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Russia's free, widespread and in-depth educational system, inherited
with almost no changes from the Soviet Union, is one of the Best mass
education systems in the world, producing 100% literacy. 97% of
children receive their compulsory 9-year basic or complete 11-year
education in Russian. Entry to higher education is selective and highly
competitive. Most undergraduate courses require five years. As a result
of great emphasis on science and technology in education, Russian
medical, mathematical, scientific, and space and aviation research is
generally of a high order. In Russia school accreditation/national
recognition is directly
overseen by the Education Ministry of Russia. Since 1981, Russia has
followed the UNESCO international regulations to ensure Russian
institutions and international institutions meet high quality standards. It is
illegal for a school to operate without government approval.

Russia's constitution guarantees free, universal health care for all
Russian citizens. While Russia has more physicians, hospitals, and
health care workers than almost any other country in the world, it has
struggled to provide high levels of health care services. Since the
collapse of the Soviet Union, the health of the Russian population has
declined considerably, a result of social, economic, and lifestyle changes.


Russia has more academic graduates than any other country in Europe
After obtaining a Certificate of Complete Secondary Education a student
can enter a University or a Community College. At a Community College
students with complete secondary education can obtain an Associate
Degree in one or two years. A student can choose a program of higher
education with a duration of four to six years. There are three different
degrees that are conferred by Russian universities: The first degree is
the Bakalavr (Bachelor) degree. Bakalvr's 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. The Bakalavr'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 Bakalavr degree are admitted to enter the Specialist
Diploma and Magistr's (Master's) degree programmes. The Magistr's
(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.
Bakalavr's and Magistr's degrees were introduced relatively recently;
they did not exist during the Soviet period. Even now they are not offered
by many six-year institutions.

Post-graduate levels

After obtaining a Specialist's or Master's Degree, a student may enter a
university or a scientific institute to pursue postgraduate education. The
first level of postgraduate education is aspirantura (аспирантура) that
usually results in the Kandidat nauk degree (кандидат наук, Candidate
of Sciences). The seeker should pass three exams (in his/her special
field, in a foreign language of his/her choice, and in history and
philosophy of science), publish at least three scientific articles in peer-
reviewed journals, write a dissertation and defend it. This degree is
roughly equivalent to the Ph.D. in the United States.

After graduation a student may continue postgraduate education. Few (2
to 4) years of study in doctorantura (докторантура) with obtaining
important scientific results, publishing them and writing new thesis would
result in the Doctor Nauk degree (доктор наук, Doctor of Sciences), but
the typical way is working in a university or scientific institute with parallel
preparation of a thesis. The average time between obtaining Kandidat
and Doctor degrees is roughly 10 years, and most of new Doctors are
40 and more years old. Only 1 in 4 Kandidats reaches this grade.

Kandidat Nauk may keep position of Assistant Professor (Docent) in
universities and of Researcher or Senior Researcher in a scientific
institutes. Doctor Nauk can hold position of full Professor, Head of
Laboratory or equal and higher ones. Granting of advanced degrees is
overseen by the Higher Attestation Commission of the Ministry of
Education and Science.

Reform of the education system

The Russian education system was originally inherited from the Soviet
Union without any significant changes. In the Soviet Union, education of
all levels was free for anybody who could pass entrance exams; students
were provided with small scholarships and free housing. This was
considered crucial because it provided access to higher education to all
skilled students, as opposed to only those who could afford it. Free
higher education is the main reason why more than 20% of Russians
age 30–59 hold six-year degrees (this number is twice as high as that of
the United States). The downside of that system was that institutions had
to be funded entirely from the federal and regional budgets; therefore,
the collapse of the Soviet Union, expenditures on education took a big
blow; institutions found themselves unable to provide adequate
teachers' salaries, students' scholarships, and maintaince for their
facilities. To address the issue, many state institutions started to open
commercial positions. The number of those positions has been growing
steadily since then. Many private higher education institutions have
emerged, mostly in the fields where Soviet system was inadequate or
was unable to provide enough specialists for post-Soviet realities, such
as economics, business/management, and law. In 2004, of all first-year
students, 35% were paying for their own education in state institutions
and 20% were enrolled in private universities.In the recent years there
have been a lot of proposals for restructuring the Russian educational
system in accordance with the U.S. Educational system. Nevertheless,
these proposals have not been approved.


Both at schools and universities, a 5-grade scale is used: "5" = excellent
"4" = good "3" = satisfactory "2" = unsatisfactory / failing.
"5" is the best mark, "2" is the worst. Technically. a grade of "1" is the
worst grade, but over time, it has been phased out and now is so rarely
given that it is basically equivalent to not just a failing grade, but failing
"with distinction". This system is not compulsory and in rare cases, for
example, a 10-grade scale can be used.
"Plus" or "minus" signs can be added to a mark, e.g. "4+" means above
good, "3-" means below satisfactory but not quite a failure or at least
some part of the task was done and the teacher does not want to give a
pupil a bad mark. Or, for example, "4+" means that the work is quite
good and very close to a "5", but not good enough to give a "5". "5+" is
an excellent mark, given to distinguish a brilliant work. However, these
"+" and "-" are not official and are not written into the register (but most
teachers keep their own unofficial register as well).

Unified State Exam

This type of examination was adopted recently. It is a test which is
passed at the end of 9th and 11th form. It consists of three parts: part A
contains tasks where the student has to pick out the correct answer out
of several, in part B the correct answer should be written in one word,
and no variants are given, and in Part C the student has to write the full
solution (as in mathematics) or a composition (as in literature). The
answers are written on special blanks, digitally scanned, with parts A
and B being checked automatically by the computer software. An
excellent score ranges, depending on the subject, from 65
(mathematics) to 90 (foreign language) out of 100.
What's good for students of 11th form is that now they do not have to
pass both their final school exams and entrance exams at a university.
The score of several, usually three (e.g. to enter a Linguistics
department, student has to pass Russian, English, and social science
exams), subjects is summed up, this total score is the basis of accepting
a student at a university. Students now also have a chance to apply at
several universities and choose one after they get to know if their score
is enough to enter this or that university.
Accreditation of schools

In Russia school accreditation/national recognition is directly overseen
by the Education Ministry of Russia.[1] Since 1981, Russia has followed
the UNESCO international regulations to ensure Russian institutions and
international institutions meet high quality standards. It is illegal for a
school to operate without government approval.
(and largest city)
55°45′N, 37°37′E
Official languages
Russian official
throughout nation;
others co-official in
various regions

Prime Minister
federal republic
Vladimir Putin
Viktor Zubkov


862 AD

June 12, 1990

December 25,

Water (%)

6,592,800 sq mi
2006 estimate

2002 census

142,754,000 (8th)


8.3/km² (209th)
21.8/sq mi

Per capita
2006 estimate
$1.727 trillion

$12,096 (59th)
GDP (nominal)

Per capita
2006 estimate
$979 billion (11th)

$6,856 (59th
HDI (2004)
0.797 (medium)
Gini? (2002)
39.9 (medium)
Ruble (RUB)
Time zone
Summer (DST)
(UTC+2 to +12)
(UTC+3 to +13)
Internet TLD
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