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I'm Russian citizen. I graduated in the field of Computer Science (cybersecurity branch) from a Russian university. The specialist degree is a 5-year study.

I want to make a change and take a master in Computer Science in Europe or take a master in Software Engineering in my local university. In this question it was already said that Russian degrees would be recognized. But it was also said that nowadays taking master in Russia may lead to (silent) support of the ongoing war.

Why I'm in a hurry? - Putin has signed a decree on higher education reform in Russia. Which means I have limited time to get Bologna Process master in Russia and little opportunities to get a European master.

I want further to immigrate as I don't support the war. So I need to make a right decision on this.

What is the best thing to do?

First option

Go to local university for a local master and in the meantime trying to apply to European master degree. In this case I want to win some time as applying tends to be very contentious action. Would it be OK to say in motivation letter that I am already studying a master in Russia and want to switch it to European one?

I'm doubting that studying master in Russia would be appropriate in passing admission to European university:

  1. Government might not give me a student visa with the reason that I may be fleeing from the Russian army.
  2. University admission department might think "he's already enrolled in a master's course why would we let him study in here?".
  3. As @sevensevens has said: "Do you support the invasion of Ukraine? By attending a Russian university many people and admissions departments will assume your answer is "Yes I do". You may not get a chance to explain your real sentiments. If you are a Russian citizen, people and admission departments may still assume you support the war by participating in Russian academia even though most polls show Russian academics are generally against the war." If @sevensevens is right, I think this might reduce my chances to be enrolled to get European master when I am already studying in local university.

Second option

Don't get the local master and prepare only for the European master. In this case I'm afraid of not getting European master(for the variety of complex reasons) and loosing the last opportunity to get Bologna Process for the master in Russia.

Which option is the best? Is the first option bad and I should not do it?

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    There are several goals at play here: desire to immigrate, desire to get a master's degree, desire to express (actively or passively) lack of support for the war, be certain to be accepted to the program, and, hopefully, desire to learn something. I would say it would be crucial in this situation to assign priorities, as some of them are in direct conflict with each other. Commented May 14, 2023 at 20:35
  • @AntonMenshov, I'm trying to exclude some options... Maybe I don't need european master because I could not get anyway
    – Yen
    Commented May 14, 2023 at 21:28
  • I agree with Anton, this really comes down to your priorities. If you want "a European degree or nothing", then option #2 is best; if you just want to maximize your chances of getting a degree, then option #1 is best. Personally, I am very skeptical of the suggestion that starting grad school in Russia implies tacit support of the war...but it's true that if you're already on track to get a master's degree, it may be harder to get admitted to a different master's program.
    – cag51
    Commented May 15, 2023 at 16:23

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Both in terms of admission and getting a visa, your chances may be higher at an Israeli university. In terms of quality and prestige, a degree from the Technion or the Weizmann Institute will be at least as good as that from a top European university.

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