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ENIC UKRAINE
National Information Centre
of Academic Mobility

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ACCREDITATION AND LICENSING

The current structure of quality assurance in higher education in Ukraine includes the following:

  • Licensing of educational activities

Licensing of educational activities of higher education institutions is mandatory.

Licensing is done by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and issued with no expiration date.

Before 2021, licensing of each specialty of a certain level of higher education in higher education institutions was mandatory.

Since 2021, licensing of educational activities of higher education institutions at a certain level of higher education has being introduced. Additionally licensing of educational programs is mandatory for programs that lead to professional qualifications in professions for which additional regulation is required (List of specialties leading to professional qualifications in professions for which additional regulation is required).

Licensing of higher education institutions of foreign countries or their separate branches/campuses that operate on the territory of Ukraine is also mandatory.

  • Accreditation of educational programs

Accreditation of educational programs in Ukraine is mandatory. Accreditation certificates were issued by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (based on the decision of the Accreditation Commission), and since 2019 by the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education.

Accreditation of educational programs in Ukraine can also be confirmed by an accreditation certificate issued by a recognized independent or foreign accreditation agency for quality assurance in higher education (List of foreign accreditation and quality assurance in higher education agencies, certificates of which are recognized in Ukraine).

Higher education institutions develop educational programs within licensed specialties or (after 2021) at a certain licensed level of higher education in accordance with the Higher Education Standards approved by the Ministry of Education and Science. Within one specialty at one level of higher education it could be two or more accredited educational programs. The number of such educational programs and their names are determined by higher education institutions. Educational programs within a certain specialty provide for the assignment of various professional qualifications in accordance with the specialization and learning outcomes (competencies) which should be mastered by students of the relevant educational program.

The Higher Education Standards describe the requirements for higher education programs at a certain higher education level and specialty, and are used to assess the quality of higher education system. The Higher Education Standards are approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, and developed in accordance with the National Qualifications` Framework. The standards define the following requirements for educational programs: the ECTS credit load; admission requirements; list of mandatory competencies of graduates; normative program content in terms of learning outcomes; forms of final attestation/examination; requirements for the creation of educational programs and the requirements of professional standards (if applicable).

For the first time, educational programs are accredited by the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education for a period of five years, and the subsequent accreditations are done for 10 year periods.

The higher education institutions have the right to issue diplomas of the established template for the accredited educational programs.

  • Accreditation of higher education institutions by levels (I-IV) was cancelled (in 2014).

  • The Law "On Higher Education" from 2017 provides the possibility of institutional accreditation for higher education institutions.

Institutional accreditation is not mandatory and is carried out by the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education. The institutional accreditation certificate is issued for a 5 year period and gives right to higher education institutions to self-accredit educational programs, except for those programs that should be accredited for the first time. For the first time the accreditation of educational programs should be carried out by the National Agency for Quality Assurance of Higher Education. As of 2021, the self-accreditation mechanism is under development and implementation.

Information on licensing and accreditation is added to the Unified State Electronic Database on Education: https://info.edbo.gov.ua/ and is available in the «Реєстр суб’єктів освітньої діяльності» (Registry of educational activity entities).

Read more in Information on the licensing and accreditation procedure in the system of higher education of Ukraine.

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

HIGHER EDUCATION LEVELS AND DEGREES

With the adoption of the Law of Ukraine «On Higher Education» in 2014, there were changes in the structure of educational levels and degrees of higher education. The main changes were related to the degrees of Junior Specialist, Specialist and Сandidate of Sciences, which were replaced by the degrees of Junior Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor of Art. These changes were implemented gradually. So the last admission to the Junior Specialist programs took place in 2019, to the Specialist programs - in 2016, to the Candidate of Sciences programs - in 2015.

The structure of modern system of higher education includes the following higher education levels:

  • initial level (short cycle) of higher education
  • first (bachelor's) level
  • second (master's) level
  • third (educational-scientific/educational-artistic) level.

Obtaining higher education at each level implies successful completion of higher education program, which is the basis for awarding the appropriate higher education degree:

  • Junior Bachelor
  • Bachelor
  • Master
  • Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor of Art.

Junior Bachelor`s degree is an educational or professional degree obtained at the initial level (short cycle) of higher education and awarded by a higher education institution after successful completion of higher education program of 120 ECTS credits. If the junior bachelor degree is obtained on the basis of professional prehigher education, a higher education institution has the right to recognize and transfer ECTS credits, the maximum amount of which is determined by the standard of higher education.

A person has the right to apply for the junior bachelor's degree programs provided that he/she has complete general secondary education.

Bachelor's degree is an educational degree obtained at the first level of higher education and awarded by a higher education institution after successful completion of an educational-professional program of 180-240 ECTS credits. If the bachelor's degree is obtained on the basis of junior bachelor degree or professional junior bachelor degree, a higher education institution has the right to recognize and transfer the ECTS credits, the maximum amount of which is determined by the standard of higher education.

A person has the right to apply to the bachelor degree programs provided that he/she has complete general secondary education.

Master's degree is an educational degree obtained at the second level of higher education and awarded by a higher education institution (scientific institution) after successful completion of the relevant educational-professional or educational-scientific program. The volume of the educational-professional master's program is 90-120 ECTS credits, the volume of the educational-scientific program is 120 ECTS credits. The master's educational-scientific program shall include a research (scientific) component of at least 30 percent.

A person has the right to apply to the master's degree programs provided he/she has a bachelor's degree.

The master's degree in medicine, pharmacy or veterinary specialization is obtained on the basis of complete general secondary education, junior bachelor degree, professional junior bachelor, or junior specialist in the relevant specialty. If the master's degree in medicine, pharmacy or veterinary specialization is obtained on the basis of complete general secondary education, the volume of the program should be 300-360 ECTS credits. In cases when the master's degree in medicine, pharmacy or veterinary specialization is obtained on the basis of junior bachelor or professional junior bachelor, a higher education institution can recognize and transfer ECTS credits, the maximum amount of which is determined by the higher education standard.

Doctor of Philosophy Philosophy is an educational and at the same time scientific degree obtained at the third level of higher education on the basis of master's degree. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is awarded by a specialized scientific council of a higher education institution or scientific institution based on the results of successful completion of the relevant educational-scientific program (four years) and public defense of dissertation. The volume of the educational component of the educational-scientific program of the Doctor of Philosophy is 30-60 ECTS credits.

Doctor of Art is an educational and creative degree obtained at the third level of higher education on the basis of master's degree. The degree of Doctor of Art is awarded by a specialized higher education institution’s council in the field of art after successful implementation of the relevant educational program (three years) and public defense of the art project. The volume of the educational component of the educational and creative program of Doctor of Art is 30-60 ECTS credits.

"The system of higher education levels and degrees before 2014 and during the transition period"

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.