Structure of Educational System

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Structure of Educational System
Admissions to Higher Education and Recognition of Foreign Credentials
Student Life
International Cooperation and Exchanges


Types of higher education institutions:

Universitet (University)

Academia (Academy)

Institut (Institute)

Technicheskiy Universitet (Technical University)

Kolledzh (College)

Technikum (Technical College)

Uchilische (Specialized Institution)

School leaving and higher education credentials:

Attestat o Polnom Srednem Obshchem Obrasovanii

Diplom o Srednem Professionalnom Obrasovanii (Higher Vocational Education Diploma)

Diplom o Nepolnom Wisshem Obrasovanii (Incomplete Higher Education Diploma)


Specialist's Diploma


Kandidat Nauk

Doktor Nauk


Pre-higher education:

Duration of compulsory education:

Age of entry: 6

Age of exit: 15

Structure of school system:


Type of school providing this education: Basic School

Length of program in years: 9

Age level from: 6 to: 15

Complete Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Senior Secondary School

Length of program in years: 2

Age level from: 15 to: 17

Certificate/diploma awarded: Attestat o srednem (polnom) obshchem obrazovanii (Certificate of Secondary Complete General Education).


Type of school providing this education: Technikum

Length of program in years: 3

Age level from: 15 to: 18

School education:

Basic general education lasts for nine years. Graduates of this level may continue their education at senior high school to receive secondary (complete) general education. They may also enter an initial vocational school or non-university level higher education institutions. Initial vocational schools include PTU (Professional'noterhnicheskoe uchilische) which offer one-and-a-half to two years' purely professional education and a Professional'ny Litsei which offer joint professional and secondary (complete) general education for three to four years and skilled workers' training at different levels. Non-university level higher education institutions also offer three- to four-year professional and secondary (complete) general education and one- to two-year vocational training for holders of the Leaving Certificate. Secondary (complete) general education on the basis of basic general education continues for two years and ends when students are 17-18. Graduates from a secondary (complete) general school may apply for entrance to a higher education institution. Secondary education leads to the award of the Attestat o Polnom Obshchem Srednem Obrasovanii (Certificate of Secondary Complete General Education).

Higher education:

Higher education is provided by public and non-public accredited higher education institutions (HEI). Education in public HEI is free of charge. Higher education is under the jurisdiction of the State Committee for Higher Education of the Russian Federation, which is responsible for the accreditation and licensing of HEI and for developing and maintaining State Educational Standards. There are three levels of higher education: 1) incomplete higher education (2 years at least); 2) basic higher education (4 years) leading to the Bakalavr's degree, the first university level degree; 3) advanced higher education (total number of years of post-secondary education: 5-6 years or more). HEI are authorized to award the Magistr's degree or Specialist's Diploma (e.g. lawyer, engineer). There are two levels of doctoral degrees: Kandidat Nauk degree (the first level) and Doktor Nauk degree (the second, highest level). The following higher education reforms are under way: 1) diversification of higher education; 2) humanization; 3) decentralization of management, university autonomy; 4) creation of non-public (private) sector of higher education. There are 553 public HEI and 206 private HEI in Russia; the Ministry of Education finances 315 public HEI. There are about 3000 non-university level educational institutions - technikum, uchilische, college.

Main laws/decrees governing higher education:

Decree: Higher Education Law Year: 1996

Concerns: Â all types of HIE

Decree: Law "On Education" Year: 1996

Concerns: all types

Decree: Standard regulations of Higher Education (the government resolutions) Year: 1994

Concerns: to all type of HIE

Academic year:

Classes from: Sep to: Jun

Long vacation from: 1 Jul to: 31 Aug

Languages of instruction: Russian

Stages of studies:

Post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):

Non-university level:

State and municipal higher education institutions at non-university level comprise tekhnikums/uchilishche and colleges. They train middle-level specialists such as techncians and skilled nurses. They confer Diplomas after 2 years' study on the basis of Secondary (complete) general education and after four to four-and-a-half years on the basis of Basic general education. If a holder of the non-university level Diploma enters a university-level institution of higher education in the same field of study, he or she may ask the administration for permission to follow a shortened intensive curriculum which takes into account their previous studies.

