The Russian government has announced plans to increase the quota of places available for international students by 30%.
The increase means Russian universities will be able to accept 50,000 more foreign students than they have in previous years, increasing the number of international students in Russia to approximately 200,000.
Russia has become an increasingly popular destination for international students, particularly those from Southeast Asia and Latin America. As a result, many courses at Russian universities have now developed programs taught in English as well as Russian. According to the Ministry of Education and Science, the most popular subjects for foreign students at Russian universities are medicine and biotechnology.
As well as increasing the number of places available, the government also plans to relax visa restrictions and make up to 20,000 of the places for foreign students state-funded. Students will be selected for state funding by the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation, known as Rossotrudnichestvo.
Russia's deputy minister of education and science, Lyudmila Ogorodova, said: "We have approved a proposal to increase the quota for foreign students this year. Those investments which have been made by the state in university infrastructure, and in particular domestic science and education, in recent years have made it possible to develop programmes in English and to prepare English-speaking teachers."
Applicants considering studying in Russia will have a diverse range of cities and universities to choose from. Four Russian cities recently featured in the QS Best Student Cities 2017 ranking: Moscow (=39th), St Petersburg (=78th), Tomsk (91st) and Novosibirsk (93rd). Of the four, St Petersburg and Tomsk scored the highest for affordability as they are able to offer a lower cost of living than capital city Moscow.