The Structure of higher education system in Ukraine

The structure of higher education system in Ukraine is based on the education systems of the developed nations of the world in accordance with recommendations from the UNESCO, UN and other international organizations.

Higher education is an integral part of the Ukrainian education system as laid down in the Law of Ukraine “On Education”. The four-level system provides thorough academic, professional and practical training with the following degrees: Junior Specialist, Bachelor, Specialist, Master.

Higher education can be obtained in higher education establishments of a certain level of accreditation. The applicants must have either basic general secondary education, complete secondary education, or hold degrees of the Junior Specialist or Bachelor, as well as of the Specialist or Master if they apply for a postgraduate degree.

The students can take either the full-time courses (day), part-time courses (evening classes, distance learning), or take a combination of these. Sometimes they can do an external course.

Admission to higher education establishments is selective and depends on the applicants’ ability; it does not depend on the ownership type of the education establishment or the sources of  money to pay tuition fees.

According to their status, all education establishments fall into four categories:

According to their status, all education establishments fall into four categories:

First level – the technical school, vocational school, or other schools of the same level;

Second level – the college, or other establishments of the same level;

Third and fourth levels (according to their accreditation) – the institute, conservatoire, academy, university.

The higher education establishments can award degrees:

Junior Specialist (technical schools, vocational schools, and other education establishments of the first accreditation level);

Bachelor (colleges and other education establishments of the second accreditation level);

Specialist, Master (education establishments of the third and fourth accreditation levels)

The multi-layer structure of the higher education system means that on completion of education on a given level, students obtain a corresponding degree and can move up from level to level.

According to the structure of the higher education system, the first level leads to Junior Specialist Diploma, the second level to Bachelor’s Degree (basic higher education), the third to Specialist, Master’s Degree (complete higher education).

Accredited education establishments provide instruction according to their accreditation level. However, the higher the  accreditation level of an education establishment is, the more options it can offer its students, who can graduate it with a diploma or degree of any chosen level.

Types of higher education establishment

Types of higher educational establishment of the  1st – 4 st accreditation levels
(at the start of 2012/2013 academic year)

This work has acquired new dimensions after Ukraine joined other member countries of the Bologna process. A new set of requirements for obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree has been adapted to meet European standards. Another important objective is to revise syllabuses and qualification requirements.

In the academic year 2014/2015 there are 766 education establishments of all accreditation levels and ownership types, with 175 universities, 54 academies, 66 institutes, 1 conservatoire, 243colleges, 109 technical schools and 118 vocational schools.

In 2014/2015 academic year there are 1,676,000 students of the I-IV accreditation levels, including over  70 thousands of thousand foreign students from 145 countries.

In academic year 2014/2015, 1438 thousand people are educated in education establishments of the 3st - 4th accreditation level and  251,3 thousand people are educated in education establishments of the 1st - 2th accreditation level.

State education standards set qualification requirements in Ukraine. The state education standard is a collection of regulations that define requirements for qualification and degree levels.

State education standards are set for every education level and degree.

Education management

Education management is carried out by state and public self-governing bodies. State higher education management bodies include: Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine;

Central executive bodies that are in charge of higher education establishments;

Supreme attestation commission of Ukraine;

State accreditation commission; Ministry of Education and Science is the central executive body that supervises education. Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine

participates in defining government policy in matters of education, science, and professional training;

develops education improvement programmers and standards, leases with education establishments and state bodies of other countries in matters within its competence;

accredits higher, professional and technical education establishments, licenses and certifies them,

attests teachers and academics and confers them qualification categories, pedagogical and academic degrees; Supreme attestation commission of Ukraine attests teachers and academics, supervises degree awards, and confers the honorary title of Senior Scientist. Ministry of Education and Science works with other ministries which have education establishments and taking account of the results of attestations

controls the education standards and grants the right to issue certified diplomas;

determines the accreditation level of an education establishment;

informs the public on the quality of education and research at education establishments. Education self-governing bodies are

Ukrainian conference of educators;

General staff meeting at an education establishment;

Regional or district conference of educators;

Conference of educators of Autonomous Republic of the Crimea.

The education self-governing bodies submit their proposals for regulation of the government’s education policy.