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Top Universities in Russia: Lomonosov vs Novosibirsk

Top Universities in Russia: Lomonosov vs Novosibirsk  main image

The two highest-ranked universities in Russia in this year’s QS BRICS University Content, Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) and Novosibirsk State University (NSU) are bound to be at the top of your list if you want to study in Russia. Lomonosov is up two places this year to rank fifth, while Novosibirsk climbed nine places to rank 11th. They’re also both ranked well in the QS World University Content® 2018, with Lomonosov currently ranked joint 95th in the world, while NSU is joint 250th.

If you’re trying to decide between these two top Russian universities, read on for an overview of how they compare in factors such as the student community, subject strengths and tuition fees.

 

Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU)

Novosibirsk State University (NSU)

QS World University Content® 2018

Ranked joint 95th in the world

Ranked 75th in the world by academics and 94th by employers

29th for faculty/student ratio


Ranked 297th for percentage of international students

Ranked joint 250th in the world

Ranked 280th in the world by academics and 288th by employers


112th for faculty/student ratio


Ranked 258th for percentage of international students

QS BRICS University Content 2018

Ranked fifth in BRICS

Ranked sixth for academic reputation and seventh for employer reputation

Second for faculty/student ratio

14th for number of international students

Ranked 11th in BRICS

Ranked 31st for academic reputation and 23rd for employer reputation

 

21st for faculty/student ratio


Seventh for number of international students

 

Subject strengths*

Ranked 70th in the world for arts & humanities

Ranked joint 115th in the world for engineering & technology

Joint 40th for natural sciences

110th for social sciences & management

Ranked joint 325th in the world for arts & humanities

Joint 275th for engineering & technology

107th for natural sciences

 

Location

Main campus is on Sparrow Hills, just outside the city center of Moscow.

Located just outside the city center of Novosibirsk, Siberia, at Akademgorodok (‘Academic Town’), a research center.

 

Student community

47,000 students currently enrolled

4,000 (8.5%) of these are international

7,000 students currently enrolled


1,400 (20%) of these are international students

English-taught programs

Offers English-taught programs in seven schools/faculties. No English-taught bachelor’s degrees are available.

Offers English-taught programs in six faculties/departments. No English-taught bachelor’s degrees are available.

International tuition fees

Varies – here are some examples:

  • BSc/Msc or Specialist degree in physics: 325,000 rubles per year (~US$5,470)
  • BSc/MSc in history: 300,200 rubles per year (~US$5,050)
  • English-taught master’s degrees cost US$5,200 per year
  • English-taught PhDs cost US$5,500 per year

 *Based on the broad subject areas of the QS World University Content by Subject 2017.

Novosibirsk State University

QS World University Content® 2018

Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) is the leading institution at joint 95th, climbing from 108th last year, and also beats Novosibirsk State University (NSU) in all but one of the indicators used to compile the ranking. MSU is in the global top 100 for its reputation among graduate employers and academics, while both Russian universities achieve their highest score for the ratio of faculty to students, with MSU holding a large lead at 29th to NSU’s 112th.

The only indicator Novosibirsk beats Lomonosov at is for its international student ratio, but their scores are fairly close – this is also the case in the BRICS ranking, in which Novosibirsk is ranked seven places higher than Lomonosov for this indicator. Neither university was ranked for the citations per faculty indicator (a measure of research impact) in the world university rankings, or their ratio of international faculty members.

Subject strengths

While the world and BRICS rankings can be a helpful starting point when choosing between these two top universities in Russia, you’ll probably also want to see which institution performs best for your subject. Looking firstly at the broad subject areas of the QS World University Content by Subject 2017, Lomonosov is in the top 150 for every broad subject area, excluding life sciences & medicine, which it’s unranked for. Both Lomonosov and Novosibirsk achieve their highest score for natural sciences, with Lomonosov in 107th place internationally.

The table below shows how the two top Russian universities compare on a subject level.

Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) and Novosibirsk State University (NSU) in the QS World University Content by Subject 2017

 

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Novosibirsk State University

Archaeology

51-100

101-150

Biological sciences

101-150

451-500

Business & management

251-300

--

Chemistry

51-100

201-250

Communication & media studies

151-200

--

Computer science & information systems

48th

251-300

Earth & marine sciences

101-150

--

Economics

101-150

--

Education & training

101-150

--

Engineering (chemical)

--

101-150

Engineering (mechanical)

51-100

--

English language & literature

51-100

--

Environmental sciences

151-200

--

Geography

151-200

--

History

51-100

--

Law

51-100

--

Linguistics

13th

51-100

Materials science

101-150

--

Mathematics

33rd

--

Medicine

301-350

--

Modern languages

44th

151-200

Pharmacy

201-250

--

Philosophy

51-100

151-200

Physics & astronomy

21st

50th

Politics

51-100

--

Psychology

201-250

--

Social policy & administration

51-100

--

Sociology

151-200

--

Statistics

101-150

--

Hospitality & leisure management

43rd

--

 

Moscow

Location

Another important factor to bear in mind when choosing between these two top Russian universities is where you’ll based. Both university’s cities were ranked in the latest QS Best Student Cities, with Moscow ranked 39th out of 100 cities in the 2017 edition, while Novosibirsk was a new entry at 93rd.  Moscow is perhaps a more familiar location, given it’s the capital of Russia and is located in the western (European) part of the country, but Novosibirsk is the unofficial capital of Siberia in Asian Russia and the third largest city in the country after Moscow and St Petersburg. As you’d expect from Siberia, Novosibirsk gets very cold, with temperatures averaging around minus 16°C in January. The cultural and economic center of Siberia, Novosibirsk is a fast-growing city and a transport hub. Novosibirsk State University itself is located in Akademgorodok (Academic Town), 30km from the city center, which is a world-famous research center and Russia’s answer to Silicon Valley. Novosibirsk is also a relatively affordable city for students, with much cheaper living costs than you’d find in Moscow (rent alone is 63% cheaper, according to ).

If you’d rather spend a bit more to live in Moscow and study at Lomonosov Moscow State University, you’re still likely to find the city’s living costs much lower than those in other European cities, such as London (where rent is 55% more expensive). Moscow also received plenty of praise in our student survey, with students commenting on the “many activities and events happening during the year…the city is made for youth and student life”, while another said: “You get to learn about different people and cultures”.

One of the most iconic capitals in the world, Moscow is full of fantastic Russian architecture, theaters, museums, galleries and parks to explore in your spare time. With more than 12.2 million residents, it’s considerably larger than Novosibirsk (which has a population of 1.47 million), so depending on your personality, you may find big city life either exciting or overwhelming.

Tuition fees & funding

Both of these top universities in Russia have similar tuition fees, which hover in the US$5,000-5,500 per year range for many courses. Even Lomonosov’s clinical medicine degree is only 325,000 rubles per year (~US$5,470) - a similar price to many other courses, despite medicine typically being one of the most expensive subjects. Fees are slightly higher for the English-taught graduate degrees at Novosibirsk State University but are still fairly low.

In terms of funding, the Russian government offers scholarships to help international students afford their studies, with 15,000 spots awarded in 2017. Russian government scholarships cover your full tuition for the duration of your program, as well as a maintenance allowance for the duration of your studies (typically about 1,500 rubles every month, which is roughly US$25). If available at your university, it will also include dormitory accommodation. To find out more and read about the steps to apply, you can check the .

Lomonosov doesn’t currently offer its own scholarships. At you may be able to study for an international program if you’re from a or one that takes part in the Erasmus + exchange program.

You can browse more scholarships to study in Russia in our dedicated list here.

Which of these top universities in Russia gets your vote? Let us know in the comments below!

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Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
The Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina edits and publishes articles which guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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