Iranian Literature in the Russian Mind, Reflected

As the summer trimester is heading to its end, many PSU international students are about to leave for home vacations. We have talked to Hannane Saddat Badiee Hamse Fahrt, 27-years old Iranian post-graduate student from the Faculty of Philology, about her first year of studies in Perm, and more.   

– Hello, Hannane! Please, introduce yourself. Where are you from?

– I come from the capital of Iran – Tehran, a big, flourishing and beautiful place, both large and consistent of multiple small areas. The city is multinational: we have many Afghans, for example, as well as people from other Iranian settlements. There are more opportunities in the capital, which is probably why. The main religion is Islam, but there are many Christians, plus large national and religious minorities – Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Jews, Baha’is, Zoroastrians. While the population of Iran is 95 million people, our capital population is about 13 million. Despite the fact that Tehran has a rich history (the first settlements here date back to the 6th millennium BC), today it is a modern progressing metropolis full of life. I was born and have lived here all my life, so I love it a lot.

– Could you please tell a few words about your family, Hannane?

– My family is not really big: my mom, dad, me and my older brother. My mom has always been a housewife. My dad is now retired, he used to work for an airline company. My brother studies and works at the university, he is a post-graduate student, he studies economics and management, and specializes in futures contracts.

– Please tell us about the school. Where and what did you study further?

– At primary and secondary school, we usually study for twelve years. Schools in Iran are separate for boys and girls. My favorite subjects were English and chemistry. I remember that I was particularly delighted with the table of the famous Russian chemist Dmitry Mendeleev. At school, we learn it by heart. Schools in Iran are public and private. My parents paid for the private school, but studying at the university was free.

In Tehran, I completed four years of bachelor’s and two years of master’s studies. The male and female audience at the university is mixed – very unusual, after school. On the other hand, our group was mostly female: twenty one girls and three guys, the latter attended classes much less frequently than we did. The university life in Iran is very rich – uniting studies, science and research, sports, and creative arts. We have no opera, ballet or dance, but we do theater and cinema, so students are engaged in drama and related performance activities. There are more arts outside the university, of course, and women are involved there, too. Speaking about cultural venues, I would mention Russia friendship weeks, where we cooked traditional Russian food, and talked about holidays.

As a child, I knew absolutely nothing about Russia. I began to study Russian language and Russian literature first as a bachelor’s student at the Allameh Tabatabai University in Tehran, and then continued my master’s degree there. This is a well-known Iranian university that cooperates with many Russian universities. In my third year, I was offered a trimester at the Chelyabinsk State University. While we did study Russian literature of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries back home, our curriculum in Chelyabinsk included classes in Old Church Slavonic language and the literature of the Urals. During my master’s course, I studied translation – from Persian into Russian, and vice versa. Since the postgraduate study at the Allameh Tabatabai University in Tehran assumes a pedagogical profile, I started thinking of studying Russian literature in Russia.

– Are there any other languages are studied at your university? And, how did you start learning Russian?

– At the Allameh Tabatabai University we study Spanish, Arabic, English, French, Chinese, Turkish, Urdu. I chose Russian by chance. Prior entering the University, we announce our language preferences, based on our entrance exams’ results. My first choice was English, then French and Spanish, with Russian in the fourth place. Since studies at universities are paid by the state (unless you are a distant-learning student), it is the Ministry of Education of Iran which decides about the exact direction. So, I was assigned to the Russian language group.

– Do you still have connections with any of your student mates? Have you made new friends here, in Perm?

– One of my best friends from Iran is now studying psycholinguistics at Moscow State Linguistic University. The second friend of mine is also staying there, studying world literature. We all did our bachelor’s degree together.

Almost all of my hostel mates here speak Arabic or Chinese. I have not yet met students from Iran here. There is one girl from the prep course in Russian, but we rarely see each other. I cannot boast of a large number of friends, so far.

– Remembering your first touch with Russians, what seemed the most unusual thing to you?

– It seems to me, Russians are quite serious or even ‘dry’, by nature. Iranians are more of a cheerful type, always smiling. I find Russian girls very beautiful, while eastern men are more attractive, in my view.

– Did you learn any Russian sayings or proverbs?

– Yes, we studied them as undergraduates. I remember, for example, “like drops of water” (“two peas”, in English) and “beat the buckets” (“sit around”).

