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ENIC UKRAINE
National Information Centre
of Academic Mobility

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ACCREDITATION AND LICENSING

The national quality assurance system is implemented through licensing and accreditation mechanisms.

Institutions of higher learning in Ukraine provide educational services on the basis of licenses. A license prerequisite is compliance with the standards set by the Ministry of Education and Science, Youth and Sports of Ukraine.

An institution of higher learning has the right to issue a state standard document confirming higher education only for the specialization field for which it has been accredited. A given specialization field is accredited to this educational institution if the level of training it provides in this specialization meets the state requirements.

The bodies authorized to control the quality of higher education in Ukraine are the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, State Accreditation Commission, State Inspectorate for Educational Institutions, and Higher Attestation Commission.

The licensed institutions of higher learning are entered into the state register of higher educational establishments.

Accreditation levels:

  • an institution of higher learning of the I (first) accreditation level is a higher educational establishment that trains students for the qualification degree of Junior Specialist. These institutions may also provide a complete general secondary education;
  • an institution of higher learning of the II (second) accreditation level is a higher educational establishment that trains students for the qualification degree of Junior Specialist and Bachelor. These institutions may also provide a complete general secondary education;
  • an institution of higher learning of the III (third) accreditation level is a higher educational establishment that trains students for the qualification degree of Bachelor, Specialist, and, in specific qualifications, of Master; 
  • an institution of higher learning of the IV (fourth) accreditation level is a higher educational establishment that trains students for the qualification degree of Bachelor, Specialist, and Master.

EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION SYSTEM

Bologna process. In 1999 in the city of Bologna, a declaration creating a single European educational space was signed, launching the initiative currently known as the Bologna Process. For a decade of its existence, the number of countries that have joined this process increased from 29 to 47. Ukraine joined the Bologna Process in 2005.

In 2004, Ukrainian institutions of higher learning started the transition to a new knowledge assessment system. In accordance with Order No 943 of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, dated October 16, 2009, the credit-transfer system is being introduced in Ukrainian institutions of higher learning along with its key concepts (“Student Application Form,” “Study Agreement,” “Practical Training and Quality Commitment Agreement,” “Academic Statement,” and “Supplement to the European-Standard Diploma”).

ECTS. The hours allocated for a subject must include hours of lectures, laboratory and other practicals and seminars, consultations, self-paced and individual work and control sessions. In the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, 60 credits correspond to one full academic year. Accordingly, one ECTS credit is equivalent to 1,800/60 = 30 hours, on the average, where 1,800 is the average number of academic hours and 60 – the number of credits equivalent to a full academic year. Credits are awarded on common terms for general subjects taught under junior specialist curricula on the basis of a basic general secondary education. The state final examinations are not subject to crediting, that is, the hours allocated for them are not included in the credit total.

The distribution of credits among subject cycles and setting a minimum number of credits for pre-requisite subjects (practicals, term and qualifying papers) are determined in the higher education industrial standard. An institution of higher learning has the discretion to set credits for optional subjects (practice works and term papers), and may also move part of the credits in the variable component of educational content to the credit pool of pre-requisite subjects (practicals, term and qualifying papers). It is the prerogative of an institution of higher learning to design the curricula components and set credits for optional subjects.

The maximum number of in-class hours per credit is 16 for students of the bachelor and junior specialist qualification degrees, 14 for specialists, and 10 for masters. The remaining time is for self-paced study.

The maximum weekly in-class load (including hours of the non-credited subject “Physical Education”) may not exceed 30 hours for students pursuing the bachelor and junior specialist qualification degrees, 24 hours for the specialist degree pursuers, and 18 hours for pursuers of masters’ degrees. Credit tests are usually held at the final seminar, laboratory or practical class.

Knowledge assessment. Before 2004, Ukrainian institutions of higher learning used the old (4-point) knowledge assessment scale. Starting from 2004, some institutions of higher learning (in some of their departments) began to use the ECTS accumulation scale in parallel with the 4-point scale as part of an experiment to introduce a credit module assessment system. Since the 2006/2007 academic year, the ECTS requirements have been implemented for first-year students in all institutions of higher learning, specifically:

  • academic achievements are measured in ECTS points;
  • the modules have been described in accordance with the ECTS requirements; and
  • examination results are evaluated on the ECTS scale (A–Fx).

Marks of the extended scale are awarded on the basis of the point accumulation scale of the institution of higher learning.

Accumulation scale interval Extended scale mark 5-point scale equivalent
90 and up Excellent 5
80-89 Very good 4.5
65-79 Good 4
55-64 Satisfactory 3.5
50-54 Sufficient 3
35-49 Insufficient 2
1-34 Failed 1

QUALIFICATION LEVELS

The structure of higher education includes educational levels (incomplete higher education, basic higher education, complete higher education) and qualifiaction levels (junior specialist, bachelor, specialist, and master).

Junior specialist. The standard schooling time under the junior specialist’s program on the basis of a complete general secondary education is 2–3 years, and on the basis of a basic general secondary education while at the same time obtaining a complete general secondary education it is 3–4 years. Graduates who successfully pass state examinations receive a junior specialist’s diploma that gives them the right to engage in professional activities and apply for enrollment in the bachelor’s degree program.

Bachelor. Bachelors are prepared on the basis of a complete general secondary education. The standard schooling time is usually 3–4 years or two-three years less if the study proceeds from the qualification level of a junior specialist in the same specialization area. Graduates who successfully pass state examinations receive a bachelor’s diploma that gives them the right to engage in professional activities and apply for enrollment in a specialist’s or master’s degree program.

Specialist. The standard schooling time under the specialist’s degree program on the basis of a bachelor’s qualification is 1–1.5 years; and schooling time for a medical or veterinary specialist’s degree ranges from 5 to 6 years on the basis of a complete general secondary education. Graduates who successfully pass state examinations and publicly defend their thesis receive a specialist’s diploma that gives them the right to engage in professional activities and apply for enrollment in a master’s degree program or in a post-graduate department.

Master. The master’s qualification can be obtained after the bachelor’s or specialist’s qualification. To obtain a master’s degree, the student normally needs to study for 1-2 years. Graduates need to pass state examinations, which includes public defense of their master’s thesis. Those who successfully pass state examinations receive a master’s diploma that gives them the right to engage in professional activities and apply for enrollment in the post-graduate department.

Academic Degrees

Candidate of Sciences is an academic degree that can be earned by the holder of a master’s or specialist’s qualification and, usually, studies at the post-graduate department of an institution of higher learning or a research establishment. An alternative way of obtaining this degree is bypassing the post-graduate department and studying under the guidance of a thesis supervisor who works at the educational institution. This approach was practiced in the Soviet Union for those who were not able to study at the post-graduate department. Earning the degree of Candidate of Sciences means the successful public defense of a relevant dissertation. The standard time of study in the post-graduate department is 3 years (daytime) or 4 years (extramural).

Doctor of Sciences is the highest academic degree available for holders of the degree of Candidate of Sciences who study under a doctoral program (or use an alternative way in their pursuit of this degree) at a higher educational institution or a research establishment. Earning the degree of Doctor of Sciences means conducting original research, obtaining significant innovative scientific results that promise practical application, publishing them in the scientific press and publicly and successfully defending a relevant dissertation. The time of study under the doctoral program on general terms does not exceed 3 years.

CLASSIFICATION OF EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

In terms of ownership form, institutions of higher learning in Ukraine may be state, communal, or private. Regardless of their ownership form, they have equal rights and provide an equation of the same quality. Ukrainian institutions of higher learning are classified by types as follows; universities, academies, institutes, conservatories (music academies), colleges, and technical schools.

University is a multidisciplinary institution of higher learning of the IV accreditation level that provides higher education within a broad range of humanities, economic, natural, and other studies, and is a leading research and methodology center. There may be classic and specialized universities.

