Russia has the most college-level or higher graduates in terms of percentage of population in the world, at 54%. Russia has a free education system, which is guaranteed for all citizens by the constitution, however entry to subsidized higher education is highly competitive. As a result of great emphasis on science and technology in education, Russian medical, mathematical, scientific, and aerospace research is generally of a high order.
The oldest and largest Russian universities are Moscow State University and Saint Petersburg State University. In the 2000s, in order to create higher education and research institutions of comparable scale in Russian regions, the government launched a program of establishing "federal universities", mostly by merging existing large regional universities and research institutes and providing them with a special funding. These new institutions include the Southern Federal University, Siberian Federal University, Kazan Volga Federal University, North-Eastern Federal University and Far Eastern Federal University.
According to the 2018 QS World University Rankings, the highest-ranking Russian educational institution is Moscow State University, rated 95th in the world.