C. Read and translate the text. The system of higher education in Russia started with the foundation of the universities in Moscow and St Petersburg in the middle of the 18th century
The system of higher education in Russia started with the foundation of the universities in Moscow and St Petersburg in the middle of the 18th century. In 1724 the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, founded by Peter I, established the university and a grammar school. However, these educational establishments didn’t fulfill the task they took on. It was Michail Lomonosov who suggested the idea of establishing university in Moscow. In 1755, on 25 January, Empress Elizaveta Petrovna signed a decree of university foundation. According to Lomonosov’s plan, there were originally three faculties. First, all the students acquired a comprehensive knowledge in the field of science and humanities at the faculty of Philosophy. Then they could specialize and continue at the faculty of Philosophy or join either the Law faculty or the faculty of Medicine. Lectures were held either in Latin, the language of educated people at that time, or in Russian. Originally, tuition at Moscow University was free for all students; later only poor students were exempt from tuition fees. The state funding didn’t cover all the University expenses; thus the administration had to find ways to raise additional funds.
In general, the system of higher education in Russia was constructed similar to that of Germany. Due to demands of the international educational organizations, the higher education system began to change over the past ten years. Universities began transitioning to a system similar to that of Britain and the USA.
There are presently four basic types of higher education institutions (HEIs):
o Universities (responsible for education and research in a variety of disciplines);
o Academies (responsible for education and research. They differ from universities only in that they restrict themselves to a single discipline (Academy of Arts, Academy of Architecture);
o Institutes (multi-discipline oriented);
o Private Institutions (offer degrees in non-engineering fields such as business, culture, sociology, and religion).
Entry requirements. The Constitution and the Russian Federation Law on Education guarantee open and free access to higher education on a competitive basis. Currently the Certificate of Secondary Complete General Education is required for admission to all kinds of HEIs. Applications are accepted from citizens of both sexes who have completed secondary education and passed a competitive entrance examination. The academic year lasts from September 1 to June everywhere, with long summer vacations from July to August 31. It is divided into two terms. The evaluation of student’s performance is designed in such a way that the progresses of the latter in mastering subjects included in the curriculum are monitored closely and objectively. The number of tests and examinations to be taken during every academic year is strictly formulated by the head of the institutions. Student performance on test is evaluated as “passed” or “failed” and on examinations as “excellent”, “good”, “satisfactory” and “unsatisfactory”. Some HEI have already introduced a system of continuous assessment which helps to evaluate student’s progress during the whole academic year. Students who accumulate a number of arrears in their new academic year would be dismissed from their educational institutions. The final state examinations are also very important part of the higher educational assessment process in Russia. These methodologies constitute a comprehensive evaluation system by which the knowledge and the skills of specialists are brightened and the qualification obtained becomes invaluable and precious.
D. Answer the questions.
1) When did the system of higher education start in Russia?
2) Who suggested the idea of establishing university in Moscow?
3) What are the basic types of higher education institutions in Russia? And what are they responsible for?
4) What are the entry requirements to the HEI?
5) What evaluation system do HEIs have?
6) When does the academic year begin in Russia?
7) What is higher education for you?
E. Are the following statements true or false? Correct the false ones.
1) The first University and grammar school were established in 1724 by the St. Petersburg Academy of science.
2) Peter I suggested the idea of establishing the university in Moscow.
3) Moscow University had originally four faculties: Philosophy, Theology, Law, and Medicine.
4) Administration had not to raise additional funds to cover all the university expenses.
5) The system of higher education has not change over the last century.
6) The Russian Federation Law on Education guarantees open and free access to higher education.
7) All HEIs have already introduced a system of continuous assessment.
F. Find words in the text that mean:
1) money that you must pay a university for teaching you
2) a department within a university or institute
3) to gradually get more and more over a period of time
4) the subjects of study concerned with human culture, esp. language, history or philosophy
5) the action or process of making a formal request
6) talks given by a university tutor to a large number of students
7) short examination of knowledge or ability, consisting of questions that must be answered or activities that must be carried out
8) subjects included in a course of study or taught at a particular HEI