Wednesday, June 22, 2016

University Life

Russian and American school systems have many similarities, but they also have stark contrasts. An example of their similarities would be that both are greatly affected by politics and political agendas. In Russia, the Federal Law on Education of 2013 completely revamped the Russian educational system and educational standards of the Russian Federation. In this law, everyone played a part in education, including the role of parents in education outside the classroom.
This law also began to treat education as a service to be bought and sold, further capitalizing the Russian Federation. That being said, America has been treating education as a service and commodity for a very long time. Just look at the price of college tuition! However, unlike in America, Russia assists their students in paying for this education by giving out scholarships based on merit rather than finances. In America, government funds for education can be found in the form of loans and, on glorious rare occasions, grants. These are based on income rather than the work a student does. In Russia however, the system of scholarship is based on the marks a student gets. The highest marks (5) get scholarship to pay for their tuition, 4s get a smaller scholarship, and 3's or lower don't get scholarships. This method will incentivize learning and good grades rather than partying and paying off the debt later.
Our classroom at Petrozavodsk State University
In addition to this difference, credits are allotted in different ways. Credits in Russia are counted by both in class and out of class work. Only half of one's credits can be in class (~18 hours per credit) the other half account for the time a student puts in outside of the classroom. In America, one credit counts for ~15 hours of work in class and that's it. Russia also has a difficult time counting study abroad programs into their system because they must take a certain number of hours in class and the Russian credit has more hours per credit than many other countries. This makes it difficult for Russia to recognize some degrees or coursework.
The coursework is also allotted differently between the two countries. In America, a student is given the freedom to choose their classes, number of credits, and the times of your classes. An American university student rarely has the same classmates in every class and most of the time, their classes aren't in the same building. In Russia however, a student's schedule is fixed according to their major. Odd semesters have class from 8am until 3pm with a 15 minute break at 9:30 and a half hour break at 1. Even semesters have classes from 11:30am until 6:30pm.
There are several other differences such as vocational studies beginning at the 10th grade level, the affect of mandatory military service for men, and others; but for the most part the systems are structurally similar. Roughly 82% of Russians go to university, similar to America's roughly 84% that gets at least some college education (though only about 34% of Americans get a bachelor's degree). There are also Unified State Exams in Russia that are very similar to the ACT in America (although the ACT isn't required by law). These exams determine what you will be able to do in terms of university studies and vocational work.
Through everything, the end goal and end result is still the same: gaining knowledge through government institutions with the hopes of enjoying a brighter future.
By Kristalena Herman


  1. I would never go to Russia on a study tour. I'd rather go to any country in Europe.

  2. nice information shared. refer this one also Study at Ukraine.