– What was your first impression of Russia?

– They are connected with Chelyabinsk, when I first came here during my third year of undergraduate studies, five years ago. I recall it was March, early spring, so the weather and the city appeared gloomy to me. The locals acted rather strangely, as if they were frightened speak. I arrived in Perm in October 2022, and I liked the city and the people. The most frequent question from the locals is, “Are you from India?” And, when they find out that I am from Iran, they are still interested. I have three years to do my postgraduate studies at PSU, so I hope to know more about the place and the citizens.

– How did you make your way to PSU?

– I came to Perm by accident. First, I registered on, a website by Rossotrudnichestvo which is quite famous in Iran. I uploaded my resume and all the certificates. For free studies in Russia, out of many applications, three hundred people had been selected, and I was luckily thirty-third. I think my certificates, especially those ones from Russia, which I acquired during my multiple distance courses during the coronavirus, had a positive effect on that.

On my scale of preferences, I put Moscow State Linguistic University on top. However, this university does not teach Russian literature, only world one. That was probably the reason they refused me. My second choice was Moscow State Pedagogical University. The third and fourth were Saint Petersburg State University and Kazan Federal University. At that time, I knew nothing about Perm, but the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Russia, along with Rossotrudnichestvo decided that Perm State University (PSU) was the most suitable option for me. Initially, the decision appeared strange to me – neither Moscow, nor St. Petersburg, nor Kazan, yet  precisely Perm… At the same time, my graduate supervisor back in Iran said this was is a worthy choice, so we decided it was the right moment to take that chance.

I really liked Perm, then. Unlike in Iran, where the temperature might get as high as +40’C, the summer doesn’t seem so hot here. The Kama river and the embankment are among my most favorite places. I also like your parks and forests. I did go to the forest during the winter time, and tried some skiing there, but once I fell, I realized that wasn’t probably for me. Personally, I am afraid to break my arms and legs. Of the “cultural” venues, I have been to a drama play at the Theater-Theater, where I watched “Anna Karenina”, it was quite an interesting experience! I haven’t been to ballet or opera yet. I wanted to book for the “Swan Lake”, but had to refuse it, since the time of the performance fell on my trip back home.

– What’s your relationship with the local food? And, how’s your life at the hostel?

– I tried traditional Russian dumplings and pancakes, I enjoyed it very much. I believe the cottage cheese to be tasteless, but then I didn’t give it a try. I haven’t tried mushrooms, even a look of them screams they are ugly. We do have yogurts in Iran, so, I like them, I also find sour cream delicious. I really wanted to try the borscht soup, but so far, I have not been able to.

It is still difficult to get used to life at a student hostel: the people around, the hygiene, you know… Like, Turkmen guys living nearby, they might get noisy. The shared toilet and shower, both for boys and girls, is unusual, too. The situation was different in Chelyabinsk, where we lived in blocks – four rooms for girls, and four rooms for guys. Here and there, there are, of course, certain restrictions regarding international students’ residence. Besides, renting an apartment is fairly expensive.

– How’s your study postgraduate process going? It does require a lot of self-constraint, doesn’t it?

– The first challenge was the history of the philosophy of science – the first postgraduate exam I have recently passed for my future PhD (candidate of sciences) degree. I think I was lucky to have our teacher, Professor Alexander Vnutskikh, Doctor of Philosophy from the Department of Philosophy, by my side. He has been very helpful and in constant touch – sending me questions for exams and providing explanations via e-mail. I hope to see the same attention from my academic supervisor  Professor Svetlana Burdina, Doctor of Philology, Head of the Department of Russian Literature, PSU.

I study literature, particularly, the similarities between Iranian and Russian literature. Let’s take village prose, for instance: both had been formed in the 19th century, and flourished in the second half of the 20th century. Both developed female images, explored the sense of unity with the land, and life of the rural person, in general. Let’s also bear in mind the impact of Iranian poetry on Russian poets – like Saadi (1219-1292) and Shirazi Hafez (1325-1389) influencing Alexander Pushkin. Much later, a Russian poet Velimir Khlebnikov visited Iran and reflected its images in his works. Although never guests to our country, yet being fond of our culture, Nikolai Gumilyov and Sergei Yesenin Persian let Iranian motifs run into their poetry.   

