Entering a University and Studying During Pandemic

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The complicated global situation caused by Covid-19 spread has lead to the increase in the popularity of online learning. With travel options between countries being restricted, this format has become the only way for the majority of international students to apply and receive top-quality education at Russian universities. Here is how this process is organized at Moscow Aviation Institute.

Doors open day

Universities have adapted to the forced restrictions and are now able to offer remote communication options to the applicants and the students. At MAI, the international students are provided with high-quality recordings of lectures, intensive practical seminars as well as feedback. Teachers and curators from the University's International Department are involved in the communication. For the second year in a row, MAI's International Department has been organizing a series of online Doors Open Days in Russian and English. These events allow the foreign applicants to talk to the management, teachers, students and graduates, learn more about the University, admission rules and new possibilities.


The application process can be carried out online: international applicants submit their documents via an account at the University website, take the entrance exams online, pay tuition via MAI's internal payment system. These time-saving technologies have been used at Moscow Aviation Institute long before the pandemic.


Since the travel restrictions have been partially lifted MAI has implemented several additional measures. Currently, a dormitory accommodation is allowed after a medical check-up at MAI's resort. The physician will require the following documents: 

  • negative Covid-19 test (valid for 72 hours) 
  • or a vaccination certificate (the vaccine must be state-approved in the Russian Federation) 
  • or a certificate stating that the applicant has had a disease caused by Covid-19 within the last 6 months plus a positive Covid-19 antibody test
Alexey Zarechensky, Deputy Head of International Department of MAI

The new circumstances that have affected all of us in 2020 — the pandemic, closed borders, uncertainty — have forced us to completely change the format of attracting and admitting international applicants. Foreign nationals do not always have the option to come to Russia in order to visit the university, and with the borders being currently closed this has proved impossible. The Doors Open Days at MAI have always been carried out at the highest level, and it is important for us to keep the high standards in the online format as well. We have made it possible to introduce Moscow Aviation University to the international applicants, capture the interest of those with high levels of knowledge who are motivated to study here. In short, those who have chosen MAI.


The educational process in the 2020/2021 academic year has also been carried out online via the LMS MAI platform (Learning Management System). Based on the experience of the world's best online platforms, LMS MAI has been significantly improved and its interface has been adapted to international students' needs. Moscow Aviation Institute is one of the few Russian institutes and universities that offer educational programs in English. The educational platform for studying in English provides the learners with valuable educational content and numerous interactive functions: access to pre-recorded lectures, the seminar and laboratory classes schedule that is convenient for everyone, the teachers can keep attendance records, include additional content in the courses, carry out control tests.

Geography of the students

Speaking about the admission campaign results of the last year, most international students at MAI come from China. This is mainly due to the development of the double degree program in cooperation with China's best universities (currently MAI partners with 6 universities in China). Next up is Kazakhstan which has been keeping the leading positions for several years, one of the reasons being a Baikonur-based branch of MAI. Uzbekistan comes third which shows a rapid increase — over the last five years, the amount has grown almost fivefold. Next follow Malaysia and Vietnam — a stable high amount of admissions from these countries is explained by long-time cooperation with local partner universities. It is worth pointing out that Bosnia and Herzegovina, Portugal, Kuwait, Republic of Maldives have joined the list of the countries that MAI's international students come from.

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