Text 1. HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Before you start
1.1 Answer the following questions:
1. What are the general purposes of higher education?
2. Do you know if any changes have been made in the system of higher education in Russia?
3. What are the most prestigious universities in Russia?
2.1 Read and practise the pronunciation of the following words:
[m« ,trIkju ÛleISn]
3.1 Read the text to know more about the higher education in Russia.
Higher education in the Russian Federation
There are four types of institutions of higher education in Russia at the present time:
1. Universities: responsible for education and research in a variety of disciplines;
2. Academies: responsible for education and research. They differ from universities only in that they restrict themselves to a single discipline;
3. Institutes: multi-discipline oriented. They can be independent structural units, or part of a university or academy;
4. Private institutions: present in increasing numbers. They offer degrees in non-engineering fields such as business, culture, sociology and religion, etc.
Currently, there is a new degree structure which follows a three-level pattern and uses U.S./British nomenclature. The Certificate of Secondary Complete General Education and the successful passing of university matriculation exams are required for admission to all levels.
Level I generally lasts 2 years of study, upon completion of which students are awarded a “certificate of incomplete higher education”. Students holding a Level I qualification may either continue their studies or, if they choose not to, leave the institution with the intermediate diploma.
Level II represents the completion of “basic academic education”. Students are awarded a Bachelor’s degree upon a completion of four-year programmes in the humanities, economics and natural sciences, as well as some practical professional training.
Level III represents an educational level, common to both the Master’s degree and the Specialist diploma.
Specialist: This is a professional training programme designed for the students who choose to pursue the practical applications of their specialization. It can be earned in one of two ways:
a) upon completion of at least one year of study after the Bachelor’s degree;
b) upon completion of five years of study after the certificate of secondary complete general education. The degree grants professional qualification in engineering, teaching, economics and etc.
Master’s: This is an academic degree designed for students who wish to pursue a career in academy and research. The length of study is at least two years.
The top level of higher education is a graduate work which entails a three-year programme of study and research leading to a Candidate degree, then original research which finally leads to a Doctoral degree.
With more than 880 higher education institutions, the Russian Federation higher education system offers a broad range of study and research programmes designed to meet possible academic need on the part of students and these include:
- intermediate diploma courses;
- full Bachelor’s degree programmes (BA or BSc);
- full Master’s degree programmes (MA or MSc);
- Master’s degree programmes for graduates already holding a Bachelor’s degree;
- special full-time courses for visiting students who commenced and/or will complete their degree at a foreign higher education institution;
- doctoral programmes (PhD and DSc);
- continuing education and training programmes;
- research study programmes;
- retraining programmes;
- Specialist’s diploma programmes.
(Adapted from the Internet sites)
3.2 What new facts about the Russian system of higher education have you learnt from this text?