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The Education system in Russian Federation

The Education system in Canada
The Education system in Cyprus

The Federal law "On Education" defines the forms of educational establishments as state, municipal and non-state ones. According to the same law the higher education is built upon the following typology of establishments: universities, academies, and institutes. They offer training programs on all levels of higher, postgraduate and continuing education. Differences in typology are related to a range of fundamental, applied, social sciences trained in, spectrum of proposed programs as well as scope and level of research investigations.

Since 1992, Russian higher education has had a multi-level structure. The term "multi-level" indicates that degrees now maybe obtained on three levels instead of an only one level, as in the former Soviet Union. Nowadays, higher education institutions may confer the following degrees and diplomas:
Level 1 comprises the first two years of studies and is concentrated on compulsory fundamental courses in the given speciality. After this period, students may either continue their studies or, if they do not want to do so, leave the institution with an Intermediate Diploma;this Diploma is conferred in all fields of study; the Diploma is not a degree, it is only an intermediate qualification; however, the Diploma gives its holder the right to exercise a professional activity in accordance with the level of education it represents; the Diploma supplement lists the results of normal examinations taken during the first two years of study.
• Level 2 is a continuation of studies for the Bachelor degree the during at least another two years; it leads to the four-year Bachelor degree; Bachelor programmes can cover all disciplines except medicine; the function of the Bachelor degree is to provide a more academically rather than professionally oriented education; each Bachelor programme contains a defined portion of fundamental education with courses taken from the humanities, the social sciences and economics, and natural sciences. Following a successful attestation,a State Diploma (Figure 2aon the Cover) is issued attesting conferral of the Bachelor degree;
the supplement to the Diploma (Figure 2b on the Cover) includes disciplines taught, number of hours, the grades, the practical training, the results of final state examinations;
Level 3 represents an educational level common both to the Master Diploma and to the Specialist Diploma;
•• the traditional qualification of Specialist Diploma has two functions: it opens access to professional practice (e.g. to engineers, teachers, etc.),and it is also the traditional prerequisite for admission to doctoral studies; the qualification of Diploma Specialist is conferred after studies lasting five to six years; the Diploma is awarded in all fields of study (specialities); State final attestation for a Specialist Diploma covers the defence of a project or a thesis and State final examinations; the procedure for the Diploma award as well as the content of the supplement to the Diploma are the same as for the Bachelor degree (Figure 3 on the Cover);
•• a Master programme is at least a two-year course programme centered more around research activities than the Specialist Diploma; access to Master studies is open to the holders of the Bachelor degree; each Master programme consists of two almost equal components: the course component and the independent research component; Master studies are completed by a State final attestation including the defence of a dissertation and passing State final examinations; the procedures for State final attestation and for the award of the Diploma (Figure 4 on the Cover ) as well as the content of the Diploma supplement are the same as for the Bachelor degree.
Graduates of higher education institutions with a bent for research work may pursue their education as postgraduates attending educational programmes of postgraduate professional education. The hierarchy of advanced degrees in Russia traditionally includes two-stage system of doctoral degrees: the Candidate of Science (Ph.D. degree) and the Doctor of Science (D. Sc.degree).
Both university level higher education institutions and research institutions have the right to set up doctoral study programs. Two national bodies, the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation and the Russian Academy of Sciences are responsible for the general supervision of doctoral studies in higher education institutions and research institutions, respectively. Educational programs of postgraduate professional education can be implemented in those educational and research establishments which dispose high-quality academic staff, sufficient financial provision and research capacities.
The main route leading to the Ph.d. degree is the postgraduate study which is aimed at imparting in-depth theoretical, special and social education and of training scientific and teaching staff through the mastery of means and methods of scientific study so that they may be able to carry out independent research and educational work with great skill. The general prerequisites for admission to postgraduate study are completion of a full course of study at a university level higher education institution and award of the Specialist Diploma or of the Master degree, proof of creative thinking in practical work or study, and an age limit of up to 35 years for full-time and up to 45 years for part-time doctoral students. Institutions set quotas limiting the number of doctoral students to be admitted each year. The quotas are based on the available funds and equipment, the staff necessary for supervision, as well as on the needs of science and the economy for highly qualified personnel in the given field.
Admission to entrance examinations is determined on the basis of synopsis of the selected subject as presented by each applicant, research and development outcomes also submitted by the applicant, and the results of preliminary discussions of projected research topics with possible supervisors. Applicants take competitive entrance examinations in the subject of specialization, in one foreign language, and in philosophy. Enrollment is based on success in the entrance examinations and evaluation by the prospective supervisor. The registration procedure for candidates who have obtained the right to be enrolled as Ph.D.-student is undertaken by the respective higher education establishment or research institution. There are both full- and part-time postgraduate studies. The duration of full- and part-time studies must not exceed three and four years respectively.
In order to be awarded the Ph.D. degree, a student must complete, present and defend a dissertation (thesis). Dissertation topics should generally correspond to the scientific areas of the basic projects undertaken by the awarding institutions and be approved by its Academic Council for each doctoral student. A Doctor of Science or a professor specializing in the subject area is appointed as a supervisor for each Ph. D .student as soon as he or she joins an postgraduate department. Full-time doctoral students receive grants paid by the state.
Doctoral studies programs include both postgraduate courses and research. During postgraduate studies, students must learn pedagogy and teaching methods, psychology, economics, information technology and other subjects, and pass specific profile examinations set by the Academic Council for every speciality. In addition to course examinations, aspirants must pass qualifying (Candidate) examinations in the given speciality, in philosophy and in foreign language.
A Ph.D. thesis is expected to be a scholarly work which makes an original and valuable contribution to the field of knowledge concerned and reflects the novelty and significance of the outcomes of this given research. Moreover, the thesis content must demonstrate that its author has an excellent knowledge of the field as well as an aptitude for independent research.
The defense of the thesis is carried out before a Dissertation Council organized by the Supreme Certifying Committee of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation. A Dissertation Council is composed of holders of the Doctor of Sciences and Ph.D. degrees.
The public defense of the thesis is held in the form of a public report and a scientific discussion. Proceeding from the cumulative evaluation of the results of the defense and the judgments of independent experts and official opponents,the Council decides by secret ballot whether or not the thesis meets the requirements for a Ph.D.-degree work. If the verdict is positive, the applicant will be granted the Ph.D. degree and the corresponding diploma. In case of failure, the defence can be repeated in no less than one year.
Another route leading to the Ph.D. degree is outside the doctoral system. In this case, an applicant, holder of a Specialist or Master diploma with no less than two years of work experience, is attached to a higher education establishment or to a research institution for tutoring in specialized subjects, a foreign language and philosophy, and for taking the qualifying (Candidate) examinations as well as for preparing a thesis. The applicant has to pass qualifying examinations similar to those for Ph.D.-students.
Upon the successful completion of dissertation and individual programmes, applicants may defend their theses. The requirements for the thesis, the procedure for its defence, and the subsequent award of the academic degrees are the same.
The second and highest academic degree is the degree of Doctor of Sciences (D, Sc.). It is awarded in the same broad fields of knowledge as the Ph.D. degree. Doctoral theses are prepared either on a full-time basis during doctoral studies or independently. Doctoral study can be organized in leading higher education establishments and research institutions in given fields of science and knowledge having advanced research facilities and equipment.

Admission to D.Sc.-study is competitive, available to citizens (the age limit is 40 years) who are holders of Ph.D. degrees and are already known for their contributions in their fields.
The main admission requirements for doctoral programmes are the following: scientific achievements in a chosen speciality; a complete outline for a dissertation; scientific publications; the recommendation of employers including an assessment of the applicant's research. Decision-making with regard to the admission of candidates to doctoral study is based on scientific reports by candidates on the subjects of their theses as well as on individual programmes of research, and on the conclusions of the respective institution departments. Proposed time-periods may not exceed three years.
The qualifying requirements for a doctoral thesis are higher than those for a Ph.D.-thesis. The dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Sciences should be an advanced work in which an important scientific problem having economic, social-cultural or political significance, is solved; or it should present scientifically-based technical, economic or technological ideas, the implementation of which would make a considerable contribution to scientific and technological progress.
Doctoral programmes consist only of research. A scientific consultant, a holder of the Doctor of Science degree, may be appointed to advise doctoral students on their dissertation research. In the course of study, a D.Sc.-student must complete his or her doctoral thesis and submit it to the Dissertation Council designed by the Supreme Certifying Committee of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation consisting of Doctors of Sciences.
The defence procedure for the D.Sc. degree is the same as for the Ph.D. degree. The Dissertation Council receives the recommendations as to the award or non-award of the degree. The final decision regarding the award of a Doctor of Science degree is taken bythe Supreme Certifying Committee of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, following which the applicant is awarded the Doctor of Science diploma.
Another route for the earning of the Doctor of Sciences degree is the preparation of a thesis on one's own, combining work and research. In this case there is no age limit for the defence of the Doctor dissertation.
In some cases the applicant, not a holder of the Ph.D. degree, is allowed to defence the thesis for the Doctor of Sciences degree, under condition of taking qualifying candidate examinations as it is ordered.
Examination of the Russian education history reveals a great importance all the states-predecessors of the Russian Federation to have given to the training and upgrading of the foreign students and postgraduates of many countries.
In 1865 the Ministry of Education considered it expedient to start training foreigners in Russia. In the second half of the XIX century the Russian Government supported and allocated personal scholarships in Moscow, St.-Petersburg, Novorossiysk, Odessa universities and other civil and religious educational establishments where students from Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia, Hertsegovina, Serbia, and other countries did their study.
The Soviet Union carried on the tradition. In the twenties, students from Mongolia, Turkey, Persia, Afghanistan came to study in the USSR. In 1921 the Communist University of Eastern students was founded and by the end of 1921 foreign students of 44 nationalities attended it.
In the forties, Russian welcomed students from Europe and Asia; from the fifties - from Africa; later - from Latin America. In February 1960 the Soviet Government issued the Decree founding the University of Peoples' Friendship named after P.Lumumba renamed in 1992 as the Russian University of Peoples' Friendship and destined for training high qualified specialists for foreign countries. The Moscow State University named after M.V.Lomonosov, St.-Petersburg State University as well as other leading state and non-state universities and academies are recognized centers of international co-operation and foreign students' training.
The Russian educational system has accumulated wide theoretical and practical experience in training foreign specialists. Wide range of matters related to methodical, personnel and legal aspects of foreign students' training in Russian higher education institutions have been resolved. The national standing body responsible for admission, training and upgrading foreign citizens was set up. In the 60-70th the USSR did much work aimed at the improvement of foreign students' training system and its organization. On a level with traditional educational routes, training in higher education institutions, postgraduate study, upgrading


