Russia - Country Commercial Guide
Education and Training

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-03-10

Capital:  Moscow
Population:  141,722,205 (July 2020 est.)
GDP:  4.016 Trillion USD (2017 est., Purchasing Power Parity)
Currency:  Russian rubles (RUB)
Language:  Russian (official)

UNESCO Student Mobility Number:
Russia has 56,659 students studying abroad according to UNESCO.

CIA World Factbook:
26.78% of the Russian population is under 24 years of age.  

Russia is the 6th largest economy in the world. Russia’s GDP purchasing power parity is $3.6 trillion. The Russian economy is expected to grow to almost $4 trillion in 2020. The country has a population of 140 million with a growing purchasing power that demands well known global brands and quality service. Russia is mostly an urban country. Between 15-25% of the country’s population belong to the middle class and 74 % of Russians live in urban areas. Besides Moscow and St. Petersburg, there are fifteen other Russian cities with population over one million. 

Education in Russia is provided predominantly by the state and is regulated by the Ministry of Education and Science. Regional authorities regulate education within their jurisdictions within the prevailing framework of federal laws. In 2004 state spending for education amounted to 3.6% of GDP, or 13% of the consolidated state budget. In 2018, the spending on education amounted to $20 billion. Private institutions account for 1% of pre-school enrollment, 0.5% of elementary school enrollment and 17% of university-level students. Education in state-owned secondary schools is free; first tertiary (university level) education is free with reservations: a substantial number of students are enrolled for full tuition fees. Male and female students have equal shares in all stages of education, except tertiary education where women lead with 57%. The literacy rate in Russia, according to a 2018 estimate by the Central Intelligence Agency, is 99.7% (99.7% men, 99.6% women). According to a 2018 OECD estimate, 53% of Russia’s adults (25 to 64 year-olds) have attained a tertiary (college) education. 

Russian students are increasingly choosing to pursue university degrees abroad. Based on the latest Institute of International Education Open Doors Report 5,292 Russian students studied in the U.S in 2018-2019. Over the last five-year period there is a 15% increase in the number of Russian students studying in the U.S. schools. 

Russian students are traditionally interested in pursuing their Undergraduate and Graduate Studies in the U.S. In view of the Russian ruble devaluation, many students favor less expensive Community Colleges and/or one or two-year undergraduate programs. Most Russian students choose to major in Business/Management, Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Fine/Applied Arts, Maths/Computer Science, and Engineering. Summer English language programs are gaining popularity among Russian high school and undergraduate students.

There is also a growing interest in elite U.S. Boarding schools for children (from the age 8 y.o.) from wealthy Russian families from 15 major cities throughout Russia. 

Russian students are attracted by the quality of U.S. graduate and undergraduate programs and all the extracurricular opportunities student life on campus has to offer.  In recent years Russian students that choose to pursue their studies in the U.S. came not only from Moscow and St Petersburg but also from many other regions of Russia.

EducationUSA, Moscow, Russia; Email:
Diana Ryan, Education Commercial Specialist 
U.S. Commercial Service – Moscow, Russia
+7 495 7285398