Higher education - overview

Non-university higher education (or middle-level professional education) is provided in institution of vocational training, technical education institutions (technikums), and colleges, the latter being a new type of institution introduced in 1989 offering advanced middle-level professional programmes , normally lasting one year after the completion of a technical or professional programme.

Institutions of middle-level professional education offer: three- to five-year programmes consisting of vocational and general education; two- to three-year vocational programmes; and advanced training programmes requiring one additional year of study (only offered by colleges). Until the end of the 1990s, admission to higher education was based on the certificate of secondary education.

Since 2001 a single, nationwide, standardized set of exam s known as the Unified National Exam (UNE) has been introduced on experimental basis and is gradually replacing institution-based entrance examinations. Based on the certificate of secondary education and the certificate of results from the UNE, school leavers can apply to several different universities and non-university institutions across the Federation. Regional state examination commissions administer the exams, and check and evaluate the results jointly with the Ministry of Education in Moscow. (NORRIC, 2005).

Higher education is provided in universities, academies, and higher institutes. A minimum of two years of study are required for a diploma of incomplete basic higher education, usually in a course which is part of a bachelor’s or specialist degree programme.

Bachelor’s degree programmes last a minimum of four years. An additional two years of study are required for the award of a master’s degree. Professionally-oriented programmes leading to the award of a specialist’s diplom a/degree last five to six years and also give access to doctoral studies.

As regards medical sciences, the duration of programmes is five years in the case of dentistry and pharmacy, and six years in the case of medicine.

Doctoral degree programmes are offered at two levels: postgraduate courses (aspirantura) leading to the degree of kandidat nauk (candidate of sciences) usually requiring three years of study after the master’s or specialist’s degree; and doctoral studies leading to the degree of doktor nauk (doctor in science), with no specific limitations in terms of the duration of studies for holders of the degree of kandidat nauk.

Bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes have been introduced at the beginning the 1990s, and offered in parallel with the traditional specialist’s degree programmes. A number of decrees and decisions have been adopted during 2005- 2007 within the framework of the implementation of the Bologna process.

source: UNESCO-IBE
World Data on Education. 7th edition, 2010/11

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