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Higher education in Russia

 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 ccreditation 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) diversificationof 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. There are about 3000 non-university level educational institutions - technikum, uchilische, college.
Academic year

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 institutionof 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

The first stage consists of at least two years of a higher education study programme. If students leave a university they may ask to obtain the Diploma O Nepolnom Vysshem Obrazovanii (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

Bakalavr's (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'sprogramme or continue their studies in the framework of the Specialist's Diploma programmes. 

The Bakalavr's degree is awarded in all fields except Medicine after defending a Diploma 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 Diploma

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

Students must carry out a year ofresearch including practice and prepare and defend a thesis which constitutes an original contribution and sit for final examinations.The Specialist Diploma can be earned in two ways: upon completion of at least 1 year's study after the Bakalavr's degreeprogramme or upon completion of five to six years' continuous study beyond the Attestat o Srednem (Polnom) Obshchem Obrazovanii. 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:
Access to the Aspirantura is competitive. Candidates must hold a Specialist Diploma or a Magistr's degree. Studies last for 3 years. The Aspirantura prepares forresearch 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.

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 have followed post-graduate training. A scientific degree (Kandidat Nauk at least) is compulsory to obtain a lecturer's post in HEIs.

Foreign students admission

Definition of foreign student:
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 (35 for doctoral studies (Aspirantura)).

Entry regulations: Student visa and financial guarantees
Language requirements: Pre-academic year to study Russian.

Application procedures

Apply to individual institution for entry to: All higher education institutions and to all academic and pre-academic programmes. Apply to national body for entry to: All higher education institutions.

Apply to:

Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation
Shabolovka 33
Moscow 113819
Russian Federation
Tel: +7(095) 9545-127
Fax: +7(095) 2375-400

Application closing dates

For non-university level (technical/vocational type) studies: 15 Jul
For university level studies: 1 Apr
For advanced/doctoral studies: 1 Apr

Recognition of studies & qualifications

Studies pursued in home country (System of recognition/accreditation): Higher education institutions that are accredited by the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation may issue State Diplomas which are recognized within the country. Non-accredited educational institutions issue their own non-state diplomas which are not officially recognized. Studies pursued in foreign countries (bodies dealing with recognition of foreign credentials): Division of International Education and Cooperation of the Ministry of Education Head: Nikolay Zverev

Shabolovka 33
Moscow 113819
Russian Federation
Tel: +7(095) 9545-469
Fax: +7(095) 9545-353

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