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Top Russian Universities Raise Tuition Fees

Anton Kardashov / Moskva News Agency

Leading Russian universities are raising the cost of study ahead of the 2024-25 academic year, the business daily Vedomosti reported on Thursday, citing higher education ranking data.

Tuition fees at the Moscow State Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) saw the largest increase, according to data from RAEX Analytics, with the average cost of study for undergraduates there jumping by 20%.

Annual tuition for MIPT’s applied mathematics and physics program rose from 389,000 to 467,000 rubles, Vedomosti reported.

Among Russia’s top 10 universities, tuition fees at St. Petersburg State University and Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University have increased the least, with the average cost of study at both institutions going up by 4.5%.

The spike in tuition at Russian universities comes amid persistently high inflation, driven by a surge in military spending for Moscow’s ongoing war against Ukraine. Even before the full-scale invasion, tuition rates were trending upward, with the average cost of study at a public university in Russia rising by 51% between 2016 and 2021.

“The socio-political context is also important in pricing educational programs at universities,” Vice-Rector of the Presidential Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration Vladimir Kolodkin told Vedomosti, citing high wages as one reason for the increased costs. 

In June, Russian media reported that federal lawmakers had introduced a bill into the lower-house State Duma aimed at subsidizing tuition “in more sought-after specialties that are in Russia’s national interests.” 

Russian university tuition fees are uncapped, Irina Abankina, a professor at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, told Vedomosti.

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