The Russian educational system, as it had been noted many times by major international experts, is one of the most developed and advanced educational systems in the world. Higher education is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, which is responsible for the accreditation and licensing of higher education establishments, and for developing and maintaining State Educational Standards.
Only accredited higher education establishments have the right to issue state diplomas and degrees ensuring full vocational and academic rights, and are covered by international agreements on mutual recognition and validation of educational documents. Only accredited higher education establishments have the right to use the seal with the national emblem of the Russian Federation.
The Russian Federation discerns the following types of higher education establishments: University Academy Institute
University University is a higher education institution with activities aimed at developing education, science and culture by performing fundamental scientific research and training at the levels of higher, post-higher and further education within a wide range of Natural Sciences, Humanities and other directions of science, technology and culture.
Academy Academy is a higher education institution aimed at developing education, science and culture by performing fundamental scientific research and training at all the levels of higher, post- higher and further education, mainly in one specific area of science, technology and culture.
Institute Institute is an independent higher education institution or a part (structural unit) of the University, and academy that applies vocational educational curricula in specific areas of science, technology, culture and is involved in scientific research.
Academic year starts on the first of September and ends at the end of spring semester. Semester is a study period of 16 weeks in autumn term and a study period of weeks in spring term during which a course is taught. Each semester ends with one assessment week during which students take course tests and present assignment work and defend course projects. Exam session: two or three week period is set aside each semester for examinations and completion of final assessments.
There are three levels of higher education: incomplete higher education lasts within 2 years. Basic higher education (Bachelor degree) lasts within 4 years. Postgraduate higher education. After graduating from Bachelor degree programme students are admitted to enter the Specialist Diploma (1 years) and Magistr's (Master's) degree (2 years) programmes.
Bologna process is the creation of the European Higher Education Area. In 2003 Russia joined the Bologna Convention on higher education. This will enable our country to join the process of international integration in higher education. The decision to admit Russia to the association of European states for the creation of a single education space was reflected in the joint communique of the participants of the Berlin conference on Friday, September 19, In addition to Russia the conference adopted a decision to admit the following states to the convention: Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Serbia and Montenegro, Macedonia and Vatican. Today the Bologna Declaration "European Higher Education Area" will be signed by the education ministers of 47 European countries.
The document signed in Berlin approximates to the adoption of a decision of mutual recognition of Russian and European diplomas and it will become possible to export Russian education. This step will give a powerful boost to the Russian higher school and will facilitate an increase in the quality of education in Russia and its competitiveness in the world. The idea of joining the European convention originates in the rector's association of St. Petersburg which actively cooperates with Western universities and the State Duma Committee for Education.
Russia's participation in the Bologna process will increase the mobility of students and teachers, providing them with an opportunity to change countries during their studies and university for academic purposes. The Russian higher school has the advantages of the fundamental nature of its educational programmes. To use this advantage and attract students from other countries we have to participate in the building of a common European system. All disputable issues will be resolved by an operational commission created with the Education Ministry of the Russian Federation. In the conference of education ministers of the European states - in May 2005 Russia took part as fully-fledged partner.
Basic characteristics of Bologna process: - 3 cycled system of higher education (Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, Doctor's Degree) - usage of a credit system (ECTS) - mobility of students and staff around the European Higher Education Area - the joint European Diploma Supplement - quality control of higher education - creation of the European Higher Education Area