Russia, the largest country in the world and the ninth most populous country has an educated adult population which is twice as high as the average Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Public institutions of the country saw a rapid growth from as 41 new institutions were set up from 1990 to 2002. As the public institutions saw tremendous growth from 514 to 655, the numbers of private institutions were also going strong. Despite of financial and visa difficulties, it has been a problematic situation for foreign students to obtain a higher education in Russia, but the enrolment of foreign students is high as 5.2%, where most of the students are from CIS countries.
A Brief History of Tertiary Education in Russia
Let us have look to the importance of education in Russia and the Russian education facts. Since 2006, the state universities and colleges of Rostov-on-Don, Taganrog and some of the colleges from the southern towns were merged into Southern Federal University in Rostov-on –Don. In a similar way, Krasnoyarsk got conglomerated into Siberian Federal University and Vladivostok into Far Eastern Federal University. In the year 2007, Moscow State University and Saint Petersburg State University was given the federal university status.
Earlier, the Education System in Russia and the Russian higher education did not have any undergraduate or graduate levels. The tertiary education was provided in a single stage in a span of five years or six years duration, which was known as ‘Specialist Diplomas’ and were equivalent to Western MSc and MA qualification. After becoming specialist graduate there was no need for further academic qualification for pursuing a professional career; apart from the medical professions which required academic post graduate residency stage. Students were also provided with a four year military college education and it was regarded in equal to a specialist degree.
Present Education Structure
What are the advantages of studying in Russia? Is the Russian education system good? Come let’s know this in details. Since October 2007, the Russian law enacted and replaced the traditional five year model education with four year bachelor degree and following it is the two year master’s degree. Removing the five year specialist program to four year BSc BA has not degraded the original academic content of most of the curriculum.
The Moscow Engineering Physics Institute and the Gerasimov Insitute of Cinematography produce graduates who are spread widely all over the country and are always in demand. The mining and metallurgy institutes have been set up in places near the ore fields and maritime while the fishing institutes are situated near the seaport communities.
Typically, the medical education got separated from the parent universities in 1918 for betterment in the medicinal and surgical studies. Legal education is provided both within the universities and separate law institutes where around 750 thousands of students are provided with law education till date.
The study programs are not flexible as the curriculum is pre-planned and students have little say or no opinion while planning their academic progress. But if family relocation takes place frequently, students do have the choice to enrol themselves in compatible study programs in the native institutions.
Post Graduate Education in Russia
The Russian education system has two successive postgraduate degrees which are kandidat nauk (Candidate of science) and doctor nauk (doctor of science) degrees. A post graduate degree in social sciences transcends a student to active politician.
The Kandidat nauk is achieved while pursuing research in the university and it takes two to four years for completion. The Kandidat nauk degree is equivalent of acquiring Western PhD degree. After Kandidat nauk, comes the Doktor nauk level and this stage requires significant scientific output. The transition from Kandidat nauk to Doktor nauk takes an average of 10 years dedication in research activities.
Military postgraduate education is also provided to students who are interested. This education is provided by military academies and on passing out successfully gives an individual graduate a certain level of command which is equivalent to battalion commander and beyond, to proceed in its career.