Since Iranian and Russian poetic traditions, as well as their interaction have been studied fairly well, the situation with prose is a bit different, or, should I say, difficult. So, I am treating prose as a source for exploration, an opportunity to do something new. In this sense, Andrei Volos, a Russian writer and scientist, translator and poet (also published in Tajikistan), deserves to be mentioned. Andrei Volos’s novel “Return to Panjrud” won the Russian Booker Literary Prize (2013) and became a finalist for the Big Book National Literary Prize (2013). One of the novel’s plot lines spins around old Abu Abdallah Jafar ibn Muhammad Rudaki, a former court poet of Bukhara, who, by the will of fate, was expelled from his native city and blinded. He protagonist takes a journey to his native village of Panjrud, a real site in Tajikistan, now and then. On the way, he enjoys a company of a young man Sheravkan, whom he teaches to read and write. Since there is little information about the real poet, Andrey Volos presents the plot in an artistic, fantastic light, which is of a research interest, as well as the general image of Iran and the East in modern Russian prose.

– When Russians talk about Iranian literature and culture in general, do they really understand it, or imagine it?

– Yes, I think they  do. This is what I have to explore and comprehend. This is a mutual process, the same thing is happening in Iran, your literature and culture receiving fair attention in our country. It will also be interesting to know more about the differences in our traditions, as well as show the modern vision of each other.

– Sounds like a promising field for research. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Hannane. Good luck with yours studies!

– Thank you and good luck to Perm State University!

Interview by: PSU Press Office

Expert in Politics Appears Guest on New PSU Podcast, Shares Inspiration in Science

Mikhail Grabevnik, senior lecturer at the Department of Political Science, Perm State University has become the first guest of the Voice of Science podcast. Run previously in a video format, the podcast allows now to listen to scientists and researchers while on the move.  

Although Mikhail looked forward to study law after graduating school, by fortune, he became a student of the Faculty of History and Political Science. There, he discovered a broader variety of disciplines and became interested in political processes and institutions.

“I grew passion for research while preparing my graduation thesis, which incorporated comparative analysis of the Churches of Russia and Ukraine stepping into politics. I enjoyed working with data, and I liked the fact my analysis led to particular results. Although my student thesis showed little scientific novelty on a global scale, it did stimulate me for a further research,”

recollects Mikhail Grabevnik.

Gradually, the scholar switched his research interest to European regionalism, addressing the issues of subjectivity of European regionalist parties, and the development of separatist movements in modern Europe. Today, Mikhail is engaged in the study of subnational regionalism.

“I am thrilled to generate patterns from a large array of data, being the first one to see what others do not see. It surely involves some kind of competitive potential. I find it a boost to my research activity, otherwise I would not have enough strength or time to do science,”

says Mikhail Grabevnik.

In 2020, Mikhail Grabevnik, defended his PhD (Candidate of Political Science) thesis exploring the phenomenon of regionalist parties, using the example of the Scottish National Party (SNP). The scholar analyzed the dynamics of the SNP political strategies throughout the devolutionary period in Scotland (1997-2019).

The Faculty of History and Political Sciences at PSU offers various disciplines for future careers in politics, government, public and international relations. The Faculty publishes 3 dedicated academic journals included into the State Commission for Academic Degrees and Titles list. The Faculty graduates are listed among most successful alumni both on regional and national levels.

PSU Center for Youth Policy Projects: Join and Cooperate!

Got ideas of how international students could cooperate with each other? Looking forward to learn new skills and join cool projects? Eager to contribute to the University life? A new Center for Youth Policy Projects, launched at Perm State University, invites you to join – on campus, and far beyond!

“We regard our Center as a starting ground to grow the youth policy at the University – a place where everyone can find something to their liking. And, it is the real needs and interests of students that will count! Our team is waiting for all those interested in volunteering, developing communities and associations, event management, tech solutions, and many more,”

says Alexandra Goldyreva, head of the Center for Youth Policy Projects, PSU.

The Center for Youth Policy Projects aims at providing space and support for both individual ideas or already existing projects, spontaneous and organized, including informal youth communities and established associations.

A great example of such activity is the Center of Foreign Culture launched by young PSU activists. Today, the Center team practices event management and volunteering, contributes to cross-cultural communication and learning, helps grow journalist, SMM and videographer skills, and even leads talk groups at the PSU Radio Station.

“The plans of our Center of Foreign Culture include working on their YouTube channel, participating local outreach events, writing grants, establishing links with universities in other countries,”

says Meylis Tuvakov, head and leader of the Center, a second year undergraduate, Faculty of Economics, PSU.

The Center of Foreign Culture has been created in February 2021 as a part of the PSU Student Media Center. Using the Center capacities, students may fulfil their academic creative and athletic potential, also complementing to the organization’s activities are aimed at helping foreigners adapt to a new mentality. To join the Center team, please contact Meylis Tuvakov at

Overall, PSU student initiatives urge to develop those competencies the students will need outside the University, in social and professional spheres. This might be empowered by participating in student grant competitions and case championships, interacting with partner NGOs and volunteer organizations, acquiring to and with a help from the “Priority-2030” Russian federal program.

Dive into Russia: Interview with Students from University of Oxford

The abridged version of the interview for Business-Class, 19, January, 2021

Arun Denton and Joseph Scull, students from New College, University of Oxford have shared their impressions to the Business Class (BC) News Agency – speaking of their studies in Perm, travelling around, volunteering and making friends.

BC: How did you come up with an idea of going to Perm, to study?

Arun: Joseph and I are studying Russian at the University of Oxford. In England, when doing a foreign language, you must spend a part of the 3rd year in the country of its origin. Here is where the twinning relations of our cities clicked. Some of our friends came and studied at Perm State University. They were quite happy with that, and told us about it. So, we considered it as a worthy option, and went to Perm.

BC: Were there any difficulties with preparing for the trip?

Joseph: It was all simple. We had to obtain a visa, quite a common procedure.

Arun: We too have been lucky entering Russia in mid-September. At that moment, the government canceled the mandatory two-week quarantine. So, we passed the PCR test and entered the country, experiencing no problems.

BC: Why would Russian be so interesting to you? And, when did this interest start?

Arun: When you are in school in England, at the age of 14, you have to choose a foreign language to study. So, I thought – why not Russian? Joseph and I are from different places: I am from Manchester, Joseph is from a small town of Sherborne in the south-west of the country. Yet, we were both lucky our schools had included Russian into their curriculum. The education system in England is meant to gradually decrease the number of subjects to study: first, these are 10 to 11, then 3 to 4, and finally, 1 to 2. In our case, we would tend to choose Russian language and literature.

BC: What is special about your studies here? And, how different would it be from studying in Oxford?

Joseph: Compared to Oxford, Perm State University has a lot of obligatory classes. At the University of Oxford, the main emphasis is made on independent students’ work, with individual tutorship being the core. Yet, Oxford differs from other British universities, where the system is closer to what we see here.

Arun: Now, due to the pandemic, basic disciplines are taught online, while classes of Russian are taught individually, on campus. This strategy appears to be quite effective and useful.

BC: Do you happen to communicate with other University students?

Joseph: For sure, we do. Still, due to the pandemic, as have to visit on-campus classes on our own, individually. Here in Perm, we are staying in the family of Irina, a teaching professor at the Faculty of Geography. She had introduced us to her students. We do meet often, the all guys are quite friendly and helpful.

BC: How did your parents and friends treat your idea of going to Perm?

Arun: None of them had ever heard of Perm before. In this regard, the fact of twinning relations helped a lot. Thanks to Mrs. Karen Hewitt, Professor at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, these links have been growing for quite a while, obviously having a long story behind them.

Joseph: My parents and friends see Perm as a fairly good option. Indeed, there are many foreign students in Moscow or St. Petersburg, where you can communicate in English. Here, Arun and I, just two of us, are enjoying the opportunity of nearly a private dive into Russia.

BC: To which extent have your expectations about Russia and Perm appeared to be true?

Arun: To be honest, I had little expectations, as I knew too little about the city, although I did read about the history of Perm, too. So, we have been making our opinion of the place right on the spot.

BC: Russians are be believed to be self-reserved or reluctant for communication… Have you come across that, at all?

Arun: Maybe, on the street, people do look closed and show less emotion. Yet, as you start talking, everything changes. We usually communicate with those whom we live with, our students, or folks in a café. We are curious to hear stories, and the locals expect the same from us. Almost all people are open and happy to communicate.

BC: What have you been doing during your spare time?

Arun: We have traveled around the Perm territory, a bit. We have been to the smaller towns and places of Kudymkar, Kungur, Ilyinsky, Chermoz, Khokhlovka, and the Usvinsky pillar stones.

BC: Not that every Perm-local visits so many places, like you have done…

Joseph: We know we have been lucky. As I said, we are staying in the family of Irina and Alexander. Irina is a teaching professor at the Faculty of Geography, and Alexander performs well as a tour guide, so we did have really interesting trips around!

BC: Are there any things, which you particularly miss in Perm – like pubs, football or Scottish haggis?

Joseph: Oh, no! I am very glad that there is no haggis in Perm (laughs). In fact, we do not feel being deprived of anything here. For basic needs, our life is set perfectly well. The Russian cuisine is different from ours, but we like it. Pubs are really very important in England, but there are good bars in Perm, too. As for football, we have seen Amkar FC twice, and once Molot hockey team. So, everything is fine, and not so boring at all.

BC: You have taken part in a volunteer campaign, here in Perm, right?

Arun: Yes, together with the “Territory of Rest” Day Shelter we have participated in the “Food on the Wheels” program – providing an opportunity for those homeless and in need – to get warm lunch. We helped distribute food, first in the disctrict of Zakamsk, other side of the river, and then in the city center.

BC: How long will you be staying in Perm?

Arun: We will be going home to England for Christmas. And, in mid-January we will be coming back to the city of Pyatigorsk – to continue our studies at a local university.

BC: Any plans to re-visit Perm?

Joseph: On a whole, we have an idea of crossing Russia by train, on the Trans-Siberian Railway – that would be great! Here in Perm, we have developed a great touch with Irina and Alexander – the family we are staying with. I believe we will try to visit them, for sure.

BC: Your future occupation – will it be connected with Russia?

Arun: I have always wanted to speak Russian fluently. It would be great to work in Russia, or with it.

Joseph: After studying in Russia, we will have one more year at the University of Oxford, so, there is plenty of time for future decisions.

BC: You have mentioned you learned about Perm through twin cities relations with Oxford. To which extent, in your view, does twinning make sense?

Joseph: I’ll tell you a short story. Arun and I were at Perm School №7 – meeting with schoolchildren, talking about England. Suddenly, I noticed a poster with my hometown of Sherborne there. It turned out that this School cooperates with the Sherborne Girls School, and my sister was here as part of an exchange program – can you imagine that? Unfortunately, there are currently no such exchanges. Yet, they should be restored, since they make people communicate and learn about each others’ life and culture – here, locally, in the middle of Russia.

Arun: The links between the universities are also quite necessary and useful. Every year, students from Oxford come to Perm to study and practice. New knowledge, new contacts – all these are really important for the modern world.

News Source (original).

A Story of PSU Student in Search of Homeplace – to and from Dubai, Back to Perm

Olga Averkieva, a senior teacher at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at Perm State University (PSU) has brought together the stories of nine characters who had left Perm but came back to discover their own way in local arts, business and social life, as a set of documentary shorts – uniting them into the “Back Home” Film Project.  

The fifth short episode shows Lidia Skornyakova, a graduate student of the Faculty of Philology, PSU. Having had entered the University once, studying Journalism and Philology here, she then worked as an exhibition manager and art critic for the Yeltsin Center, Ekaterinburg, Russia, and later moved to Dubai, UAE. Yet, she got back to Perm… Following Lidia, in her own words:

“This is a brief story how I learned to be happy – getting back to where I once belonged. I was born in Perm. After school, I entered the Faculty of Philology at Perm State University. I initially went to study journalism, but got bored, and switched to philology, since I had always been into foreign languages. By 2011, when I was supposed to graduate from the Faculty of Philology, I experienced life crisis. That time, I found escape to be the only way to resolve my problems. I decided that moving to a different city and connecting myself to a different activity would make me different, too – and so shake my previous burdens off. I got carried away by an idea of becoming an art critic. I went to the city of Yekaterinburg, 3,5 hours car drive from Perm, and started looking for a job. My first serious professional occupation was the one at the Yeltsin Center, dedicate to the 1st Russian President and his era. The project had just been launched, encouraging each one of us to do our best. I remember myself getting into the thick of it, quite intensely. “

