Education System in Ukraine - Ukrainian education in emergency
Education System in Ukraine

Everyone in Ukraine has the right to high-quality and affordable education. This includes the right to receive a lifelong education, the right to access education, and the right to free education. In Ukraine, no one can be restricted in the right to receive an education.

A person’s right to education can be exercised by obtaining it at different levels of education, in different forms and types, including pre-school, secondary, vocational education, professional pre-higher, higher, out-of-school and adult education.

Details on each level can be found below

Preschool Education

Usually, children aged 3-6 are studying in kindergartens. In some cases – children under 7. Pre-school education for children from the age of 5 is mandatory in Ukraine. A child can receive it both in educational institutions and at home.

Preschool education is provided in accordance with the State Standard “Basic Component of Preschool Education”. This document defines the results of a child’s preschool education – key competencies. According to the Standard, the content of education consists of mandatory (invariant) and additional (variable) components.

Mandatory components:

  • child’s personality
  • child in the sensory and cognitive space
  • child in a natural environment
  • child’s play
  • child in society
  • child’s speech
  • child in the world of art

Additional components:

  • child’s personality/sports games
  • child in the sensory and cognitive space/computer literacy
  • child’s speech/fundamentals of Literacy
  • child’s speech/foreign language
  • child in society/social and financial literacy
  • child in the world of art/choreography.

It is important that the child’s parents are actively involved in the development of competencies, and attending kindergarten does not release parents from their duties. To help parents and teachers in Ukraine, there is a preschool children’s development platform NUMO, which contains useful tips and advice on the development of important skills.

More on key components of a pre-school education:

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General Secondary Education

School education is compulsory. Previously, it lasted 11 years, but with the start of the New Ukrainian School reform in 2018, school education will last 12 years.

School education is divided into 3 levels of education:

  • primary education (grades 1-4)
  • basic secondary education (grades 5-9)
  • specialized secondary education (grades 10-11 (12))

The content of school education shall be approved by the government in state standards separate for each level of school education. They define the competencies that should be formed at certain levels of school education, as well as the requirements for mandatory learning outcomes. To implement the requirements of state standards, each educational institution has an educational program and curricula – the schools can develop them independently or use those recommended by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.

The content of school education has 2 components:

  • invariant (mandatory);
  • variable (subjects/courses to choose from).

The subjects taught can be separated or integrated into certain courses – this is decided by educational institutions within the framework of academic autonomy.

School evaluation differs at different levels: in grades 1-4 a formative assessment is carried out, and in grades 5-11 a 12-point assessment system is used.

Based on the results of each level of education, students pass the state final examination in particular, after receiving a specialized secondary education, the state final examination takes place in the form of external independent assessment. On that basis, students are awarded certificates of a particular level of education.

The forms of school education: institutional and individual, for example, full-time, evening, extramural, remote, external, homeschooling, pedagogical patronage. Students/parents have the right to choose one of them and even combine several forms.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, teachers began to use distance learning tools. All-Ukrainian Online School was launched to provide students with access to education.

Even outside of Ukraine, with the help of All-Ukrainian Online School children can continue their studies remotely at their school or independently, for example, due to loss of contact with the school due to military operations or temporary occupation. MOES offers an all-Ukrainian lesson schedule to be used for self-education.

The instructions for using All-Ukrainian Online School are available here.

In 2018, Ukraine participated for the first time in the international study on the quality of education – PISA. To learn more about the results of the Ukrainian education system here.

Children with special educational needs can receive special education (in institutions or classes for children with separate nosologies) or inclusive education. In addition to training, students with special educational needs are provided with psychological, pedagogical and correctional development services, which can be provided directly by a special school or an inclusive resource center (in the case of inclusive education). There are 5 levels of support that can be provided to children with special educational needs – first of all, depending on their needs, and not on the diagnosis.

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Professional Education

A vocational profession in Ukraine can be obtained in institutions of professional (vocational education and training) education (VET).

A student can enter such institutions after the 9th grade (basic general secondary education) or after the 11th grade (general secondary education). If a student entered after the 9th grade, then within 3-4 years he/she will master the complete general secondary education program and the educational program according to the standards of vocational professions. There is an opportunity to consistently get 2-3 professions. For those who already have a compulsory school education, training in one profession can last up to 1 year.

In VET institutions, you can get pre-professional training, retraining, as well as advanced training.

Forms of education:

  • Institutional: intramural (full-time, evening), extramural, remote, network+
  • Individual: external, homeschooling, pedagogical patronage, in the workplace (co-operative education)

Dual education is a form of education in which theoretical material is mastered in an institution, and practical training takes place in the workplace. This approach is significantly different from “practical training” and allows for better training of students. Such education is implemented by more than 200 institutions for more than 12 thousand applicants.

Based on the results of training, applicants are assigned an educational and qualification level “skilled worker”.

Professional pre-higher education

Professional pre-higher education is a separate component of education in Ukraine. It provides qualifications allowing for the performance of production tasks of increased complexity or limited management functions.

You can get such an education after the 9th grade, after a full course of school education, or in adulthood.

It should be noted that professional pre-higher education in art, sports or military field in Ukraine is called specialized professional pre-higher education.

Based on the educational outcome (the scope of the educational and professional program varies depending on the previously obtained level of education), an applicant is awarded a professional associate’s degree.

Higher Education

Citizens of Ukraine can receive higher education free of charge – on a competitive basis. Budget place quotas for certain categories of persons (orphans, children deprived of parental care, persons from temporarily occupied territories, etc.) are also determined annually. Thus, vulnerable categories have access to higher education at the expense of state or local budgets.

Since 2005, Ukraine has been a member of the Bologna Process.

Training of higher education specialists is carried out according to the relevant educational (vocational training, scientific training or creative training) programs at various levels of higher education regulated by the National Qualifications Framework:

Admission to Junior Bachelor’s or Bachelor’s Degree is carried out on the basis of school education according to the results of an external independent assessment. In addition, the average score of the certificate on complete general secondary education, the score for special achievements (for example, winners of academic competitions in basic subjects) could be taken into account. For admission to certain programs of study, the level of creative or physical abilities of applicants is also taken into account.

For admission to the Master’s Program, in addition to exams at higher education institutions, applicants had to pass a common entrance examination in a foreign language (on the principle of external independent assessment). And applicants for occupations in the fields of “Social and Behavioral Sciences”, “Journalism”, “Management and Administration”, “Law”, “Public Governance and Administration”, as well as “International Relations” had to additionally pass a common entrance proficiency test (testing for general educational competencies and testing in the specialty) which was also independent.
Due to the full-scale war of russia against Ukraine this year, the procedure for admission to higher education institutions has undergone significant changes. Admission to higher education will be carried out according to a simplified procedure (first of all, due to security factors). However, the competition for budget places will still be held based on the results of independent (albeit modified) testing, which will provide transparent conditions and equal opportunities for applicants. Such independent tests will take place both in Ukraine and in EU countries.

The outbreak of a full-scale war that the russian federation unleashed in 2022, the list of displaced institutions has expanded. Four universities have already been relocated, including Mariupol State University for the restoration of which it is planned to open a separate fund, and this process is still ongoing – institutions are being displaced from the active hostilities zone in Donetsk and Luhansk Regions and the temporarily occupied territories of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Regions.

© 2022-2023. Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine