Higher Education in Ukraine

In Ukraine, as in other developed countries, higher education is considered to be one of the main human values. The system of higher education in our country has flexible structure, corresponds to modern trends and tendencies, to those in advanced countries recognized by UNESCO, UN Organization and other international organizations. It comprises about 850 establishments of all accreditation levels and ownership types.

Higher education in Ukraine refers to the entire system of education beyond secondary school level and can be obtained in higher educational establishments of the following accreditation levels:

first level – technical schools, vocational schools or other schools of the same level;

second level – colleges or other establishments of the same level;

third and fourth levels – institutes, conservatoires, academies, universities.

The first level leads to Junior Specialist Diploma, the second level to Bachelor’s Degree (basic higher education), the third to Specialist, Master’s Degree (complete higher education).

The normative period of training to become Junior Specialist is from two and a half to three years. Bachelor`s Degree in Ukraine includes 4 academic years. Master`s Degree is 2 academic years long. PhD and DSc programs last 3 academic years.

Admission policy is developed by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, prescribed by the Order of the Ministry. Higher educational establishments develop their own Rules of Admission according to this Order, and submit them for the approval of the Ministry of Education and Science. For Bachelor level, it is a compulsory prerequisite to pass the Independent External Assessment (IEA) conducted by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. The IEA result must be not less than the specified minimum. For specific specialities, additional exams are possible. Also Admission policy takes into account an average mark of school Certificate. For the next level (specialist, Master), students must pass admission exams. The admission procedure is the same for all students. The number of students admitted is regulated by the number of licences for educational programmes.

Students who study under a state order do not pay fees. Additionally, full-time students who demonstrate good academic achievements receive a scholarship. Students who do not study under a state order pay study fees on a contractual basis.

An academic year runs from 1st of September to 31st of June. This period is divided into two terms with a brief (two weeks) winter break in January, and a long vacation from 1st of July to 31st of August. Each term lasts 17-18 weeks, followed by a 3 week examination period.

For each discipline, the maximum number of points which students may receive is determined on the basis of progress assessments (home assignments, essays, projects, etc.) and final assessment (exam, tests). The most widespread forms of assessment are tests, exams and projects. Work practice is a compulsory component of a curriculum. On successful completion of a programme, students are awarded a degree (Junior Specialist, Bachelor, Specialist or Master) and an appropriate qualification (e.g. agronomist). Access to the next level is possible once the previous level has been completed and relevant degrees and qualifications awarded.

Ukraine's higher education system fulfills important social functions creating intellectual potential of Ukraine as a new independent state entering the world community.

Answer the questions.

1) Does the system of higher education in Ukraine correspond to those in the developed countries?

2) What does the term ‘higher education’ refer to?

3) The higher education establishments in Ukraine are of four accreditation levels, aren’t they?

4) What are the periods of study for different degrees?

5) In what way is the admission procedure organised?

6) Do all the students get a scholarship?

7) What is the structure of the academic year?

8) What are the main forms of assessment?

7. What are the normative periods of training for different educational and qualification levels?

1 year 2 years 3 years 4 years
Junior Specialist

Complete the table.

Type of higher education institution Accreditation level Degree
Technical school