Short history and General information
In 1917 more than 70 percent of Ukraine's population was illiterate. Within the next half century, the Soviets' policy of compulsory education helped wipe out illiteracy in the younger generation, and virtually the entire adult population can now read and write. Children must attend school for eight years. About three-quarters of the teachers are women; the student-teacher ratio is low. Since independence, the curriculum has increasingly emphasized Ukrainian history and literature. Private and religious schools also have appeared since 1990. As a whole, great emphasis is placed on general and correspondence schools, as these institutions allow young industrial and agricultural workers to receive an education without interrupting their work.
In Ukraine, as in other developed countries, higher education is considered to be one of the main human values. Ukraine has inherited from the past a well-developed and multifunctional system of higher education. The dynamics, which is a characteristic trait of the current civilization, increasing social role of an individual, humanization and democratization of society, intellectualization of labour, fast change in technologies and equipment worldwide. All these requires the creation of such which will allow Ukraine to become the ever-educated nation. The establishment of the national higher education system is based on the new legislative and methodological grounds. It provides for the entirely new qualitative level of expert's training, increase in academic and professional mobility of graduates, greater openness, democratic principles of teaching and raising the youth, accession of Ukraine's higher education system into the world community.
The higher education consist of higher educational establishments, scientific and methodological facilities under federal and municipal governments and self-governing bodies in charge of education. The higher education structure includes also the post-graduate and Ph. D. Programs and self-education. The higher education includes two major educational levels, namely basic higher education and full higher education. The educational level is trait of higher education by the level of gained quality which provides comprehensive development of an individual and which will do to get an appropriate qualification. The legislation sets the following educational and qualification levels - junior specialist, bachelor, specialist, master, as well as scientific degrees of candidate of sciences (assistant professor) and doctor of sciences (Ph. D.). Educational and qualification level is trait of higher education by the level of gained qualities which will enable this individual to perform the appropriate occupational tasks or responsibilities at a certain qualification level. Senior scientific researcher, assistant professor and professor are the applied degrees.
The Ukraine's State Higher Education System includes 940 higher educational institutions (HEI), out of which 806 are public and 134 are of other forms of property ownership. Non-public HEIs are mandatory and legally acknowledged and controlled by the state through the educational activity's licensing mechanism and accreditation. HEIs in Ukraine are comprised of vocational schools, colleges, institutes, conservatories, academies, universities .
According to the HEIs status the following 4 levels of accreditation are set:
- Level I - vocational schools and other HEIs equaled to them which teach junior specialists by using educational and professional programs (EPPs);
- Level II - colleges, other HEIs equaled to them which teach bachelors, and if need be junior specialists, by using EPPs;
- Level III - institutes, conservatories, academies, universities which teach bachelors and specialists, as well as junior specialists if need be , by using EPPs;
- Level IV - instituties, conservatories, academies, universities which teach bachelors, masters and specialists if need be, by using EPPs.
Currently, Ukraine's higher educational system comprises of 327 technical vocational schools, 216 vocational schools, 117 colleges, 149 institutes: 2 conservatories, 48 academies and 81 universities.
The first and the second accreditation levels constitute 660 technical schools, vocational schools, colleges, of which 606 are public, the third and the fourth levels constitute 280 HEIs, of which 202 are public.
The total number of HEI students in Ukraine is 1636 400 including 1 536 000 students of public HEIs. 526 400 students attend the first and second accreditation levels' HEIs ( 56.2 per cent of which are female students ), while the remaining 1.11 million students attend the third and fourth accreditation levels' HEIs ( 50.6 per cent of which are female students ).
47 200 lecturers carry out the teaching process in the first and second accreditation levels' HEIs. There are 72 600 professors and lecturers in the third and forth accreditation levels' HEIs. There are 6 600 professors and 36 500 associate professors among them. More than 6 600 lecturers have the scientific degree of a professor, and more than 28 000 have the scientific degree of an associate professor. The average professor/ student ratio in Ukraine HEIs is 13.6.
HEIs' graduates are given state standard diploma after they complete education under respective EPPs based on the results of state attestation. The following educational and qualification levels granted to the experts exist in Ukrainian system of higher education: junior specialist, bachelor, specialist and master.
Normative periods of training under different educational and qualification levels are set listed bellow:
- 3 years for junior specialist ( on the basis of full comprehensive secondary education );
- 4 years for bachelor ( on the basis of full comprehensive secondary education );
- 1 year for specialist ( on the basis of first degree );
- 1 year for master ( on the basis of first degree ).
One of the particular features of high school in the Soviet period was that priority was given to preparation of technical engineers and machine building complex specialists - first of all for military complex. Most of technical higher educational institutions were concentrated in districts with well-developed industry. Currently, the need of specialists of that kind decreased dramatically: from 54 per cent in 1990 to 42 per cent in 1996 at the expense of increasing of humanitarian, economic and management profile specialists' need. This process is expected to go on and set in for nearest future in Ukraine at the basis of analysis of job market employer's requirements and graduates competition. Preparation of engineers on the basis of old-dated standards leads to the fact that 40 per cent of graduates remain unemployed.
A lot of non-governmental higher educational institutions appeared recently which leads to increasing of economic and business profile students. Since 1997 students can study at higher educational institutions on contract basis.
Every fifth first year student in state higher education institutions of 1998 pays for his education on his own which makes approximately from 400 to 1000 USD for academic year of studies.
New Ukrainian educational laws and democratic state policy give certain autonomy to the higher educational institutions in their activities and classical academic liberties in self-government.
Ukraine's higher educational system fulfills important social functions creating intellectual potential of Ukraine as a new independent state entering the world community.
Higher education supplies all spheres of national economy with qualified professionals and looks for the better ways of development and perfection.