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Open Doors Competition Gives International Students Opportunity to Study in Russia

Open Doors Competition Gives International Students Opportunity to Study in Russia

Registration is now open for the Open Doors: Russian Scholarship Project, Russia’s first competition for international students applying to Master’s programmes. With registration open until February 16, 2018, the competition consists of two remote stages: a portfolio contest and an online contest. The first stage will take place from December 1, 2017 to February 16, 2018.

The idea for the project was proposed last year by the Global Universities Association, which brings together Russian universities participating in the Academic Excellence Project 5-100, an initiative designed to increase competitiveness on the global research and education market. The Open Doors project has been supported by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science and Rossotrudnichestvo.

Competition winners are able to enrol in universities before the admission period even starts and will be able to study for free.

Citizens of any country, stateless individuals, and Russian citizens who live abroad are eligible to take part in the competition. To do so, they must have a Bachelor’s degree or be on track to complete their Bachelor’s programmes in 2018.

The competition will be held in two languages — Russian and English.

Subject areas

This academic year, the competition will be held in four subject areas: Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics, and Physics. A leading Russian university coordinates each subject area; HSE is responsible for Economics and is also involved in helping coordinate other three areas.

Winners or runners-up of the competition can choose one of the Master’s programmes that enrols international citizens in their subject area. A table showing the correlation between subject areas and programme fields can be found on the competition website. Those participating in the Economics competition, for example, will be eligible to apply to programmes in three fields: Economics, Management, and Finance & Credit. Similarly, Computer Science covers five fields, Mathematics – eight, and Physics – nine.

Two rounds

The competition is held in two rounds. During the first (qualifying) round, from December 1, 2017 to February 16, 2018, students upload their portfolios on the competition website. The requirements for portfolios differ depending on the subject area.

Those who have passed the initial selection are invited to take part in the second (final) round, which takes place from March 5 to 15, 2018. The second round involves completing assignments in the selected subject area. Some assignments are standardized and checked automatically, while the other part is creative and checked by a jury. Participants who are not satisfied with their results can appeal at this stage.

The results from both rounds are used to calculate the final ranking, and the overall results of the competition will be announced after March 15. The list of winners and runners-up will be posted on the project website.


Winners and runners-up will be eligible for full-tuition scholarships from the Russian government that can be used to study at any Russian university, including those participating in the Project 5-100. 160 scholarships have been allocated and will be distributed among the four subject areas, depending on the number of participants in each of area. If the chosen programme doesn’t offer state-funded places, winners and runners-up may be eligible to receive a discount on tuition. The tuition waivers in this case may be offered at the discretion of a Master's programme.

Those who are willing to study in Russian but who lack sufficient Russian skills can take part in a preparatory programme before entering a Master’s programme next academic year. This preparatory programme focuses on intensive Russian-language training.

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