Higher education system in Ukraine

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This article covers the higher education system of Ukraine. This system is part of the European Higher Education Area and includes around 900 institutions, of which most are publicly funded, and almost 3 000 0000 students.


Types of Institutions

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Higher education is provided at universities, academies and institutes, technical schools, colleges, conservatories (i.e. musical academies). All of these institutions offer both professionally-oriented and academic programmes. The Ukrainian Law on Higher Education (2002) describes four levels of accreditation for higher education institutions:

  1. Higher education institutions of the first accreditation level award the qualification of Junior Specialist;
  2. Higher education institutions of the second accreditation level award the qualification of Junior Specialist and /or Bachelor;
  3. Higher education institutions of the third accreditation level award Bachelor's, Specialist and Master's qualifications;
  4. Higher education institutions of the fourth accreditation level award Junior Specialist, Bachelor's, Specialist and Master's qualifications. Some fourth-level institutions also offer aspirantura (Kandidat Nauk).

The accreditation level of a higher education institution is determined in part by the types of programmes offered. The III or IV level of accreditation dependend on the results of the accreditation procedure which is laid down in (Article 43 Decree of Ukraine ‘On Education’. Institutes may operate independently, but sometimes fall under the auspices of a university or academy. Conservatories often specialise in a single area, such as music or visual art.

Colleges fall under the second accreditation level, and provide higher vocational education programmes. They are sometimes part of a higher education institution with accreditation level 3 or 4. Institutions for technical or secondary vocational education with accreditation level 1 are called technikums or uchilishes. Like the colleges, they are sometimes part of a higher education institution with accreditation level 3 or 4. Ukraine currently has over 350 state-run higher education institutions. There are also many private institutions, where programmes in law, management and finance are strongly represented.

Degree structure

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Ukraine ratified the Lisbon Recognition Convention on 14 April 2000.

The following degrees are issued by universities and higher professional institutions:

  • short-term higher education: it is incomplete higher education - молодший спеціаліст/molodshyi spetsialist (Junior Specialist)
  • first cycle of higher education: бакалавр/bakalavr (Bachelor)
  • second cycle of higher education: спеціаліст/spetsialist (Specialist) and магістр/magistr (Master)
  • third cycle of higher education: Kандидат наук/kandydat nauk (Candidate of Science) and доктор наук/doktor nauk (Doctor of Science)

Study loads are usually not expressed in ECTS.

University curricula generally span 36 weeks a year, and the academic year begins on 1 September, normally lasting until June. Students typically have 27 hours of classtime each week. The academic year is usually made up of two semesters, each lasting 5 months.

Junior Specialist

  • Bologna cycle: -
  • Level in EQF: -
  • Credit range: -
  • Duration: The programme usually takes 2-4 years to complete.
  • General admission requirements:
    The standard admission requirement is the Atestat pro povnu zagalnu serednyu osvitu. Sometimes students are admitted who have a Svidotstvo pro bazovu zagal'nu serednyu osvitu. In practice, however, these students complete a much more intensive programme, as it also includes every subject from secondary education.
  • Description:
    According to the Law on Higher Education, the Junior Specialist diploma is regarded as incomplete higher education. Second and third accreditation level programmes with a professional focus are provided by a Tekhnikum and/or an Uchilishe, colleges. This accredited professional qualification is not part of the bachelor's-master's degree structure. In Ukraine, the Junior Specialist counts as a mid-level professional qualification. The qualification is issued for a range of fields, including paramedic professions, education, administration and technology. In principle, holders of a Junior Specialist diploma qualify for entry to relevant university bachelor’s programmes. Exemptions of 1-2 years may be granted if the higher education programme is comparable.
  • Additional explanation:-


Specialist

  • Bologna cycle: -
  • Level in EQF: -
  • Credit range: (60 ECTS credits)
  • Duration: University Specialist programmes vary in length from 1-1½ years. Programmes in medicine, veterinary or pharmacy have a duration of 4-5½ years. If the programme is preceded by bachelor's degree, it will only take 1-1½ years.
  • General admission requirements: -
  • Description: The final diploma provides a professional qualification, and the certificate itself specifies the particular field to which the qualification applies, for example Teacher of English. This diploma can be earned in any field of study. The specialisation is always stated on the diploma, to which is appended a list of subjects and a grade list. These programmes conclude with a state examination and / or a thesis defence. Specialist programmes span over 400 fairly in-depth technical and other specialisations. Traditional Specialist programmes concentrate on professional practice, but in principle also grant access to the initial phase of an academic PhD, or Kandidat Nauk.
  • Additional explanation:-

