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Education System in Russia

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Russia has long-standing traditions in high-quality education for all citizens. It probably has also one of the best mass-education systems in the world. Education is split into a compulsory Basic Education, and ongoing Higher Education.

Compulsory Basic Education

Basic general education lasts for nine years. Graduates of this level may continue their education at senior high school to receive secondary general education. They may also enter an initial vocational school and then, higher education institutions. Initial vocational schools which offer one-and-a-half to two years' purely professional education and a professional college which offer joint professional and secondary general education for three to four years and skilled workers' training at different levels. Secondary general education on the basis of general education continues for two years and ends when students are 17-18. Graduates from a secondary general school may apply for entrance to a higher education institution. Secondary education leads to the award of the Certificate of Secondary Complete General Education.

Higher Education

Higher education is provided by public and non-public (non-state) accredited higher education institutions. There are two levels of higher education:

  • Basic higher education (4 years) leading to the Bachelor’s Degree, the first university level degree. This is equivalent to the Bachelor of Science degree in the USA or Western Europe
  • Postgraduate higher education (5-6 years or more). After two years, students are entitled to receive a Master’s Degree. This is equivalent to the Master of Science, and Master of Art in the USA or Western Europe. After a Master's degree, students can continue to study towards a doctoral degree: Candidate’s of science degree (the first level, equivalent to Ph.D.-Doctor of Phylosophy) and Doctor of science degree (the second, highest level, equivalent to Professor).

The 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 a research paper/project and passing state final exams. Having obtained the Bachelor's degree, students may apply to enter the Master's programme. 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. In medicine, the first stage lasts for six years.

Holders of the Bachelor’s degree are admitted to enter the Master's degree programmes. Access to these programmes is competitive. The 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.

Access to the Candidate’s of Science (aspirantura) level again is very competitive. Candidates must hold a Specialist Diploma or a Master's degree. Studies last for 3 years. The Aspirantura prepares for research and professorial activities. Students must learn teaching methods, and pass qualifying exams. They carry out independent research, prepare and defend a dissertation in public. They are then awarded the scientific degree of Candidate’s of Science. The Doctor of Science programme is specific and its duration is not fixed. It follows the Candidate’s of Science degree and is awarded after preparation and public defence of a dissertation.

Entry requirements for Russia's universities

Russia's top universities have very competitive entry requirements, and special entry exams are held each year. Students with Russian citizenship, regardless of residency outside of Russia, must apply for studies according to the standard competitive system and directly with a faculty admissions office. If you have dual citizenship, you can apply as a foreign student using the non-Russian passport. Applicants for advanced degrees (Master of Arts (M.A.)/Master of Science (M.Sc), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Doctor of Science (D.Sc.)) should have their prior degree in the same or a very similar field. This is a stricter requirement than in some other countries, especially the US.

One of the great attractions of education in Russia is the cost, especially when compared to the quality. Degree study tuition can range from $2000 to $8000 per year, with other costs (room & board, books, etc.) ranging from $1500 to $5000 per year, depending on location and spending habits.

Many Russian universities also offer distance education and provide courses for the public and for specific professional needs. However, such systems are usually less developed than in the US and other Western European countries.

Extra Activities:

Прочитайте текст и заполните пропуски 1-6 частями предложений A-G. Одна из частей в списке лишняя. Перенесите ответы в таблицу.



The most famous schools in Britain are private boarding schools, such as Eton College, Harrow school, Rugby School, and Winchester School. These famous private schools, founded during the Middle Ages, are theoretically open to the public, but in reality are attended by those 1_________. Many of Britain‘s leaders have attended these private schools, which cater to the wealthy and influential 2________. A variety of other schools are also private, including kindergartens, day schools, and boarding schools. Private schools take pupils from the age of 7 are called preparatory schools. Private schools that take older pupils from the age of 11 to 18 or 19 are referred to as public schools. Only 7 % of British students attend those schools.

In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland the education systems are similar. The majority of the students attend schools 3__________. These include state schools, voluntary schools, and self-governing or grant - maintained schools that receive funds directly from the government rather than local authorities.

At the age of 16, 4_________, the students are tested in various subjects to earn a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). They should take Advanced Level examinations, commonly Known as “A” Levels 5_________.

Scotland has comparable qualification. About a third of British students leave school as soon as possible after turning 16, usually taking lower-level jobs in the workforce.

Those 6__________ may pursue either further education or higher education. Further education is largely vocational. Students may also stay in school until age 18 to prepare for higher education.


A. who stay in school past the age of 16

B. if they wish to go on to higher education at a university

C. which are called comprehensive schools

D. who can afford the fees

E. prior to leaving school

F. but also offer some scholarships to gifted poorer children

G. which are wholly or partly supported with public funds



Прочитайте текст и заполните пропуски 1-6 частями предложений A-G. Одна из частей в списке лишняя. Перенесите ответы в таблицу.


Britain has more than 90 universities. British universities can be divided into several categories. The foremost universities are the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, both founded in the Middle Ages. England’s oldest institution of higher learning, Oxford University, is a federation of 35 colleges, 1__________. The University of Cambridge is a system of faculties, departments, and 31 independent colleges.

Another type of university is the so-called redbrick variety – old and solid schools built in the 19th century when bricks were the standard building material. An education act in 1992 changed the status of these colleges to universities. The large numbers of ultramodern universities 2____________ are often called cement block and plateglass universities.

London has its own great schools, the enormous University of London 3___________.

Students interested in advanced education can also attend polytechnics, 4____________.

An education act in 1992 changed the status of these colleges to universities.

Higher education can also be obtain through the open University 5__________. They are taught through correspondence, television and radio programs, and videocassettes. The Open University also sponsors local study centres and residential summer schools. The purpose of the Open University is to reach people 6_________.


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