International students will have an opportunity to study in Master’s programs at top Russian universities for free

A Master's degree in Russia? Sign me up! Students from all over the globe can now study for free on a Master’s program at one of Russia and the world’s top universities thanks to Open Doors: Russian Scholarship Project, which has been launched by joint efforts of Russia’s higher education institutions. Applications for the first round of selection can be submitted until February 16, 2018.


Open Doors: Russian Scholarship Project is Russia’s first international competition for prospective Master's students. The competition is held with the support of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science and the Rossotrudnichestvo Federal Agency; the Association “Global Universities” acts as the organizer. The project is the first to give students from all over           the world a unique opportunity to enroll in a Master’s program in Russia without entrance exams and using a single-window system: entrants can choose any one of more than 500 universities in 80 Russian cities, from Kaliningrad to Siberia and the Far East. That includes universities listed in top international rankings, such as Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE), QS World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), as well as 21 leading universities participating in Project 5-100 – a Russian academic excellence initiative aimed at strengthening the position of the Russian education on the global market. Winners of the competition will enjoy early admission and tuition-free education in a university of their liking.

The International Open Doors Olympiad is a joint project by leading universities in Russia to attract foreign students to Master's Programs.The best Russian universities have combined their efforts and opportunities, thus ensuring the high quality of the Olympiad. The Olympiad invites students from four academic disciplines: mathematics, economics, computer science and physics. Top Russian universities are participating to fill available places in these fields. Representatives from these universities will develop the entrance questions, evaluate the participants and offer admission to their Master's educational programs to applicants who pass all qualifying rounds.

Alexei Okunev
Alexei Okunev
The Vice-Rector for NSU Development Programs

The competition is open to all foreign citizens, as well as Russian citizens permanently living abroad, who already have a Bachelor’s degree or are completing their Bachelor’s education in 2018. Entering a Russian university has never been simpler and easier: the competition is conducted entirely online, and the criteria are clear and transparent.

To win a position at a coveted university, prospective students must sign up on the project’s website: and pass two rounds of selection. The first, qualifying, round is a portfolio contest. Entrants should upload their portfolios online via the project's website by February 16, 2018. Those who have successfully passed the portfolio contest are invited to the final round, an online test that will be available from March 5 to 15, 2018. The results of the competition will be announced at the end of March: a list of winners will be published on the project's website. The competition's tasks are available in Russian and English. Winners can also choose to study at their university of choice in either language.

This year, the competition is held in four subject areas: Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics, and Physics. Winners of the contest can select any program track within a subject area of their choice, and then apply to one or several Russian universities that have educational programs corresponding with the track that interests them.

Olympiad organizers are leading universities in Russia: Novosibirsk State University, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology; ITMO University (St. Petersburg); the National Research Nuclear University (MEPhi, Moscow); the Higher School of Economics (Moscow); the National University of Science and Technology MISIS (Moscow), Tomsk State University, N. I. Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod (UNN), the Siberian Federal University (Krasnoyarsk), St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University (Kaliningrad) and the Ural Federal University (Yekaterinburg).

All the details on how to participate in Open Doors: Russian Scholarship Project can be found on the website: