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EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IN RUSSIA
The educational system in Russia and in the countries of the former USSR has been changing for the past decade considerably, shaping itself more and more in line with the established standards of the world's leading educational criteria. A multi-level system of higher education has been introduced. Nevertheless, the system of studies in the university still remains to be quite different from those existing in most European and other countries, and this fact should be borne in mind by anyone wishing to take university studies in Russia.
Any independent international student who wants to receive a degree from Herzen University has to complete a rather fixed set of courses with much less freedom of choice of subjects that exists in other universities abroad. In other words, an international student needs to follow a course of studies very similar to that of the home students studying for the same degree. Such a mode presumes a sufficient knowledge of Russian as the basic language of instruction in most courses. That is why completing of a 10-month course aimed specially at preparation for studying in the Russian universities is a must for such students. However, this course can be skipped, if the student succeeds in passing the essential language skills test.
An international student wishing to take courses in Herzen as a part of his/her degree from another university needs to co-ordinate carefully the study curricula in both institutions. Co-ordination of study plans between different universities may take time and mostly done on the individual basis. This process is simplified, if the student comes to Herzen within bilateral exchange agreements. Currently the University runs different types of programmes for international students, such as double-degree programmes (receiving 2 diplomas from both home and Herzen universities), correspondence courses, summer educational and cultural programmes, which enhance opportunities for getting education at Herzen for degree and non-degree students.
Still, if you want to come to Herzen as an independent international student, you should make proper inquiries well in advance to get placement. Since the educational systems in universities can differ significantly, and there is not any officially adopted scale of converting grades and academic progress between Russia and other countries yet (the one like ECTS — the European Credit Transfer System), it should be understood that the problem of transferability of credits for university studies abroad, so that they might count for a final qualification in the home country, may take time to be solved.