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Living and Studying in Ukraine
The population is fifty millions.
Territory 603,700 sq. km
Borders are with Russia, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, and Moldova.
Capital Kyiv (Kiev).
The territorial divisions are 24 regions.
State language is Ukrainian, Russian language is widely spoken.
Ukraine is a president / parliamentary republic with the authority divided between The President (Head of the executive power), Verkhovna Rada (Legislative power, Parliament) and court system. Political life is characterized by a great number of political parties. The main law is Constitution adopted in 1997.
Review of History: First known societies that inhibited the territory of Ukraine, dated 3 century B.C. had developed agriculture. First state unions were established in 1st century B.C. Tribal unions of Slavs of forest-steppe area started to cultivate lands in Dnieper river bed, one of the longest rivers of Eastern Europe, in the 1st century A.D.
By the last quarter of the 9th century the ancient Rus state had been formed with the centre in Kyiv and under the leadership of Rurikovitch dynasty.
Between the two centuries 10-11 Kiev Rus experienced a great development of culture, arts and written languages.
At the end of the 12th century Kiev Rus was split into many small reign areas. As the result the process of the development of education and written language was impeded.
Further development of Ukrainian lands was connected with the history of other countries and made influence on their culture and education. On the other hand, European traditions in education influenced the process of establishment of the first higher school in Kyiv in 1632 Collegium and Lviv University, founded in 1661. Kyiv professors were among the most respected scholars. Many of them were invited to Moscow and Zagorsk and other scientific centers of Russian empire.
The 19th century was marked by the establishment of several universities, that Ukrainian education took pride in. In 1805 a university in Kharkiv was founded (Eastern Ukraine), 1834 in Kyiv, and in 1865 in Odessa. Rapid development of industry, agriculture and trade in Ukraine promoted the system of higher education. Technical and agricultural universities started to appear. Scientific researchers were among priorities. The language of education was Russian.
To get education in Ukrainian language became possible only in twenties of the 20th century. The programme of liquidation of mass illiteracy that took place at the period made the education more democratic and accessible. During the Soviet Union times Ukraine was one of the most developed countries. Its economy demanded a great number of highly qualified specialists for implementation scientific researches results into industry. These demands were met due to a big number of universities and institutes. Ukrainian scientists were the authors of new achievements in the area of air-space technologies, welding, IT, etc.
Success in Ukrainian education drew attention of foreign students. Since 1940 Ukrainian Universities are teaching foreigners. Nowadays, Ukrainian graduates take leading positions in foreign companies including Asia, Africa and Latin America. You can see them among state officers, doctors, engineers.
The end of world confrontation and establishment of Ukraine as an independent state opened new perspectives for Ukrainian education and its integration into the academic world.
Nineties are characterized by deep changes in the national system of education. The changes in structure and content of education started as the result of the development of new marketing relations. Labor market demanded new skill standards. Management, marketing, law, financing and computer engineering were among priorities. At the same time with the state sector private institutions had started to be developed.
Foreign languages such as English, German, French, and Spain were the main part of the curriculum that built favorable conditions for successful preparation to International Language exams. Ukrainian universities take an active part in work of European educational bodies as well as European Association of International Education. Ukraine was one of the countries that signed the convention on the Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education in Europe (Lisbon, 1997).
In 1999 the Parliament of Ukraine ratified the convention. Bilateral cooperation between Ukrainian and foreign universities is intensively developed. Ukrainian universities are active participants of the European Union Program TEMPUS. Nowadays, popularity of higher education is growing.
System of Education
The system of education provides good quality and is well developed. One of the most important tasks for central and local authorities is to give equal possibilities in getting top quality education for all citizens of Ukraine. The table on page 9 represents the structure of education. In the area of education and upbringing are involved 7% of Ukrainian professionals who teach 11 million students (22% of the population). There are 18400 institutions for pre-school preparation. According to the Constitution secondary school takes the central part in the system and is free and quite accessible. 7 mln. Students attend 21900 schools. Private sector in secondary education is insignificant. Totally, there are 200 private schools (1% of all the amount of students). Transition of secondary school from 10 (11) to 12 level system, according to European standards, is taking place now. Moreover, there is no difference in content of Ukrainian (post-soviet) secondary education from standards of secondary school of other European countries. You can take vocational education in 1003 technical institutions (utchilische) on the base of lower secondary education and upper secondary education. In Ukrainian system of Education College of Further Education (tekhnikum) refers to the lower part of higher education.
