Administration of Higher Education during the Soviet Regime:
Universities, higher schools or institutes impart higher education in Russia. The State Training schools meant for specialists are controlled by Commissariats of Education and all technical schools are controlled by the Committee for Higher Technical Education.
Before 1946, higher schools were controlled by that ministry in relation to which workers were to be prepared and trained.
But this system presented an administrative difficulty. Therefore, the general methodological guidance was given under the control of the Committee on High Education.
This committee was later changed into Ministry of Higher Education which was connected with the Ministry of Culture. For local administrative facility, an academic council consisting of professors is appointed. This committee looks after the appointment of teachers, teaching work and research.
The Current Prevailing System:
Method of Admission:
After passing secondary education all the citizens between 17 and 35 year of age may sit for an entrance examination if they want admission to some school or institute of higher education. The student of literary group give the entrance examination in Russian language, history, English and either German or French and geography.
For admission to higher technical schools mathematics, physics, chemistry, Russian language and literature and a foreign language are subjects for which candidates must take test. Examination is both written and oral. Students awarded silver and gold medals are exempted from this examination.
According to various subjects there are various departments, such as agriculture, military science, technology, fine arts and education. Special attention is paid to the teaching, social economic training and industrial practice. For these subjects, there are special universities.
Arrangement for Vocational Selection:
Before admission to a university the student has to choose a vocation and prepare himself for the same.
The rector is the chief administrative officer of a university. He has two assistants, one for educational programmes and another for financial and administrative affairs. For the various subjects there are deans of various faculties.
There is a learned council and a senate. A dean has four to nine faculties under him. Each professor has to teach and guide researches.
Curriculum and Duration of Higher Education:
The teachers and students have to work according to the prescribed curriculum and programme schedule. Laboratory work, general lectures, workshop practice, and seminars are the essential parts of the curriculum. Each teacher and the student is given a copy of the curriculum in the beginning of the session.
The Academic Session and Duration:
An academic session consists of two terms. The first term extends from September 1 to January 23. This is followed by a winter vacation of 2 weeks. The second term is from February 7 to July 1 followed by a summer vacation of two months.
There is an examination at the end of each term. After passing the examination the student may be admitted to the new course. If one is regular in the practical work, he is declared passed and is allowed to continue his education.
The duration of higher education is generally of four to six years. According to the nature of education, duration is determined. Generally, pedagogical and vocational institutions have four year course, higher technical schools have five year course and medical institutes have six year course.
Each student has to do practice work and has to acquaint himself with the nature of the job which he will be called upon to do later. Engineers, foremen and others have to do practical work in their respective areas.
Scholarships, Library and Correspondence Course:
The state provides scholarships to progressive students. Directors of Education decide about these scholarships. Students with an excellent academic record get regular stipends in addition to 25% additional grant for their other expenses.
Thus, a student is able to pursue his studies with single- minded devotion. A stipend may be between 500 rubles to 800 rubles. It is awarded on the basis of type of higher education and year of study.
Students with special abilities in studies and research works are awarded scholarships instituted after the names of great writers and scientists. The wards of invalid war-soldiers are given free education. Higher education fee is from 40 to 60 rubles per month. Physical education is a compulsory part of general education. Each student is given boarding and-medical facilities.
Libraries are free in Russia. They are full of books and study-materials. There are reference-books of all types. The library of Moscow University is of world fame.
Correspondence courses are prevalent in Russia for about the last 40 years. In 1992 there were about 100 correspondence courses institutions. Their admission rules, curriculum and examination systems are the same as for regular students. After examination, students taking correspondence course are awarded degrees like regular students. The government has accorded equal status to this educational system.