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EDUCATION IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION. Russians have always shown a great concern for education

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Russians have always shown a great concern for education. The right to education is stated in the Constitution of the Russian Federation. It is ensured by compulsory secondary schools, vocational schools, and higher education establishments. It is also ensured by the development of part-time and evening courses and the system of state scholarships and grants.

Education in Russia is compulsory up to the 9th form. The stages of compulsory schooling in Russia are: primary education for ages 6-7 to 9-10; secondary education including intermediate schoolfor ages 10-11 to 12-13, and senior school for ages 13-14 to 14-15. If a pupil of a secondary school wishes to go on in higher education, he or she must stay at school for two more years. Primary and secondary together comprise 11 years of study. Every school has a curriculum of academic subjects, such as, Russian, Literature, Mathematics, History, a foreign language and others. Lyceums and gymnasiums offer programs giving a profound knowledge in some field of study.

After finishing the 9th form one can go on to a vocational school which offers programs of academic subjects and a program of training in a technical field, or a profession.

After finishing the 11th form of a secondary school, a lyceum or a gymnasium one can go on in higher education. All applicants must pass Russian (national) State Examination. Higher education institutions, that is, institutes or universities, offer a 5-6 year program of academic subjects for students in a variety of fields, as well as agraduate course. If one finishes a graduate course and writes a thesis, he or she receives a candidate’s degree or a doctoral degree.

Higher educational establishments are headed by Rectors. Pro-rectors are in charge of academic and scientific work. An institute or a university has a number of faculties, each specializing in a field of study. Faculties have specialized councils which award candidate and doctoral degrees.

The system of secondary and higher education in Russia is going through a transitional period. The main purposes of the reform are: to decentralize the higher education system, to develop a new financial mechanism, to give more academic freedoms to faculties and students. All secondary schools, institutes and universities until recently have been maintained by the state. Now there is quite a number of private fee-paying primary and secondary schools; many universities have fee-paying departments.

Exercise 2.Answer the questions:

1. What is the right to education in Russia ensured by?

2. What are the stages of compulsory schooling in Russia?

3. What programs of study do different types of schools in Russia offer?

4. What is a vocational school?

5. What is necessary for entering a higher education establishment?

6. What degrees can one get at a higher education establishment?

7. What is the structure of an institute or a university?

8. How can you prove that education in Russia is going through a transitional period?

Text 10

Exercise 1.Read the dialogues.

Dialogue 1

Ann: Hullo, Steve! Have you got a minute?

Steve: Sure, yes. What can I do for you?

Ann: I’ve read a number of books on the British system of higher education but I can’t make head or tail of it.

Steve: Mm… no wonder. What’s the problem?

Ann: Quite a lot of problems. What I want to discuss is the difference between a university and a college.

Steve: It’s like this, you see… The programme is different. At a university it is much wider. Great attention is paid to scientific subjects.

Ann: It sounds as though most people prefer a university.

Steve: Well… that rather depends.

Ann: Speaking about universities I’m not quite clear about tutorial there. What is a tutorial exactly?

Steve: Oh, it’s when students discuss topics with a tutor in very small groups – usually there are not more than three or four students and sometimes only one.

Ann: I see … And coming back to colleges… I’m still not terribly sure what a residential college is.

Steve: Erm… It’s a college with a hall of residence on the same ground as the principal buildings. In fact all the students live in hall.

Ann: Really? And what about the teaching staff?

Steve: Actually the majority of the teaching staff live there too. But there are also quite a lot of non-residential colleges.

Ann: And did you study at the university?

Steve: Yes…

Ann: What was it like? Beautiful?

Steve: Nothing very remarkable. Of course there were lecture halls, classrooms and a number of laboratories.

Ann: Any facilities for sport and PE?

Steve: Let me see … Yes … A gymnasium with changing rooms and showers, a tennis court… What else… A playing field for netball and football.

Ann: Well, Steve. Thanks very much. You’ve been most helpful.

Dialogue 2

J: Well, Arnold, I remember you said once you were a B.A. Perhaps you could tell me how quickly you got those letters after your name?

A: At the University I studied History. It was a 3-year course. And after that I got a B.A. degree.

J: B.A. stands for Bachelor of Arts degree, doesn’t it?

A: Yes, which reminds me of my neighbour whose son has just got his B.A. A friend asked very seriously: ”I suppose your son will try to get an M.A. or Ph.D., next to which my neighbour answered: ”Not at all, now he is trying to get a J-O-B.”

A: Ah … he meant a job! That’s a good joke!

Exercise 2.Find English equivalents.

Система высшего образования, практические занятия, колледж с общежитием, колледж без общежития, общежитие (студенческое), территория колледжа (университета), жить в общежитии (о студентах), педагогический состав, лекционный зал, гимнастический зал, раздевалка, бакалавр гуманитарных наук, магистр гуманитарных наук, доктор философских наук.

Exercise 3.Ask your fellow-students:

1. Why it is preferable to study at the university;

2. What she/he knows about tutorials;

3. What she/he knows about the difference between a residential and a non-residential college (university);

4. Who lives in a hall;

5. What rooms can be found in a university building;

6. What sport facilities there are at a university;

7. What a B.A. is;

8. How quickly one can get those letters after his name;

9. What a M.A. is;

10. Which degree is higher: M.A. or Ph.D.

Exercise 4.Retell Dialogue 2 in Indirect Speech.

Exercise 5. Make up dialogues using the Active Vocabulary of the topic.

Suggested situations:

a) A Russian student and an English student are exchanging information on systems of higher education in their countries.

b) Two students of the English college are discussing their college life. One of them is enthusiastic about everything, the other is a dissatisfied grumbler and finds fault with every little thing.


Exercise 1.Speak on the following topics.

a) Speak about the system of education in Great Britain (secondary, including primary education and higher education).

b) Compare both systems of secondary education and make a conclusion where you would prefer to study: in Russia or Great Britain.

c) Compare both systems of higher education. What positive and negative features (pros and cons) do you see in both? What would you like to change to improve it?


Exercise 1.Write a letter to your friend in Great Britain. Here is a part from his letter.

a) “ … I am leaving school this year and I want to continue my education. I know that you won the grant last year and now are a university student in Great Britain. Can you advise me if it is worth studying at some British university? Do you like the way you study?

Hope to hear from you soon.



b) “ … I am leaving school this year and I want to continue my education. I am advised to continue my education in Russia. What educational establishment should I enter? What is more useful - to enter a college or a university in your country? Why? What city should I go to?

Hope to hear from you soon.



Exercise 2.Write any composition you like:

1) Comment on the following statement.

Some people think that pupils at school should learn practical skills that will help them in later life, such as cooking or car mechanics. Others argue that pupils are at school to learn traditional academic subjects and that those who want to can learn other skills in their own time.

Do you think that there is a place in schools for practical subjects such as cooking and car mechanics? Express your opinion and give reasons for it. Give other people’s arguments and explain why they are wrong. Don’t forget to make a conclusion.

2) Many young people go to university after leaving school. However, a number of school-leavers feel that university is not for them and choose not to go.

What can you say for and against going to the university?



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