“The first time I went abroad was in 2012, a trip to Thailand. It all seemed a different planet to me, contrasting to my own environment and family’s vision that travels are for the rich people, as they don’t mind wasting money on nonsense; “What for? At which expense? Why not buy something practical, like kitchen crockery, instead?” After leaving the Yeltsin Center, I flew to Dubai. And, while I was moaning there to a female friend of mine, saying I didn’t want to return neither to Perm, nor Yekaterinburg… since after the Yeltsin Center everything seemed so low-scale and much too common to me… my friend told me: “Go, try find a job here! Elsewise, what’s the use of studying English for so many years?’ So, I did go and did find one. I became a real estate consultant with a 1,5 year contract. Gradually, I started getting tired of Dubai, feeling lack of cultural activity and native language communication in its deeper sense – looking for ideas and things to discuss instead of everyday routine, you know? I was missing performances, plays, theaters. The situation at my work did not get better, either. First, I realized that selling real estate was not my cup of tea. And, secondly, there was a moment when they decided to fire everyone right on New Year’s Eve. I didn’t like the idea of waiting for my turn, and flew back to Perm. ”

“Gosh, finding myself back home in Perm, I rushed headlong to the local stage scene and shows, at last! I did everything I could: the Philharmonic, the Organ Hall, the Cultural and Business Center, the Opera and Ballet Theater, and many other places, almost every day. I started thinking of where to study. And, as I stepped onto the University campus, something clicked – as it always did, and does every time I get in here: my goodness, how cool is the vibe, that’s  the place I’ve been missing! The Master’s Degree in Chinese was well announced, so, I passed the exams, and our Dean Dr. Boris Kondakov called me to say: Welcome to the Faculty, glad to have you back! “

“When I started my Master’s, I had been working, already. An old friend of mine had offered me to take part in a cool project by the Morse Code Creative Agency – a company dealing with museum design. As a result, I started a project that I am finishing now, telling the story of Perm basketball. I see it as my personal ‘Yeltsin Center’. Most importantly, not only did this project give me a new starting point, but a new perspective of my own life, too. Previously, I considered Perm quite a boring place: not obviously true, rather because I never showed interest in it. “

“Having started working at the Yeltsin Center, I discovered that the Perm people had often been the driving force behind changes outside the city. Like, when I lived in Dubai, I discovered a whole diaspora of Permians. This came as a shock, since I always regarded Perm as a small place, some kind of a province, almost a backwater in the middle of Russia. But, no! Many people are aware of Perm State University where I am currently studying at. Perm has its own sociological and linguistic schools – which are not imaginary, like a play of Perm scholars’ egos, but the internationally recognized ones. On the whole, these are the people who share their sparkle with you, some really interesting personalities and outstanding individuals. I can’t explain why these people still make Perm their homeplace. I would, of course, like to see certain opportunities allowing them to not only personally grow, but also feel required, important and in demand to Perm… For it is here, not in St. Petersburg or Moscow, Yekaterinburg or Dubai, that they might have these prospects, belonging to their home. “

Looking back, and as an afterword, Olga Averkieva, author of the project admits: “We did not mean to shoot it for the sake of cinema as art. It is a collective reflection on why people are coming back. I hope that these series may become an impact film – the one affecting the social situation in the Perm territory. Following that line, we can go to schools, colleges and social cinemas, places of free screening, where the “Back Home” series are much welcomed.” The project had already been supported by the Presidential Grants Funding and the Ministry of Culture of Russian Federation.

The “Back Home” Film – see the original episode “To Be the Happy One” 9in Russian) here.

Starring: Lidia Skornyakova, Aleksandr Noskov, Marina Garanovich, Maria Duhnova;
Script and editing: Kapitolina Dolgikh,
Camera crew: Sergey Lepikhin, Angelina Trushnikova;
Sound design: Mikhail Toropov;
Composer: Gannadyi Shyroglazov;

Project by: Olga Averkieva;
Art mentorship: Boris Karadzhev;
Produced by Olga Averkieva and Vladimir Sokolov;

The Novyi Kurs (New Course) Film Studio, Perm, Russia.  

International Students Express Opinions on Higher Education in Russia

IPR MEDIA, an industrial member of the “Russian Exporting Universities” network, has studied the level of satisfaction with Russian universities among international students, during the pandemic.

The survey has been performed from 13 April to 6 June, 2021. It involved 851 foreign students from 6 Russian universities – participants of the network partnership:

The survey aimed to estimate the current situation, possible changes and prospects of Russian education on the global educational market.

