the university has long moved on from its ideological roots, it remains one of the leading international universities in Russia, with a large number of alumni from all over the world, including South America, Africa, and many other places.

FAQS About Studying in Russia

What are the General Requirements to Study in Russia?

There are no special requirements for studying in Russia, except for a certificate of secondary education and an appropriate level of knowledge of the language you will be studying. After getting accepted, you will also have to go through the process of obtaining a visa through your local Russian embassy.

Do Universities in Russia Offer English-taught Programs?

Yes. There are plenty of programs in Russia that are taught in English; however, most of them are at the master’s level, but there are also some universities that offer bachelor’s degrees in English as well. For example, the Far Eastern Federal University offers three bachelor’s degrees in English, while Moscow State University offers many programs in English for both bachelor’s and master’s studies.


We hope that this article on the cheap universities in Russia was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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