Founded in 1909, National Research Saratov State University is one of the oldest in Russia, and originally began with just a faculty of medicine. Today it is one of the largest universities in the country, having merged with Saratov Pedagogical Institute, Balashov Pedagogical Institute, and the College of Radioelectronics, and Polytechnicum in 1998.
Today there are 15 faculties, six educational institutes and two colleges which host a total of 166 departments. A number of faculties have broken away from the university over the years, becoming separate institutes, but continuing to provide higher education services.
The city of Saratov is located on the Volga River, close to the Russian border with Kazakhstan. Along with Saratov State University (SSU), there are four other universities in the region as well as, such as the Saratov Regional College of Art, meaning that a high proportion of the local population are students.
The university has established a vast number of worldwide agreements in its long history, and boasts international ties with universities in Europe, Asia and America. In 2008 SSU agreed a strategic partnership with the University of Colorado in the United States, and the two universities have established joint-research projects in the fields of genetic engineering, energy and ecology.
In 2010 SSU became a National Research University, highlighting its focus on national scientific and technological research. The aim of the National Research University initiative is to contribute to human development and to celebrate Russian cultural values.
IT programming is one of SSU’s major strengths, and they have competed in – and won – several different events in the past few years, taking home World Championship titles in 2006 and 2009.