Bakalavr

  • Bologna cycle: -
  • Level in EQF: -
  • Credit range: (240 ECTS credits)
  • Duration: Bakalavr programmes have a nominal duration of 3-4 years (or 2-3 years on the basis of the Diploma of Junior Specialist)
  • General admission requirements: -
  • Description: Bakalavr programmes are, in theory, available in all fields of study. The initial years take a broad orientation, with particular emphasis on subjects such as social sciences, economics, history, a foreign language and natural sciences. In some cases students complete a short thesis (not required) or project towards the degree. Upon successful completion, students receive a state diploma with an appendix (dodatok) listing all subjects, hours, marks, practical training and marks awarded for the final examination and thesis or project. This certificate qualifies students to enter the labour market or go on to either a Specialist programme or an associated research-oriented Magistr programme. The bachelor's programme is offered by higher education institutions with accreditation level II, III and IV.
  • Additional explanation:-

Magistr

  • Bologna cycle: -
  • Level in EQF: -
  • Credit range: (60-90 ECTS credits)
  • Duration: Magistr programmes take off where Bakalavr programmes end, and have a nominal duration of 1-2 years, 1-3 years in medicine.
  • General admission requirements: Bakalavr. A Specialist diploma is also sufficient qualification for enrolment.
  • Description: Magistr programmes are by and large research-oriented. They conclude with a state examination and students’ defence of their thesis. The diploma is issued with an appendix (dodatok) listing all subjects, hours, grades, practical training, as well as the grades awarded for the final examination and thesis or project, and qualifies students to take doctoral entrance exams. Although the nominal duration of some Magistr programmes is 1 year longer, they confer the same rights as a Specialist programme. The Magistr is more research-oriented, however.
  • Additional explanation: Training specialists of the educational-proficiency level of Specialist or Master in such field of study as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, teaching is carried out on the basis of complete secondary education within the period of 5–6 years (301-360 ECTS credits).

Kandidat Nauk

  • Bologna cycle: -
  • Level in EQF: -
  • Credit range: -
  • Duration: -
  • General admission requirements: The prerequisite for admission to a Kandidat Nauk programme is a Specialist or Magistr diploma.
  • Description: There are two doctoral tracks in Ukraine: the Kandidat Nauk, literally 'Candidate of Science', and Doktor Nauk, or 'Doctor of Science'. The programme – or aspirantura – comprises lectures, seminars and research, takes three years to complete, and is concluded with the public defence of a dissertation. Dissertations deemed satisfactory by the dissertation council result in conferral of the Kandidat Nauk diploma.
  • Additional explanation:-


Doktor Nauk

  • Bologna cycle: -
  • Level in EQF: -
  • Credit range: -
  • Duration: -
  • General admission requirements: Admission is extremely selective and highly restricted. The Ukrainian Higher Attestation Commission decides on admission based on the level of advancement shown in the dissertation, which must resolve a fundamental scientific problem.
  • Description: Doktor Nauk is the highest possible academic title.The curriculum focuses entirely on research. The Doktor Nauk is a prerequisite for any professorial appointment. In cases where the research and dissertation for a Kandidat Nauk demonstrate outstanding quality, a Doktor Nauk diploma may be conferred directly after a Kandidat Nauk.
  • Additional explanation: In 2010 the Diploma of Doctor of Philosophy – PhD – for foreign students was introduced.

Degree structure chart

Ukraine degree structure.png

Quality assurance and accreditation

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Ukraine has no official system for ranking education institutions. Accreditation of government and private institutions is organised by the State Educational Unit “Educational and Methodological Center on the questions of education quality”, which is under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and Science. The Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science is responsible for producing an overview of the quality of higher education in Ukraine.

All higher education institutions, including private institutions, are subject to a mandatory evaluation procedure. Some accredited denominational institutions providing higher education also receive government funding. The accreditation procedure is held once in 5 years by HEIs of Ukraine. This means that the list of accredited HEIs and recognised higher education programmes is dynamic. For information on the current state, please contact the ENIC Ukraine Center.

Regulatory framework

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The recognised higher education institutions are supervised by an Academic Council of university governors. Individual institutions are led by a rector. In the case of private institutions, supervision is the responsibility of the owners/founders. It is also common practice for a Board of Supervisors to be appointed.

Ukrainian higher education has a unitary system in which the distinction between university education and higher professional education is often not clear. Some study programmes contain elements of both higher professional education and university education. An example is the primary education teacher training offered at universities.

The language of education is officially Ukrainian, although some programmes also are offered in Russian or English for foreign students.

The academic year runs from 1 September to the end of June.

Joint programmes and degrees

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Regulatory framework concerning joint programmes and degrees:

Quality assurance and accreditation of joint programmes and degrees:


Sources

External links