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|Ukraine - Education System|
The Educational system of Ukraine is continuously changing due to the requirements of the period of transition in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Though this article is a description of the traditional Ukrainian education, it also includes some information on the most recent changes in it. These changes affected not only a number of educational institutions in Ukraine, their affiliations and forms of property, but also the type of activities that they provide students with and curriculum.
During the Soviet period, Ukraine had only state-supported institutions, and none with religious affiliations. All educational institutions, including pre-school and higher educational institutions were required to be licensed by th e Ministry of Education to be eligible to conduct specific activities and award Diplomas, Certificats or other documents upon completion of study. The Ministry of education remains the only accrediting body of educational in stitutions in Ukraine, though the accreditation criterias have been recently changed .
PRE-SCHOOL, ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
Elementary and secondary education in Ukraine comprises pre-school through grade XI. Components of these levels of education are:
pre-school programs which are attended by two-third of all ukrainian children. Children aged 6 month to 3 years, enroll in nursery school (dityachy yasly). Children, aged 3 to 6 years enroll in kindergarten (dityachiy sad).
Elementary education (a translation of "pochatkova osvita" or "beginning education") comprises the first four years of formal education. The elementary grades provide functional skills in reading, writing, arithmetic, speech, hygiene, and social behavior. Legislated goals also include physical training, introduction to art, music and environmental issues.
Lower secondary (middle) school comprises grades Y - IX. Subject-based teaching is employed in these grades. Lower secondary school marks the end of compulsory schooling (grade IX). The graduate receives an Attestat of Incomplete Secondary Education which is required for entry by every type of secondary education institution.
UPPER SECONDARY EDUCATION
Three types of institutions offer the upper secondary school curriculum for grades X-XI: the general academic schools; the secondary vocational-technical schools and the specialised secondary school. The core curriculum is similar in all three, and the exit diploma from each confers similar rights to university access
VOCATIONAL-TECHNICAL/SECONDARY VOCATIONAL-TECHNICAL SCHOOL
The vocational-technical and the secondary vocational-technical school designed to give lower secondary school graduates skills for entry into the job market. Graduates receive a Diploma of Completion of Vocational- Technical School. Those who obtain this diploma "with distinction" have the option of direct entry into an institution of higher education as first year students. However, most graduates must work for two years to become eligible to apply for admission to a university, polytechnic or institute.
Technical Lyceum offers full-time (12 - to 18-month) courses for graduates of 11-year to complete secondary education in specific skills or trades (restaurants or tourist trades, etc.). Technical programs are intended to be terminal ocational programs and do not lead to advanced standing in any type of institutions.
SPECIALISED AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION:
"TEKHNICUM" AND "UCHILISHCHE"
There are two types of specialised secondary educational institutions:
Admission to these institutions is based on entrance examinations which tests the general and mathematics knowledge. Upon completion of tekhnicum or uchilishche the graduate is awarded the diploma of completion of Specialised Secondary Education by the Qualification Commission. This diploma marks the completion both secondary education and a specialised course of study in the field undertaken at the tekhnicum or uchilishche. Since 1989 many institutions of specialised and technical education have been transformed into colleges with the main goal to create institutions capable of educating highly trained professionals.
Entry into a college is similar to entry into tekhnicum. Entrance exams determine eligibility. Students enter a three-year-and-10-month program for graduates of IX grade (with the incomplete secondary education), or two-year-and-10-month program for graduates of complete secondary school. Educational programs in college lead to Diploma of Completion of College.
TYPES OF INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION:
Admission requirements are still largely set by the Ministry of Education of Ukraine.
UNIVERSITIES, POLYTECHNICS INSTITUTES, SPECIALISED INSTITUTES AND ACADEMIES, PEDAGOGICAL INSTITUTES.
Regardless of the type of secondary training completed, ukrainian student has the right to continue education at a postsecondary institution. Applications are accepted from citizens of both sexes who meet the following requirements:
Even though the secondary school record is taken into consideration, top scores on the entrance examination are weighted heavily in the admission process. Higher education in Ukraine for citizens of ukrainian origin was free till 1991. Since 1991 many institutions have changed this rule and now students must pay for their education. Almost all students get financial aid from their institutions (stipend) but it cannot cover all living expenses. During the Soviet period of history, Ukraine had standartized Educational programs in institutions of higher education usually that usually lasted five years. Engineering and Medical Institutes were exception due to the lenght of educational programs: it was (and still remains) 6-year program for Medical Institutes, and 5,5 to 6 year programs in Polytechnics. Despite these differences all students traditionally received Diploma of Higher Education.
The majority of changes appeared in polytechnics after 1992, and since that time many full-time programs can lead toward the bachelor's degree after 4 years of formal education, and to Master's Degree after completetion of 6 years of formal education. After the graduation students receive Diploma of Higher Education
ADVANCED DEGREES AND RESEARCH
The candidate of sciences (kandidat nauk) is the first advanced academic degree in Ukraine. Admission to the kandidat nauk follows the completion of the first tertiary-level degree (diploma) with an overall grade of "excellent" or "good" and the passing of qualifying examinations in the field of specialization. The kandidat nauk is granted after at least a three year period (aspirantura) of guided research and completion and public defence of a thesis (dissertatsiya).The recipient of the kandidat degree is granted the title of specialist-researcher.
The doctor of sciences (doktor nauk) degree is awarded by the Highest Qualification Attestation Commission in conjunction with a professional council of experts in the field of specialisation. The doctor of sciences , the highest academic degree awarded in Ukraine parallels the requirements of published research for faculty promotion in the United States. To be eligible for the doktor nauk degree, a candidate must be under 40 years of age. To be awarded the degree the completion of a major dissertation that includes results of fundamental scientific or applied significance is required. The content of the dissertation must be based on original research. In addition 10 to 20 published scientific papers are required. After publication of the dissertation, the work is submitted to an academic council which is composed of representatives of Highest Qualification Attestation Commission and specialists in the field . A secret ballot by peers determines whether the doktor nauk is awarded. Results must be approved by Highest Qualification Attestation Commission. In cases where quality of the research and dissertation is high, a doktor nauk degree may be awarded immediately following the kandidat nauk.