The Russian higher education is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry for Education and Science of the Russian Federation , which is respon­sible for the accreditation and licensing of higher educa­tion establishments, and for developing and maintaining State Educational Standards.

Only accredited higher edu­cation establishments have the right to issue state diplo­mas and degrees ensuring full vocational and academic rights, and are covered by the international agreements on mutual recognition of education documents. All state degrees awarding specif­ic qualifications to a graduate, irrespective of the type of educational institution (University, Academy, and Institute) and the ownership pattern (state, municipal, non-state), are equal in status.

Higher education is provided by state (public) and non-state (non-public) accredited higher education institutions. Part of students of state and all students of non-state institutions have to pay for their tuition.

Admission selections of higher education institutions are based on results of the State Unified Exam. School graduates are to pass three exams: two on obligatory subjects (Russian and Mathematics) and 1 for choice. Minimum requirements for admission include a grade point average of 100 for three subjects. Some prestige institutions require higher than 100 point average to be admitted.

There are two levels of higher education:

1. Basic higher education (4 years) leading to the Bachelor's degree, the first university level degree or Diploma of Specialist. The Bachelor'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.

2. Postgraduate higher education (5-6 years or more). After two years, students are entitled to receive a Master's degree. After a Master's degree, students can continue to study towards a doctoral degree: they are Candidate of Sciences and Doctor of Sciences degrees.

The Russian Federation discerns the following types of higher education establishments:

1. Federal University (FE) - the leading higher educational institution in the Federal District, the Center of Science and Education.

2. National Research University (NRU) - higher educational institution equally effective in carrying out the educational activity and scientific research programs based on the principles of integrating science and education.

3. University (U) is a diversified educational institution with a wide range of educational programs in various fields of knowledge.

4. Academy (A) prepares a wide range of professionals of any directions of human activity (agriculture, healthcare service, arts, tourism, economics, finance and so on).

5. Institute (I) is preparing specialists to work in a specific area of professional activity.

The study program follows the corresponding curriculum. The content of the subjects is specified in accordance with State Educational Standard. All the subjects in State Educational Standard are grouped in the following areas: general scientific, socio-economical, humanities, general professional, and special. Study program also includes practical training, independent study, course and diploma project (paper), state exam.

The academic year starts on the first of September and ends at the end of June. It is divided into autumn and spring semesters. Semester is a study period of 15- 16 weeks during which a course is taught. Each semester ends with one assess­ment week during which students take course tests and present assignment work and defend course projects. Exam session lasts for two or three weeks during which the students pass the exams.


6. Answer these questions:

1) Is Russian higher education centralized or decentralized? If “yes”, what is the highest body of management? 2) What is the difference between University and Institute? 3) What are the main types of higher education institutions in Russia?

4) Do students of state institutions have to pay for their tuition? 5) How do students can be admitted to higher education institutions? 6) Tell about the academic year. 7) How long does the exam session last? 8) Enumerate the main academic grades. 9) What are two levels of doctoral degree, which do not have an equivalent in Western systems of education?