The education system in the Ukraine

Anush Yepremyan

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in foreign languages and literature from Ukraine. I find it fascinating to learn about different cultures, the way they preserve the world and, most importantly, learn.

It is amazing how different education can be around the world. But before I start comparing the education system, I would like to take a look at statistics. According to the official sources, the literacy rate in Ukraine is 99.7% with a rank of 12 out of 194.

The school year in Ukrainestarts on Sept. 1. It is a huge holiday for the countries that were part of Former Soviet Union. It is the day of knowledge – the most awaited day for those who would enter into the world of school life for the first time in their lives. It is all about little people in suits and dresses and white bows, first school bells, excitement and bunches of flowers and, of course, first lessons.

For the university level students, it is another step forward to achieving their career. Everybody is dressed up and attuned to productive year. Students bring flowers to their teachers, professors or deans. After classes, there is a big celebration in downtown. A colossal stage is set up in the middle of the Freedom Square, where famous artists perform their hits. It is a free event to attend. Around 11 p.m to 12 a.m. there are fascinating fireworks that will not leave you indifferent.

We have the same classmates for four years in the university. Freshman, sophomore, junior and seniors are divided into groups. For example, freshmen of business department are divided in five groups. Each group contains a maximum of 28 students. But for the lectures, all five groups are combined together. Each group chooses a monitor, a person who represents the group in different meeting and organizes various events, and keeps the group up-to-date.

We do not buy the books. Usually libraries provide the books for the semester or the whole year. There are certain days and hours when freshmen, juniors, seniors and others can come and pick up the books. The librarian scans the book and the software puts it under your student ID. At the end of the year, you have to bring all the books back.

Each semester we have about fourteen subjects. We do not have an option to choose the classes. The classes are set up already in accordance to the degree you are to pursue. In the beginning of December, the exam weeks start. Most exams are in written form, open questions, oral form or sometimes multiple choice. So at the end of the fourth year, you will have approximately 8,850 hours of classes.

The grading in the university is similar to American system of grading. An “A” is worth 90 to 100 points, “B/C” worth 75 to 89 points, “D” is worth 60 to 74 points and “E” is worth 0 to 59 points.

The tuition in the top universities varies from $2,000 to $4,000 a year. For you it might seem cheap, but we should take into account the local wages and expenses.

Unfortunately, in Ukraine, we do not have Blackboard. All the assignments are given in the class and the grades are announced in the class. However, the exam grades go to the student record book. It is a thin notebook with the university logo on it, where all your grades are transferred from the first year of university to the last year. Usually the monitor of each class gathers record books and goes to the professor to have them posted.

Also, students do a lot of printing, but printing is not free at the university in Ukraine.

We also do not have tutors available in the university. Usually you can get help from your classmates. They will always share information with you. On the other hand, you could hire a tutor if you feel that you feel that you are failing.

Every Nov. 17, it is an international day of students. Usually students go out with their classmates and friends. There is a concert on the square and fireworks afterwards. Many go to bars or clubs to celebrate the event.

I think it is a priceless experience to study abroad. It is a great opportunity to learn new approaches and culture, look at the world with totally new perspective and, perhaps, appreciate what you have. I think education is the most powerful weapon, which we can use to change the world for the better.