Types of Higher Education Institutions in Russia

There are two types of higher education establishments in the Russian Federation:
  • Non-university level higher education where the educational programmes does not leading to academic degrees
  • University level higher education where educational programmes lead to academic degrees

Non-University Level Higher Education

Non-University Level Higher Education consists of Tekhnikums or Uchilishcha and Colleges. 
  • Tehnikum : provides courses of study in technology and business-related.
  • Uchilishche : provide education and training for profession in services, health, teaching- pre-school or primary and the arts. Most of the programmes at a tehnikum or an uchilishche are ‘basic’ level. On successful completion of their prorgammes, students are awarded the Diploma of Higher Vocational Education and a professional title.
  • Colleges can be independent educational institutions or constituent parts of a university, academy, or institute. They provide educational programmes of non-university level higher education and a two-year programmes leading to the award of the Intermediate Diploma. Admissions in the College are competitive, and applicants have to pass admission tests in the form of entrance examinations, interviews, and so on in order to gain admittance to the College. The list of admission tests is determined by the educational establishments themselves. The primary requirement for admission is the completion of secondary general education. 

Duration of Studies

Tekhnikum (Uchilishche): The duration of the course of study is 2 to 3 years after secondary general education (grade 11); and no less than 3 years after basic general education (grade 9).

College: The duration of the course of study is 3.5 to 4 years after secondary (complete) general education (grade 11); and 4 to 4.5 years after basic general education (grade 9).

Educational Programs

  • Educational programs for a Tekhnikum (Uchilishche) cover the humanities, the social and the natural sciences, including economics and mathematics, general professional and specialized disciplines, as well as practical training.
  • Educational programmes for Colleges, along with the educational programs for Tekhnikums (Uchilishcha), comprises of a one-year programme covering theoretical education and professional training, including more in-depth practical training.
Students are awarded the corresponding diploma after the successful completion of the course and passing the State final exams. The Diploma supplement contains the list of subjects taught during the period of studies and the grades earned. The diplomas of non-university level higher education entitle their holders either to pursue professional activities or to be admitted to university level higher education. 

 University Level Higher Education

University Level Higher Education comprises of Universities, Academy and Institutes. As per the Standard law for University Level Higher Education Establishments adopted by the Government of the Russian Federation on June 26, 1993 and based on the Law On Education.

Higher Education in Russia comprises of the following establishments:


Universities are higher education institutions aimed at the expansion of education, science, and culture by carrying out fundamental and applied research and offering training programmes at all levels of higher education- graduate and postgraduate, and continuing education in a broad range of natural and social sciences and the arts. Universities are split into:
  • Humanities and Sciences Universities
  • Pedagogical Universities 
  • Medical Universities 
  • Agricultural Universities 
  • Technical Universities 


Academies are higher education institutions that offer training programs in various disciplines of science, technology, law or economics, and at all levels of higher education. Academies are developed for the advancement of education, science, and culture by conducting of fundamental and applied research.


An Institute is an independent higher education institution or parts of universities or academies which conducts research and provides educational programs at all levels of higher education-bachelor and postgraduate, as well as continuing education in several areas of humanities, science, technology, and culture. An Institute comprises of:
  • Universities - Offer a broad range of disciplines especially in the humanities and the sciences
  • Polytechnic Institutes - Offer a variety of technological disciplines
  • Specialized Institutes - Offer education in only one major discipline


The duration of the studies varies depending upon the Universities, Academies and Institutes and the program.
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