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Master’s Programmes in Russia Welcome Talented International Students

Master’s Programmes in Russia Welcome Talented International Students

© HSE University

Registration for the Open Doors: Russian Scholarship Project for international applicants to Russian master’s programmes is open until December 15. The competition consists of two online rounds. The first round, a portfolio competition, will be open until December 18.

The competition is organized by the Global Universities Association and supported by Rossotrudnichestvo and the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. This initiative gives talented students from different countries an opportunity to enroll in Master’s programmes in Russia without sitting entrance exams. Applicants can choose from over 500 universities in 80 Russian cities, including Russian universities that rank in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE), the QS World University Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). Winners of the competition will gain admittance to the university of their choice before the general admissions round.

The competition is open to non-Russian citizens, as well as Russian citizens who permanently live abroad. Those who hold a bachelor’s degree or will receive their bachelor’s degree by 2020 are eligible to apply. All tasks of the competition are available in Russian and English, so the participants can choose the most convenient option.

Over 22,000 students

from 162 countries took part in the 2018/2019 competition

316 participants

from 60 countries in ten subject areas received scholarships

81 competition winners

from 26 countries have enrolled at HSE University this year

Subject Areas

For the 2019/2020 academic year, the Open Doors Russian Scholarship Project has been announced in 11 subject areas. HSE University is serving as a coordinating institution in Political Science and Economics. The other areas are coordinated by MIPT (Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence), ITMO University (Computer Science), MEPhI (Engineering and Technology, Physics), TSU (Biology, Psychology, Linguistics and Contemporary Languages), and NSU (Business and Management, Chemistry).

The winners will be able to choose any area of study relevant to their chosen competition subject area and one or several Russian universities that offer programmes in that area. Charts showing the correlation between subject areas and programme fields will be made available on the competition website.

Rounds and Results

The competition is held in two rounds. To enter, register on the project website before December 15, 2019, and upload your portfolio before December 18. The portfolio structures are determined by subject committees and vary depending on the subject.

Participants who pass the preliminary round will be invited to the second stage, which will take place from January 15 to 30, 2020. At this round, students must take online proctored exams. Some of the assignments are standardized and scored automatically, while other tasks are creative and reviewed by the competition jury. At this stage, participants who are not satisfied with their results may appeal their scores.

Applicants’ final scores are calculated based on their results in both rounds of the competition.

The list of winners and runners-up will be published on the project website on February 20, 2020.


Project winners will receive a scholarship from the Russian Government to study at a Russian university of their choice. 300 scholarships will be awarded and allocated among subject areas depending on the number of participants in each one.

Applicants who have completed the competition in Russian may only apply for a Russian-taught master’s programme, while applicants who have did the tasks in English may only apply for English-taught programmes. Applicants who are not sufficiently proficient in Russian but wish to enter a Russian-taught programme can first take a preparatory course and then apply for a Master’s programme the following academic year. They will still be eligible for the Russian Government’s scholarship.

Scholarship recipients may choose any Russian university for their master’s studies, including leading universities participating in Project 5-100.

Khushnuda Khamidova, Uzbekistan

I knew I wanted to study abroad even when I was in high school, so I worked really hard on my math and English language skills. In Tashkent, I got into Westminster International University, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics with Finance with honours.

My plan was to enroll in a master’s programme at a university overseas, but after I got hired by General Motors Uzbekistan, I had to put my plans of searching for suitable programmes and scholarships on hold.

In my fifth year of service, I learned about the Open Doors: Russian Scholarship Project. I couldn’t pass up the chance. Winning the competition in Economics granted me the right to choose from among a series of Economics programmes.

I chose the one at HSE, since HSE is really strong in economics, and the ICEF English-taught Financial Economics Programme is run jointly with The London School of Economics.

See also:

> 20,000

participants from 158 countries have already registered for the Open Doors Olympiad, an international competition organized by the Association of Global Universities. This event gives participants a chance to get tuition-free admission to English or Russian-taught Master’s programmes at Russia’s top universities.