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Higher education in Russia

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The Russian educational system may be arranged into three major groups:

· secondary education,

· higher education and

· postgraduate education.

The Higher Educational System in Russia has its own remarkable distinction in the world stage. The Institutes / Universities offering higher education in Russia have a total enrolment of more than two million students.

The standard of Higher Education in Russia is considered to be most advanced and sophisticated in the world as every educational institution is well equipped and their teaching methods are well regulated. The students-teacher ratio is approximately 7:1. Certain Internet resources give the information that the literacy rate in Russia is currently 99.4%. In 2003–2004, the total number of students of higher education institutions was 5,947,500, including 5,228,700 in governmental and 718,800 in non-governmental education institutions respectively. Russia has more academic graduates than any other country in Europe.

There are 609 public HEIs (that is “Higher Educational Institutions) and 206 accredited non-State HEIs in Russia; the Ministry of Education finances 315 public HEIs. The rest are financed by other Ministries or local authorities. There are about 3000 non-university level educational institutions - technikum, uchilische, college.


Approximately one-third of the students pay for their studies. In non-State HEIs all students must pay tuition fees. Higher education is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, which is responsible for the accreditation and licensing of HEIs 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) postgraduate higher education (total number of years of post-secondary education: 5-6 years or more).

The following higher education reforms are under way:

1) diversification of higher education;

2) humanization;

3) decentralization of management, university autonomy;

4) creation of a non-public sector of higher education.


After obtaining a Certificate of Complete Secondary Education a student can enter a University or an Institute (College). A student can choose a program of higher education with a duration of four to six years.

There are three different degrees that are conferred by Russian universities:

1. The first degree is the Bakalavr (Bachelor) degree. Bakalvr's programs last for at least 4 years of full-time university-level study. The programs include professional and special courses in Science, the Humanities and Social-economic disciplines, professional training, completion of a research paper/project and passing State final exams. The Bakalavr's degree is awarded in all fields except Medicine after defending a Diploma project prepared under the guidance of a supervisor and passing the final exams. In Medicine, the first stage lasts for six years.

2. Holders of the Bakalavr degree are admitted to enter the Specialist Diploma and Magistr's (Master's) degree programs. The Magistr's (Master's) degree is awarded after successful completion of two years' full-time study. 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.

Bakalavr's and Magistr's degrees were introduced relatively recently.

3. After graduation a student may continue postgraduate education. After several (2 to 4) years of study, if they obtain important scientific results, publish them and write another thesis, the Kandidat nauk degree (кандидат наук, Candidate of Sciences) can be awarded. For further and more fundamental research work the Doctor Nauk degree (доктор наук, Doctor of Sciences) can be awarded.


In all the Russian Institutions, academic year starts from September. There are two semesters in an academic year: the first term – from September to January and the second term - from February to June. First semester examinations are held usually in January followed by second semester exams in June. Students enjoy two types of vacations in their curriculum. It is winter vacation from 15th January to 7th February and summer vacation from 1st July to 31st August.


Russia has a good deal of experience for co-operation with the developing countries in the field of higher education. For instance, more than half of the foreign students attending Russian Universities for higher education in the field of Engineering/ Medicine are from developing countries in Asia and Africa and from Latin America. The system of imparting higher education in Russia is well formulated and advanced in par with western countries.

During training students receive a high level of theoretical knowledge and work skills in their chosen fields. Modern teaching methods facilitate the formation of not only deep versatile knowledge and skills, but also such qualities such as independence, the ability to make critical decisions, the creative approach to any process, the skills to finish it and the constancy to study. The necessity of a flexibility in thinking, and the presence of abstract, systematic and experimental thinking, the skill to carry on dialogue, the skill to communicate, the ability to cooperate which are required of the modern professional are aspects which are given extra emphasis.

International students from all over the world are an integral part of our student community and we always welcome new applicants to join us.


Task 4. Look through the text and pick out English equivalents for the following Russian words and phrases:

1. среднее и высшее образование

2. образовательное учреждение

3. уровень грамотности

4. местные органы власти

5. выпускники

6. плата за обучение

7. быть ответственным за что-либо

8. ученая степень

9. получить Диплом о полном среднем образовании

10. поступить в университет или институт

11. точные науки

12. гуманитарные науки

13. исследовательская работа

14. сдача итоговых государственных экзаменов

15. защита дипломного проекта (диссертации)

16. присваивать (ученое звание)

17. учебный год

18. семестр

19. каникулы

20. программа обучения

21. студенты-иностранцы

22. высокий уровень теоретических знаний и навыков

23. качества (характера)

24. современный профессионал, специалист

25. студенческое сообщество

26. абитуриенты


B. Compose your own sentences on the topic of “Higher Education” using the words and phrases from the previous task.

Task 5. A. Find in the text synonyms to these words and combinations (some words and combinations in the left column are not from the text) :

school education  
education after graduation from a HEI  
having good technical equipment  
total number of students  
money paid for one’s studies  
to continue, to run for some time  
future student  

B. Find in the text antonyms to these words and combinations (some words and combinations in the left column are not from the text) :

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