A university covers a broad cross-spectrum of sciences, teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses, including research and doctoral degrees. A university also pursues desktop research in many different fields. An academy will typically specialize in a selective field of science, technology or culture. An institute provides career-based training in specialist fields of science, technology or culture.
All higher educational institutions must be licensed or accredited by education authorities. No independent institution is allowed to provide educational services without a government license.
Accreditation means that the accredited study course meets the national education standards. An accredited institution may issue standardized national diplomas or certificates.
An academic year consists of two parts: the autumn and spring semesters, each ending in a week of continuous tests and course thesis presentations. The tests are followed by exams. An academic year begins on 1 September and ends on 30 June.
Russian higher education is a multi-level system:
Level 1: Pre-university courses, which take 1 year to complete;
Level 2: Undergraduate degree (Baccalaureate), which takes 4 years;
Level 3: Specialists’ Diploma (5 years in total), or Master’s Degree (2 years following the undergraduate degree).
Qualifications are awarded to all students having passed the final exams.
The holder of a Specialist’ or Master’s Diploma may progress to a postgraduate research degree or a taught postgraduate course.
Part-time or distance learning is when a student studies independently according to the institution’s core curriculum in the chosen field of study with in-process proficiency tests and final exams at the institution.
Under the laws of Russia, international students wishing to come to Russia to study for higher education need a “Student Visa” an entry visa that states higher education as the purpose of entry and specifies the institution of study.
Russian higher education institutions do not offer foreign students the option of combining study with gainful employment.