What is the difference between an institute and a university?

Nikolay Golovatyuk
Nikolay Golovatyuk
December 25, 2012
What is the difference between an institute and a university?

In Russia, there are more than 3,000 universities, as well as their branches. Each higher school, university, academy or institute is obliged to confirm its state status every five years at the accreditation board. Not everyone can see how the institute differs from a university or a higher school from an academy.

Institute of

The status of the institute is primary in the system of higher education of the Russian Federation. Among the main activities:

  • focused educational activities;
  • training (retraining) personnel;
  • narrowly focused research

The institute is the university with the lowest status. Accordingly, the requirements for such educational institutions are low:

  1. Two graduate students for 100 full-time students are enough.
  2. 30 teachers, if the age of institutions is from 3 to 5 years.
  3. Financing from 1.5 to 5 million rubles for five years.

If at the end of graduate school at least 25% of graduate students defended themselves during the year, the institute has the right to claim the title of academy.


The main thing that distinguishes an institute from a university is its teaching staff, scientific work, the number of graduate students, and specialized education. The university has the highest status among universities. Its main activities are:

  • implementation of a wide range of educational programs;
  • conducting scientific work in a wide range of areas.

To obtain university status, an educational institution must meet the following criteria:

  1. Have at least four graduate students per 100 full-time students.
  2. Conducting research in at least five branches of science.
  3. Accordingly, the level of funding is at least 10 million rubles for five years.
  4. Academic degrees and titles must have at least 60% of professors.

A special requirement for such universities can be called the need to use innovation in the educational process.

The main differences

  1. Unlike institutes where training is conducted in one specialty, universities conduct training in at least seven specialties in different sectors of science.
  2. The number of graduate students per 100 students at the university is two more than at the institute.
  3. The Institute is not obliged to have in its composition professors with academic degrees, whereas at the university this figure cannot be less than 60%.

The university should conduct much more research work. In addition, the range of these works is much wider than at the institute.