Russians have always shown a great concern for education. The right to education is stated in the constitution of the Russia Federation. It's ensured by compulsory secondary schools, vocational schools and higher education establishment. It is also ensured by the development of extramural and evening courses and the system of state scholarship and grants.
Education in Russia is compulsory up to the 9th form inclusive. The stages of compulsory schooling in Russia are: primary education for ages 6-7 to 9-10 inclusive; and senior school for ages 10-11 to 12-13 inclusive, and senior school for ages 13-14 to 14-15 inclusive. If a pupil of secondary school wishes to go on in higher education, he or she must stay at school for two more years. Primary and secondary school together comprise 11 years of study. Every school has a "core curriculum" of academic subjects.
After finishing the 9th form one can go on to a vocational school which offer programmes of academic subjects and a programme of training in a technical field, or a profession.
After finishing the 11th form of a secondary school, a lyceum or a gymnasium one can go into higher education. All applicants must take competitive exam. Higher education institution, that is institutes or universities, offer a 5-years programme of academic subjects for undergraduates in a variety of fields, as well as a graduate course and writes a thesis, he or she receives a candidates degree or a doctoral degree.
Higher educational establishments are headed by Rectors. Protectors are in charge of academic and scientific work. An institute or a university has a number of faculties, each specializing councils which confer candidate and doctoral degrees.
The system of higher and secondary education in Russia is going trough a transitional period. The main objectives of the reforms are: to decentralize the higher education system, to develop a new financial mechanism, to give more academic freedom to faculties and students. All secondary schools, institutes and universities until recently have been funded by the state. Now there is quite a number of private fee-paying primary and secondary schools, some universities have fee-paying departments.
Collected and edited by Michael Terletski