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Educational System in Russia

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Russia has a long-standing tradition in high-quality education for all citizens. It probably has one of the best mass-education systems in the world, producing a literacy rate of 98% (higher than most Western European countries).

In 2014 the Pearson Intelligence Unit rated Russia's education as the 8th-best in Europe and the 13th-best in the world.

 Russia's educational attainment was rated as the 21st-highest in the world, and the students' cognitive skills as the 9th-highest.


Starting from the 1st century Russian princes were opening colleges at their courts which were the prototype of fist schools in Russia.

Some educational aspects were adopted from Western countries, especially from Greece.

During the ruling of one of the greatest tsars of Russia- Peter the Great, the first university which was called a Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy was opened. (1687)

After that meaningful event other branches of educational system in the Russian Empire were modified and refined.

By the year 1918 Russia was the first country in the world to make higher education free and by that time already Russia has total of 42 Nobel Prize winners.

The number of universities which operate in the country is one of the main indicates of an overall success of an educational system. On this slide you can see the development tendency of higher education  establishments (1899- 56 universities; 1917- 150 universities; 1981- 494 universities; 2016- 896 universities).

Talking about the current situation, this year 28 universities take more than 140 positions in QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings by subject and faculty and 27 Russian universities can be found among the world’s best in Times Higher Education Rankings.


Russian educational system consists of 4 core levels:

Pre-school education (kindergartens from 2 months till the age of 7) when children are taught basic skills so that by the age of 7 they have developed hand motor skills and are able to read, to solve simple issues.

General education (6-7 to 17-18) is obligatory. The Constitution of the Russian Federation guarantees accessibility and free basic General education in state or municipal educational institutions to every child.

Higher education is provided by public and non-public accredited higher education institutions and is aimed to bring up a population of highly qualified personnel in all major areas of socially useful activities. Russian citizens are guaranteed the right to free higher education on a competitive basis.

Supplementary education is a type of education aimed at satisfaction of educational needs of a person in intellectual, spiritual, moral, physical and professional development. This stage of education includes sports, art and music schools. This level of education is optional.

General education

Today I would like to take a closer look at general education stage in Russia. In total, general education takes 11 years to complete and comprises three stages:

primary education, which lasts for 4 years (7-11 years);

basic general education lasting for 5 years (12-17 years);

secondary education which lasts for 2 years (17-18 years).

The academic year lasts from Sept 1 to May. It is comprised of 4 terms with vacations in between; 1 week in November, 2 weeks in January, 1 week in March and long summer vacations from July 1st to Aug 31. The exams take place in June.

The school day normally starts at 8-30 a.m. and finishes at 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Students generally attend class 6 days a week.

A typical lasts 45 minutes with a 15 minute break in between. In primary school students have 4 classes a day. This increases 6 or 7 at a high school.

A normal class consists of 20-30 students. In primary school, pupils have one teacher for all the subjects taught.

Students are normally graded on a scale from 2 - 5, with 5 being the top grade. Each student has his or her “diary”; a personal book of academic achievements in which teachers record the given grades.


Is the first stage of General education for children which covers 1-4 school years. Getting primary education, children acquire the first knowledge about the world, skills in communication and solving applied problems.

The following subjects are compulsory in primary schools at the Federal level: The Russian language, literary reading, the English language, Mathematics, Science, Fine art, Music, Physical education, Basics of religious cultures.


The next educational stage is basic general education which covers grades 5 to 9. It is compulsory and accessible for every student. BGE is aimed at the formation of moral beliefs, aesthetic taste and healthy lifestyle, high culture of communication, mastering the basics of science, Russian language, skills of mental and physical labor, the development of aptitudes, interests, the ability to social self-determination

After completing primary and basic general education, the students participate in final examinations. They are awarded a Certificate of Basic General Education, which entitles the student to be admitted to secondary general education.


Students that have successfully completed final exams at a previous stage progress to secondary school which covers grades 10 and 11 of school.

The main purpose of final educational level is to prepare graduates for passing the State examinations, after which they will be awarded a Certificate of Secondary General Education. This school leaving certificate will allow students to continue to higher education. State examinations usually include 2 compulsory subjects which are the Russian language and Mathematics (either basic or advanced) and a number of additional subjects which vary according to the student’s choice of a university, qualification and a course.


So far the final examination result is to be the only indicator of students’ scholastic progress which determines



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