Higher Education in Russian Federation

Where Can We Get Higher Education?

In Russia there are three types of  institutions of higher education: institutes, academies and universities.

An academy offers a rather narrow range of professions and as a rule only for one industry.  For example, an academy of railway transport, an academy of agriculture, an academy of mining, an academy of economics, etc.

A university covers numerous professions from various fields.  For example, a technical or classical university.

An educational institution may get any of the two statuses only if it conducts extensive scientific research recognized at a certain level.   

To get the status of an "institute" an educational institution may provide training only for one profession and may undertake scientific activities at its own discretion. Yet despite all these differences, the law of the Russian Federation provides for no advantages or restrictions for the graduates of accredited institutes, academies or universities. 

What Do Degree and Draft Deferment Depend on?

Educational institutions (including private institutions) can be called accredited if they undergo the state accreditation in accordance with the established procedure.  Only accredited educational institutions have the right to issue state-recognized degree certificates allowing to work in state and state-financed organizations and to take a postgraduate course. Only students of institutions accredited by the state can be granted a deferment from the draft for the period of their study. 

Is a Private Institution of Higher Education Better or Worse than a State One?

In Russia there are different forms of educational institution ownership:  state (including municipal and those of the Federation constituent entities) and private (founded by legal entities or natural persons).  All accredited educational institutions irrespective of their form of ownership  have equal rights to issue state-recognized degree certificates and to grant draft deferments. 

How Not to Get Cheated?

The admission committee of an institution of higher education shall provide the applicant with the following: 

1.       Articles of the educational institution;

2.       License for educational activities with annexes;

3.       Certificate of state accreditation with annexes.

What is the License for?

The license is a state document allowing an institution of higher education (or its branch) to train specialists in the filed of higher vocational education. The license shall be issued by the Federal Education and Science Supervision Service. Both private and state institutions of higher education must have a license. This document is valid for 5 years. After the license has expired, the activity of the institution of higher education becomes illegal.  The license of an institution of higher education or branch shall have annexes. The annexes to the license shall contain all professions the institution or the branch is allowed to train specialists in. If the profession offered to applicants is not included in the annex, then the training for the profession is illegal.

 The license allows an educational institution to conduct educational activities. An educational institution cannot exist without a license. No reference to the license of another educational institution is permitted, including a reference of a branch to the license of the parent institution; branches must obtain their own licenses.

Guarantee of Your Rights

The Certificate of state accreditation signed by the Head of the Federal Education and Science Supervision Service confirms the state status of an "institute", "academy" and "university" and guarantees that you will get a state-recognized degree certificate if you successfully complete your studies. By issuing a certificate to an institution of higher education, the state has assumed responsibility for the quality of education in this institution. Institutions of higher education without state accreditation issue degree certificates of their own form. 

The Certificate of state accreditation shall have annexes. The annexes shall contain all professions with state-recognized degree certificates.  If the profession you have chosen is not included in the annexes to the certificate of accreditation, then the institution of higher education has no right to issue a state-recognized degree certificate for this profession. A branch of an institution of higher education needs no separate certificate of accreditation.  Pursuant to the law an accredited branch must be included in the annexes to the certificate of accreditation of the parent institution.

Institutions of Higher Education: No Name at Random

The state status of an "institute", "academy", "university" is given only after the state accreditation and must be indicated in the name of the institution of higher education. 

Public Accreditation of Educational Institutions

Besides state accreditation there is also public accreditation. It is the recognition of the educational institution or of its work by any public or professional organization, union or association.  The public accreditation plays a significant role in the reputation of an educational institution, but it cannot replace the state accreditation and does not imply any state guarantees.