The national government provides school education although regional authorities may add a local flavor. Following one or more years in kindergarten where they learn to read and write, children enroll at primary school already literate, where they complete 4 grades.
After primary school, pupils upgrade to secondary school to study grades 5 to 9. There they complete a basic education in a wide range of subjects intended to provide a good start in life, regardless of their choice of eventual career.
If they wish to study further by choice, students may move on to secondary general education for a further 3 years, in order to perhaps qualify for university admission or follow the vocational stream.
Vocational training colleges offer career-specific education in a particular trade or semi-professional career. The knowledge students gain is procedural as opposed to academic, and prepares them for jobs as diverse as motor mechanics, computer technicians and nurses.
The basic bakalavr’s degree requires 4 years of full-time study. Having achieved this, students have the choice of taking jobs, or studying longer for magister’s degrees.
Russian higher education began with the establishment of the Universities of Moscow and St Petersburg (illustrated opposite) in the mid-18th Century. Today more than half of all Russians have a higher education qualification. Doctor of Science academic degree is a highest degree awarded after the public defense of a dissertation considering publications on research work in scientific magazines. It does not always have an equivalent in other countries.