University level studies:

University level first stage: Level I:

This stage is divided into two stages. The first consists of two years of course work, upon completion of which students are awarded a Certificate of Incomplete Higher Education. The second is entirely devoted to one to two years of intensive professional training. Upon completion, students are awarded the Diploma o nepolnom visshem obrazovanii (Diploma of Incomplete Higher Education). These are not distinct programmes but rather credentials leading to a diploma of higher education such as a Bakalavr or Specialist Diploma. Students can seek jobs that require some higher education but not a degree.

University level second stage: Bakalavr:

Studies for the Bakalavr last for at least 4 years of full-time university-level study. The programme follows a specific curriculum with an auditorium load of about 27 hours per week. The content of courses is fixed in accordance with the State Educational Standard. The programme includes professional and special courses in Science, the Humanities and Social-economic disciplines, professional training, completion of final research paper/project and sitting for State final exams. Having obtained the Bakalavr degree, students may apply to enter the Magistr programme or continue in the framework of the Specialist's Diploma programme. The Bakalavr is conferred in all fields except Medicine after defending a project prepared under the guidance of a supervisor and sitting for final exams. In Medicine, the first stage lasts for six years.

University level third stage: Magistr, Specialist's Diploma:

The Magistr is awarded after successful completion of a programme requiring at least 2 years of full-time university-level study beyond the Bakalavr. Students must carry out a year of research including practice and prepare and defend a thesis which constitutes an original contribution and sit for final examinations.The Specialist's Diploma can be earned in two ways: upon completion of at least 1 year's study after the Bakalavr or upon completion of five to six years' study beyond the Attestat o srednem polnom obshchem obrazovanii. The Specialist's Diploma is a professional qualification that gives the right to exercise a professional activity in the field and to apply for admission to doctoral programmes.

University level fourth stage: Kandidat Nauk Aspirantura (Aspirantura), Doktor Nauk:

Access to the Aspirantura is competitive. Candidates must have obtained a Specialist's Diploma or a Magistr degree. Studies last for 3 years. The Aspirantura prepares for research and professorial activities. Students must learn teaching methods, information technology, and pass qualifying (Kandidat Nauk) exams. They carry out independent research, prepare and defend a dissertation in public. They are then awarded the scientific degree of Kandidat Nauk. The Doctor Nauk programme is specific and its duration is not fixed. It follows the Kandidat Nauk and is conferred after preparation and public defence of a dissertation. It does not always have an equivalent in other countries.

Teacher education:

Training of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers

Non-university level educational institutions (technikums, colleges) train teachers for pre-primary and primary schools. The duration of the course is two to four-and-a-half years. Some teacher training institutions of university level train teachers for primary schools. The course lasts for five years. Graduates of these two types of educational institutions may exercise the profession.

Training of secondary school teachers

Teacher training is carried out in teacher training university-level institutions. The programme lasts for at least five years. Graduates may enter the profession.

Training of higher education teachers

University teachers must follow post-graduate programmes and obtain a scientific degree.

Non-traditional studies:

Distance higher education

In December 1998, the University of the Russian Academy of Education, formally known as the Russian Open University, received full accreditation status from the Government. It is located in Moscow and has been given the right to award degrees recognized by the Ministry of Education.

Lifelong higher education

Lifelong education consists in external studies.

Higher education training in industry

Upgrading courses for industrial workers and specialists in different branches of the national economy.


Administration & co-ordination:

Responsible authorities:

Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation

Minister: Vladimir Filippov

Director of International Cooperation: Nicolai Dmitriev

Lusinovskaya 51
Moscow M- 113833, M-230, GSP
Russian Federation

Tel: +7(095) 9545-400Â +7(095) 2377-675

Fax: +7(095) 2302-796Â +7(095) 9246-986



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