Higher education System


Higher education in Ukraine refers to the entire system of education beyond secondary school level. This includes first level technical and vocational schools, second level technical and vocational colleges, and academies and universities, which are considered the third and fourth level. In this write up, we will focus on university education, so the term "higher education in Ukraine" will mean university education.

Higher education in Ukraine starts with the successful completion of the secondary education and passing the university entrance examination. It is coordinated and supervised by the Ministry of Education and Sciences Ukraine. Degrees awarded on successful completion include Bachelors degree, Masters Degree and Doctorate. Although there are some other degrees awarded in between, the afore mentioned three are the strategic ones.

The minimum course duration that is required to obtain a university degree is four academic years for a bachelor’s degree program. Medical courses require longer duration, up to six years. M.Sc. and PhD. programs require additional time, from one year to five years or more, depending on the program, the course, degree pursued and student's commitment.

Teaching language is either of the following: - the teaching at universities is performed in one of the following languages:

Ukrainian Language (national language)

Russian Language

English Language (optional mainly for foreign students)

Ukrainian citizens study in their national language, while foreign students have a choice of either the native language or English. This is subject to the availability of the program in English. Foreign students that opt to study in Ukrainian or Russian language undergo a one year preparatory language course, during which they take language and preparatory courses related to their future discipline. On graduation, they receive an additional certificate of proficiency for the language, which compensates for the additional year. A student studying in English language skips this preparatory stage, but studies the language as an independent course in the course of their academic program.

An academic year runs from 1st of September to 31st of June. This period is divided into two semesters with a brief - two weeks winter break in January, and a long vacation from 1st of July to 31st of August. For foreign students arriving Ukraine for the first time, their academic resumption date is dependent on the chosen language of study. If the student will be studying in English language, then it is inevitable that the student arrives early enough to be ready for academic activities come September 1st. However, students that will have to go through the language learning program are allowed to arrive a bit later, to start language classes.

Keep in mind: If you miss some of the classes you will have to compensate with extra classes.

Bachelor`s Degree in Ukraine includes 4 academic years (3 years and 10 months) and equals 247 credits; Master`s Degree is 2 academic years (1 year and 10 months) and equals 120 credits; PhD and DSc programs last 3 academic years. Preparatory School lasts 1 academic year (10 months).Each academic week is equal to 54 academic hours or 1.5 credits correspondently.

Foreign students must follow the same regulations and guidelines that govern higher education in Ukraine. The only additional condition is that foreign students are expected to legalize their certificates with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on graduation. This confirms that the certificate was actually issued from a bonafide and accredited Ukrainian university. Failure to do this might put the certificate under additional scrutiny, and in some cases, rejected or invalidated when tendered.

Ukraine has a teeming population of students undergoing – obtaining - higher education, in different fields and specialization. Among this population is a growing community of international students, arriving to Ukraine annually for educational purposes. Higher education system in Ukraine accommodates foreign student’s integration, with the award of certificates of international recognition, on graduation. The certificates are further legalized in the Ministry of Foreign affairs, for validation. If the student’s home country maintains a diplomatic mission in Ukraine, they also append a consular stamp to the certificate and the result sheet, for further authentication.

Unlike many other European countries higher education in Ukraine is comparatively inexpensive. As a young sovereign nation, Ukraine is socially stable, with warm hospitality to foreigners.



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