A university is recognized as classic if it prepares specialists in at least eight areas of study, as well as doctors of philosophy and doctors of science in at least twelve research fields, including at least two liberal arts, economic, natural studies or technical specializations.

A specialized university is recognized as such if it prepares professionals in at least four areas of study, as well as doctors of philosophy and doctors of science in at least eight research fields, including at least six specialization areas (except for arts and higher military educational institutions (higher educational institutions with special study conditions).

Institute is an institution of higher learning of the III or IV accreditation levels or a structural unit of a university, which provides higher education in a specific area of study, education, culture, or manufacture.

Academy is an institution of higher learning of the IV accreditation level, which operates to provide a specific higher education, helping students to obtain a qualification in a specific area of science, industry, education, culture, and arts, engages in fundamental and applied research, being a leading research and methodology center in its specialization area, and has the relevant level of human and material resources.

An academy is recognized if it prepares specialists in two areas of education and doctors of philosophy and doctors of science in at least two research fields (except for arts and higher military educational institutions (higher educational institutions with special study conditions)).

Conservatory  is an institution of higher learning of the ІІІ or IV accreditation levels that provides a higher education in the field of culture and the arts.

College is an institution of higher learning of the ІІ accreditation level or a structural unit of an educational institution of the ІІІ or IV accreditation levels that provides a higher education in related areas or in several specialization fields.

A professional college is created if its daytime departments have at least five hundred people.

Technical school is an institution of higher learning of the І accreditation level or a structural unit of an educational institution of the ІІІ or IV accreditation levels that provides a higher education in several related specialization fields.

Universities, academies, institutes, and conservatories may train students under any type of academic program (junior specialist, bachelor, specialist, master, candidate of sciences), as well as under post-graduate programs. A university (academy) may be awarded with national status for excellence in research activities.

VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

Vocational education is a system of training qualified workers. Vocational education is a component of the educational system of Ukraine. It is a complex of teaching and organizational arrangements aimed at helping people to acquire knowledge, abilities, and skills in their chosen vocational areas.

Vocational education is acquired in vocational educational institutions under a day-time, evening (shift-based), intra-extra mural, distance learning, and external study arrangement, on the job and off the job, and under individual curricula. The pre-requisite for vocational education is a basic or complete secondary education.

Types of vocational educational institutions:

  • vocational educational institution of a specific specialization profile;
  • vocational school of social rehabilitation;
  • higher vocational school;
  • vocational lyceum;
  • vocational lyceum of a specific specialization profile;
  • vocational school of arts;
  • vocational and technical school of arts;
  • higher vocational and technical school of arts;
  • school-agro-industrial firm;
  • higher school-agro-industrial firm;
  • school-factory;
  • vocational and technical education center;
  • vocational education center;
  • production training center;
  • training and re-training center for workers;
  • vocational training facility;
  • training center and others.

The academic year in vocational educational institutions may not exceed 40 academic weeks. During the term of study, students are required to pass current, subject-oriented, intermediate, and exit knowledge quality control. The exit knowledge quality control takes place at the end of the study cycle and envisages qualification examinations that include:

  • trial qualification work meeting specific vocational qualification requirements for graduates of a vocational educational institution of the appropriate accreditation level; and
  • the need to defend a graduation work or project, or an equivalent creative work.

Vocational education has different stages. Such stages are reflected in respective qualification levels, specialization complexity levels, and educational levels. Each stage of study in a vocational educational institution has its theoretical and practical completion and confirmed by awarding the graduates (students) the qualification degrees of Qualified Worker and Junior Specialist in accordance with their acquired professional knowledge, abilities, and skills.

A graduate of a vocational educational institution who successfully passes the qualification examinations is awarded the qualification degree of Qualified Worker of the appropriate category in the selected specialization field.

A graduate who completed a course of study in an accredited higher vocational school or vocational center of a specific accreditation level may be awarded the qualification degree of Junior Specialist.