courses, the new educational forms such as preparatory courses prior to entering universities (the first preparatory faculty was opened in the Moscow State University in 1959), postgraduate internship as well as courses resulting in the Master's degree for holders of the Bachelor's degree were introduced.
Nowadays, in the Russian Federation, an international co-operation on the state level in education sphere is guided by international agreements and treaties as well as Decrees of the Government of the Russian Federation.
The higher education system of Russia offers abroad range of study and research courses meeting every possible academic need of students:
• preparatory courses which provide foreign students wishing to enter into higher education with intensive Russian language and refresher courses in the chosen academic subjects (arts and humanities, social studies, science, engineering, medicine);
• intermediate diploma courses;
full courses resulting in Bachelor and Master degrees;
specialist's diploma programmes;
Master's degree programme for graduates already holding Bachelor's degrees;
special full-time courses for visiting students who commences and/or will complete their degree at aforeign higher education institution;
doctoral programmes (postgraduate study, doctoral study);
continuing education and training programmes;
research study programmes;
upgrading and retraining courses;
Russian language courses including refresher courses for foreign teachers of the Russian language;
• additional educational services (elective subjects, complexes of subjects, ordered courses).
Every year up to 4 000 foreign citizens are enrolled in Russian higher education institutions on the places financed by the state.
Assignment of the state scholarships for foreign students to countries-recipients is correlated with proposals of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Embassies of the Russian Federation in foreign countries, Embassies of foreign countries in the Russian Federation, international organizations, Russian state and public organizations as well as general outcomes of political and economic relations with the country-recipient.
Annually all information related to allocated quotes, training conditions, list of specialities and admission procedure of foreign citizens in Russian higher education institutions is presented to Embassies of the Russian Federation abroad and Embassies of foreign countries in Moscow. Every year the Russian Ministry of Education issue an order setting up the Commission on admission of foreign citizens for training and upgrading in educational establishments of the Russian Federation on the places financed by the state.
General prerequisites for admission to higher professional programmes are completion of secondary general education that correspond to the Russian secondary (complete) general education, grades in the selective, regarding the future specialization, subjects no less 80% of upper level and passing grades for other subjects in a school leaving certificate and an age limit of up to 27 years. The period between graduation from the school or whatever pre-institution courses and entering higher education institution in Russia should not exceed three years.
Applicants should proof a good health state providing a medical certificate of the set format and should not have contra-indication for the staying under Russian climatic conditions. Admission to postgraduate study is available only for holders of the Specialist Diploma or the Master's degree.
Application documents should be submitted to the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation before May15 of the year the education starts. Foreign citizens who have not a good command of Russian are assigned to preparatory faculty of an education institution for the period of one year where they can acquire Russian and brush up their knowledge in chosen subjects. Pre-students who successfully pass the final tests are granted the Leaving Certificate of Preparatory Courses and are enrolled in Russian higher education institutions.
The special attention is given to the issue of recognition of Russian credentials abroad. These matters are closely related to the key term "mobility", that of human and labour resources, mobility of information, etc. Completion of education in foreign countries, employment abroad, obtaining a license granting the right to perform professional activity and other matters require the obtained credentials to be evaluated and compared with national standards and legal provisions. To secure Russian credentials and holders' rights the Russian Federation accessed to 15 international multilateral conventions and agreements on recognition matters. In particular, the Russian Federation is a Contracting State to the UNESCO Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas, and Degrees Concerning Higher Education in the States Belonging to the Europe Region (1979); the UNESCO Convention of the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas, and Degrees Concerning Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific (1983),the UNESCO Convention of the Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education in the Europe Region (1997), etc. The Russian Federation has concluded more than 100 bilateral treaties concerning recognition matters, and 65 of them are on equivalence of credentials. A number of new bilateral agreements are in progress.
In 1997 CEPES (UNESCO) elaborated Guidelines for the Recognition of Qualifications from the other European Countries in the Russian Federation and of Russian Qualifications in the other European Countries. In particular, the Guidelines run as follows:
Doctoral Degrees
• in countries with a two-stage system of doctoral degrees, the Ph.D. degree should be considered for recognition at the level of the first doctoral degree;
• in countries with only one doctoral degree, the Ph.D. degree should be considered for recognition as equivalent to this degree;
• in countries with a two-stage system of doctoral degrees, the degree of D.Sc. should be considered for recognition at the level of the second doctoral degree;
• in countries in which only one doctoral degree exists, the degree of D.Sc. should be considered for recognition at the level of this degree;
University Level Degrees
• in countries with a two-stage system of university degrees, the degree of Bachelor should be considered for recognition at the level of the first degree;
• in countries with only one university degree, the degree of Bachelor should be considered for recognition on individual basis;
• in countries with two-stage system of university degrees, the degree of Diploma-Specialist should be considered for recognition on the level of the second or Master's degree;
• in countries with only one university degree, the degree of Diploma-Specialist should be considered for recognition at the level of this university degree;
• in countries with two-stage system of university degrees, the Master degree should be considered for recognition at the level of the second or Master's degree;
• in countries with only one university degree, the Master's degree should be considered for recognition at the level of this university degree.
A great number of multilateral and bilateral agreements, conventions, protocols and memoranda with different countries on recognition and equivalency of training periods and credentials is a conclusive proof of high prestige and appreciation of the Russian educational system in the world.
The aims to which Russian institutions of higher education aspire today, their main values are determined by the awareness of Russia's inseparability from the destiny of the world civilization, from the search of a path which the mankind will follow in the XXI century. New Russian education laws, the current national policy concerning higher education are aimed to realize in higher educational institutions the classical educational rights - the freedom of teaching and the freedom of learning.
The Guide-website "Russian Higher Education" is a reliable and complete edition on Russian state and non-state higher education institutions. The reader has a chance to study "visiting card" of each institution, learn about the structure, teaching staff, field of study and offered specialization, training courses for applicants, qualification improvement and refresher courses. The Guide-website is expected to be a useful source of information for applicants, students, teaching and academic staff, civil servants pertaining to educational activities, educational agencies.
Thus, dear visitors, you have a guide to the vast intellectual world called higher education of the Russian Federation and you are welcome.
 

 

 

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Study Abroad in Russia & Ukraine - Guide for Higher Education in Russian & Ukrainian Universities � 2005
 
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