Having more than 1 million, student institutions of higher education in Ukraine form a system which considers being one of the biggest in the world. In Ukraine you can get higher education in universities (academies, institutes) accredited on 3-4th level. After 4 years of studying you can get Bachelor degree, 5 years is for specialists, five and a half or 6 years Masters Degree. Among all the enumerated degrees Specialist is the most popular. You become a student of a university according the results of entrance exams in July August. The academic year beginning on the 1st of September lasts up to the end of July and consists of two terms. All the students go on holidays between two terms: the first term (September - January) and the second one (February - June). Summer holidays last for two months. At the end of each term the student takes 3 or 5 examinations and 3 or 5 tests. Successful pass of examinations and tests guarantees the possibility of getting to the second term. Students have classes everyday but for weekends. They attend lectures, tutorials; work with materials in libraries and resource centers. Higher education course includes work placement, when students have the possibility to gain experience. Recognition of qualification gained is the priority of the state. In case of successful graduation of a university students get the Diploma no matter what form of property it refers to. The transcript of the subject list with marks is attached to the Diploma. Although the state guarantees the conformity to standards of qualification, the employer takes into consideration how authoritative the university is. Today, you can get the education in 313 universities, academies and institutes of Ukraine of 3-4th level of accreditation. Among them there are 220 state institutions, 93- non state. 54, 9 % of state universities students get free education.
International students get their higher education in universities, academies and institutes that are not only accredited, but also have a special license to teach foreign students. All the universities from this Guide possess the license. The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine controls the quality of educational services done to foreign students. International students start their studying with foundation year. It includes a course of Ukrainian (Russian) language and some of the comprehensive subjects according to the future profession. Further education is continuing together with Ukrainian students. (English medium is also available however)
International students live in university hostels. There are various types of hostels. It is also possible to live in Ukrainian families or to rent a flat.
National currency is Hryvnia (UHR). 1 USD = 7.9 Hryvnia (05/09/2010). You can change foreign currency in banks, kiosks, in the international airport. In the airport the currency rate is the same as in other places. Payment for purchasing and services is done in hryvnias. Nevertheless, some companies take payments in USD. You can use credit cards of international payment systems. They can be used in many of the shops, hotels, transport companies, clubs and restaurants. In cities the net of exchange machines is well developed including the most popular among students that of Privat Bank, Ukrsib Bank, Real Bank and AVAL bank. These banks are often used to open the account for international students. In these Banks you can save money both in foreign currency and Ukrainian hryvnia. Branches of these banks are situated in all regions of the country. It makes it easier to transfer money through the Western Union, Money Gram and many more local money transfer systems.
• New Year 1st of January
• Orthodox Christmas 7th of January
• International Women Day 8th of March
• Orthodox Easter
• Labor Day 1st of May
• Victory Day 9th of May
• Trinity Sunday
• Constitution Day 28th of June
• Day of Independence 24th of August
UKRTELECOM Company, the sponsor of the Guide, provides excellent telephone communications both in Ukraine and all over the world. Most of the universities provide access to Internet for their students. There are also a lot of Internet- cafes. You can use services of fast mail, represented by DHL, ARAMEX, TNT and other companies.
Most of the State Universities provide free medical service in students' hospitals. Students can also go to state and private hospitals, where medical service is to be paid. Service of the ambulance is free.
Climate is mostly continental. The average temperature in January is -5 - 1C, in November +10C, in July +30-35C.
The international airport of Borispol is the air gate of the country, 36 km from Kiev. To get from the airport to Kiev you can take a taxi, shuttle-bus, bus. You can also order pick up service in the university.
Besides Borispol airport you can take international flights from Kharkov, Simferopol, Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk. International railway connections are with Bulgaria, Czech, Slovak, Germany and Poland. International bus routes are from Poland, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Germany by ship you can get from Turkey.
Ukraine has a well developed transportation system. So there will no problems to get to any part of the country. You can travel all over the country by train or bus. The fare for distance 500 km is about US$12-15. Tickets on train you can buy in advance either at the railway station or in the city. On the day of departure a ticket can be bought on the station only.
For air travel within the country you can buy tickets from the local companies. Flight cost at distance 500 km is about US$70. Local transport includes buses, trolleybuses, trams, taxis. The fare is US$0.15. You can buy tickets from the conductor or in yellow kiosks at stops. The fare for taxi is $US1.5 + US$0.20 per 1 km.
In Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk you can take SUBWAY, paying at the entrance a ticket of US$0.12 (without time and destination limits). During warm period a water transport is quite comfortable: on the Dnieper river or by the Black sea.
Electricity Electricity is free in all University hostels in Ukraine. The standard electrical currency throughout Ukraine is 220 volts. Some outlets operate on 127 volts, but these are very rare. You may need a converter as well as an Eastern European plug adapter if you are bringing electrical appliances. You should be aware that there are frequent power surges, and other irregularities in the electrical supply. You may want to consider bringing a surge protector.
Ukraine is a big agricultural country with different cooking traditions. Different food can be bought in shops, supermarkets, agricultural markets. Cafeterias, restaurants and fast food restaurants propose different cuisine. Indian and Pakistani mess is available.