In terms of population proportion in the country, Russia has the most college-level or higher graduates, at 54 per cent. Russia has a free education system guaranteed by the constitution for all people, but admission into subsidized higher education is highly competitive. Russian medical, mathematical, engineering and aerospace research is generally of a high order, as a result of the great focus on science and technology in education.
Moscow State University and Saint Petersburg State University are the oldest and biggest Russian universities. In the 2000s, with a view to developing similar-scale higher education and research institutions in the Russian regions, the government initiated a 'Federal Universities' initiative, mainly by combining existing large regional universities and research institutes and providing them with special funding. These new institutions include Siberian Federal University, Northeastern Federal University, Kazan Volga Federal University, Far Eastern Federal University and Southern Federal University.
The highest-ranking Russian educational institution is Moscow State University, ranked 95th in the world according to the 2018 QS World University Rankings.