Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia

Peoples' Friendship University of Russia

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia

The Soviet government founded the university on 5 February 1960. Its stated objective during the height of the Cold War was to help developing nations. Many students from developed countries also attended the university. On 22 February 1961, the university was named Patrice Lumumba University after the Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba, who had been killed in a coup that January. The stated purpose for establishing the university was to give young people from Asia, Africa and Latin America, especially from poor families, an opportunity to be educated and to become qualified specialists.[2] The organizations that have been mentioned as founders of the university are the All-Union Central Soviet of Trade Unions, the Soviet Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee, and the Soviet Associations Union of Friendship and Intercultural Relationship.


Professor Sergey Vasilievich Rumiantsev, Doctor of Engineering, was the first Rector of the University. He took an active part in the foundation of the university and remained its Rector till 1970. In 1960, Russian language studies for international students started at the preparatory Faculty. On 1 September, Russian language studies were introduced at the six main faculties of the PFU (Engineering faculty, faculty of History and Philology, Medical faculty, Agricultural faculty, faculty of Science, faculty of Law and Economics).


The first 288 students from 47 countries graduated in 1965. Around that time international construction teams started to appear and the first student teams of KVN were organized (later on, the PFUR KVN team became one of the most famous teams in the country).


Professor Vladimir Frantsevich Stanis, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation (RF), Doctor of Economics, became the second Rector of the PFU. It was he who proclaimed the “cult of knowledge” at the University, heading it from 1970 to 1993. In this period, the Peoples’ Friendship University became a major international scientific and educational centre. In 1972, Stanis proceeded to the extension of the duration of studies, which until then were shorter, along the lines of mainstream Soviet universities. At the Faculty of Medicine, for instance, the duration of studies was extended from five to six years.[4] By 1975, the University had more than 5,600 graduates, among them 4,250 people from 89 foreign countries. That year, the University was awarded the Peoples’ Friendship Order for achievements in training experts for Asian, African and Latin America countries. The University’s name was changed to the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia on 5 February 1992 by the RF Government, which is considered the University’s founder.


From 1993 to 1998, PFUR was headed by Vladimir Filippov, a 1973 graduate of Patrice Lumumba PFU. He held the position of Minister of Education of the Russia from 1998 to 2004, and was appointed the Prime Minister’s Assistant on Culture and Education in 2004. In the period from 1998 to 2005, PFUR was headed by Professor Dmitry Petrovich Bilibin, a 1966 graduate of Patrice Lumumba PFU, Honored scientist of the RF, Doctor of Medical Sciences. He was acting Rector till 2004, and was elected Rector of the University in 2004. Professor Filippov, Doctor of Sciences in physics and mathematics, member of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Education, was reelected Rector of the PFUR on 4 March 2005, and has headed the University since then.


The 1990s saw the creation of new faculties and Institutes: the Ecological faculty, the faculty of Economics, the faculty of Law, the Philological faculty, the faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, the faculty of Refresher Training for Health Care Professionals, the Institute of Foreign Languages, the Institute of Distance Learning, the Institute of Hospitality Business and Tourism, and the Institute of Gravitation and Cosmology. The University also developed systems of pre-university and further professional education. 2006 was marked by the 50,000th diploma awarded by PFUR, received by José Atinensia Villagómez, an Engineering faculty graduate from Ecuador.


The university’s current Russian name is “Российский университет дружбы народов”, which could be translated as “Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia” or, more directly, as “Russian University of the Friendship of Nations”. The English-language version of the university’s website, however, uses the name “RUDN University”, with the acronym RUDN derived from the Russian name transliterated into English (“Rossiiskii Universitet Druzhby Narodov”). Nonetheless, it remains most common in English to use the name “Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia” or the abbreviation “PFUR”.


The Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia is one of the leading state higher educational institutions of Russia. The university has a multiprofile structure of faculties and majors. More than 77,000 graduates of the university work in 170 countries, among them more than 5,500 holders of PhD and Doctorate degrees. Lecturers train specialists in 62 majors and lines of study. More than 29,000 graduate and postgraduate students from 140 countries studying at the university as of 2014. They represent more than 450 nations and nationalities of the world. It has a team of 4,500 employees, among them 2,826 teachers. The university intellectual fund comprises more than 870 author’s invention certificates and 150 patents of the Russian Federation in practically all fields of the university’s scientific research.


Many foreign and Russian political and public figures, scholars and scientists have become PFUR Emeritus Professors. They include the presidents of Namibia, Angola, Sri Lanka, the South African Republic, Gabon, Guyana and Nigeria; the prime ministers of Bangladesh and Kazakhstan; a UN Chief Executive Officer on Education, Culture and Science; and a Director of CEPES.


Degrees offered

Bachelor’s degree (4 years of study)

State Specialist degree (5 years of study)

Medical Doctor degree (6 years of study)

Master’s degree (2 years of study following B.Sc.)

Ph.D. (3 years after Master’s or Specialist)

D.Sc. (2–3 years after Ph.D.)

Summer schools programs (Russian language learning; Short courses, different areas)




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