Higher education in Russia is provided by public and non-public (non-State) accredited higher education institutions (HEIs). Education in public HEIs is not completely free of charge. 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). HEIs are authorized to award the Magistr's degree after 2 years of study or Specialist's Diploma after 1 year following upon the Bakalavr's degree (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 a non-public sector of higher education. There are 609 public HEIs 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.
Classes from: Sep to: Jun
Long vacation from: 1 Jul to: 31 Aug
Languages of instruction: Russian
Stages of studies
Non-university level post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):
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, up to two years of previous studies could be counted by HEIs' authorities as a transferred period of study and he or she may continue in the second or third year of university level programmes.
University level studies
University level first stage: First stage
If students leave a university they may ask to obtain the Diploma of Incomplete Higher Education which entitles them to obtain jobs that require some HE training but not a degree and to continue their studies on the basis of at least two years of HE training.
University level second stage: Bakalavr
Bachelor's degree programmes last for at least 4 years of full-time university-level study. The programmes are elaborated in accordance with the State Educational Standards which regulate almost 80% of their content. The other 20% are elaborated by the university itself. The programmes include 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's degree, students may apply to enter the Magistr's programme or continue their studies in the framework of the Specialist's Diploma programmes. The Bakalavr's degree is awarded in all fields except Medicine. In Medicine, the first stage lasts for six years.
University level third stage: Magistr, Specialist Diploma
Holders of the Bakalavr's (Bachelor) degree are admitted to enter the Specialist Diploma and Magistr's (Master's) degree programmes. 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. The Specialist Diploma is a professional qualification that gives the right to exercise professional activities in the field and to apply for doctoral programmes.
University level fourth stage: Kandidat Nauk (Aspirantura programmes), Doktor Nauk:
Candidates must hold a Specialist Diploma or a Magistr's degree. Studies last for 3 years. The Aspirantura prepares for research and professorial activities. Students must learn teaching methods, ICTs, 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 awarded after preparation and public defence of a dissertation. It does not always have an equivalent in other countries.
Foreign students admission: A student who does not have Russian citizenship.
Admission requirements: Students must have completed secondary education. There is a compulsory pre-academic year for those who do not know Russian or/and for those with weak pre-university training. They must successfully pass the entrance exams. Foreign applicants entering universities should not be older than 28.
Entry regulations: Student visa and financial guarantees
Language requirements: Pre-academic year to study Russian.
Contemporary Educational Programmes
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