According to students’ feedbacks, for almost half of them (48.2%), the quality of education has not changed. However, the options “got better” and “got worse” received a nearly equal amount of voices: 22.3% and 22.6%, respectively. The higher the level of respondent’s education, the more positively he/she classifies the quality of education during the pandemic.

The majority of respondents are planning to continue their studies at Russian universities – 87.9%, while 3.2% of them failed to show any interest in that.

The results show a high level of students’ satisfaction with the quality of educational services, positive experience gained , and a high demand for Russian education.

Almost half of the total number of respondents chose the following areas of studies when applying to Russian universities:

  • medical and biological faculties – 48.2%,
  • humanities – 17.4%,
  • economics and related – 10%.

The above streaming reflects a general trend in selecting disciplines for studying in Russia.

The study confirms the assumption that more foreigners choose Russia as a place for study. The Russian language is among their choices, as well. Under the conditions of the pandemic, which has been lasting over 1,5 years from now, foreign students tend to adapt to distance learning, and are less likely to express dissatisfaction with its quality and technical conditions.

For reference: “Russian Exporting Universities” is a voluntary association of universities and experts that aims at improvement of practices and educational methods used at teaching foreign students, developing modern educational programs, attracting newcomers, improving competences in teaching Russian as a foreign language, developing the state testing system for the Russian language, etc.

For more info, please, see the original in Russian.

Discover the Faculty of Biology with PSU International Students!

International students of the Faculty of Biology, PSU, has attended a summer training course at the Preduralye national reserve, Perm krai, Russia. The course aimed at studying biodiversity of species, methods of collecting and identifying material, and gaining the skill of field research.

Islam Saparov (Turkmenistan): “Going to Preduralye national territory reserve has been truly exciting. Besides studying Botany and Zoology, we did enjoy the local nature and made new friends. Russian students have been very open, positive and interactive.”

The Faculty scholars traditionally explore the diverse wildlife and flora of Perm krai, attribute to solutions within the agricultural complex, conduct research on HIV and Hepatitis C, and step into collaborations with the Faculty of Chemistry at PSU, nationally and abroad.

So, what professions can you get while studying at the Faculty of Biology?
• ecologist: studies, evaluates the condition and protection of flora, fauna, microorganisms;
• environmental engineer: analyzes the ecological challenge and develops measures to reduce recent and potential harm to nature;
• bioinformatist: deals with information contained inside the cell, primarily genome;
• biologist: researches flora and fauna;
• botanist: researches flora;
• engineer and interpreter of telemetry data: supervises operation of mining facilities; carries out harvesting, systematization and analysis of the data received in natural environment;
• geneticist: studies principles and mechanisms of heredity;
• zoologist: studies wildlife and animals;
• microbiologist: studies microorganisms;
• hydrobiologist: studies biological processes in the hydrosphere, and the practical use of biological resources of aquatic ecosystems;
• bioecologist: explores nature and its laws, uses biological systems in economic and medical spheres, solves problems of environmental protection and problems of rational use of natural resources.

Interested? Apply at Perm State University and share your prospects with your friends!

PSU International Students Help Discover Campus Life in Perm

The Center of Foreign Culture launched by young PSU activists welcomes international students of Perm and Perm region, as well as all those interested in cross-cultural communication and learning, eager to participate in collaborations and projects. Joining the Center’s team will allow one try his/her skills as an SMM specialist, videographer, volunteer or event manager.

Today, the team of the Center for Foreign Culture includes eight students from various faculties of Perm State University. The Center activists have become recent guests at the International Talk Broadcast on Radio PSU; they volunteered at the Velikaya Perm – 2021 All-Russian Football Tournament, attended the Navruz holiday and filmed a story about it.

“The plans of the Center of Foreign Culture include working on their YouTube channel, participating local outreach events, writing grants, establishing links with universities in other countries,”

says Meylis Tuvakov, head and leader of the Center, a second year undergraduate, Faculty of Economics, PSU.

The Center of Foreign Culture has been created in February 2021 as a part of the PSU Student Media Center. Using the Center capacities, students may fulfil their academic creative and athletic potential, also complementing to the organization’s activities are aimed at helping foreigners adapt to a new mentality. To join the Center team, please contact Meylis Tuvakov at

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top