Open Doors: Russian Scholarship Project

Open Doors: Russian Scholarship Project Open Doors Olympiad is organised for potential Master’s degree students from abroad by Global Universities Association represented by its 21 university members (Project 5-100 participants) as part of the federal project ‘Education Export’.

This year a total of 33,369 people got registered for 11 subject areas (1.5 times more than last year). Applicants who come from 190 countries (27 more than last year) filled 45,047 CVs (67% more than last year).

This is Russia’s first project geared towards recruiting talented foreign graduates willing to apply for Master’s degree programmes in leading Russian universities.

The competition takes place in two online stages, both in Russian and English, thus attracting the most motivated and educated foreign applicants from across the globe.

Over three years the Olympiad has garnered more and more interest and involved a broader range of countries from year to year: if 64% of applicants were from non-CIS countries last year, this year their number has risen to 94%. Moreover, this year 91% of participants do test tasks in English (against 80% last year).
This year, the overwhelming majority of participants are from Asia and Africa (88%), with 6% from CIS, 3% from America and 1% from Europe, Australia and Oceania.

The competition takes place in an online format:
Stage 1: applicants are asked to fill their CVs using a designated information platform;
Stage 2: applicants have to do the tasks, with every participant identified and the test process monitored online.

All participants can go through qualifying and final stages ‘right from home’, with the Internet connection as the only prerequisite.
The competition is promoted through a designated website, mobile registration system version, lending pages on universities’ websites, as well as videos posted in the Olympiad’s Facebook group.  
Website users are offered demo competition tasks and a training programme to get ready for the test.  
The IT platform developed for the Olympiad enables primary automatic check of CVs, which facilitates the competition’s unlimited territorial coverage, with as many participants as possible.

Information campaigns to promote the Olympiad are based on new formats that help universities raise awareness of their target audience through their online courses, educational programmes for foreigners as well as summer schools and offices of Rossotrudnichestvo (Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation) abroad.

A jury assesses CVs online by examining the packages of submitted documents. Every participant has his/her personal account with all the required information available. Participants get support through an email centre.

Panels of educational experts and juries for every focus area involve members of different universities and can be based in a variety of cities. Their work is coordinated by one of the Association member universities.
The second stage takes place in the proctoring mode. Participants have to install a special software that allows the system to identify the participant and ensures full-scale monitoring throughout the test period (three hours). The proctoring system was first tested in 2017 and is now popular among many universities.  

Results of stage 1 will be announced on 30 December. The best participants will be admitted to stage 2 which is to take place in January 2020. Winners will be known on 20 February 2020.

The winners will get the right to study in any of the best Russian universities based on an education quota allotted by the Russian Government. The winners and prize winners can enjoy many more opportunities offered by the Olympiad organising universities. More than 300 quotas have been allocated for 2019/2020 Olympiad participants.