The Specific Values of Education in Russia

Since the time when Soviet Union still had its control over Russia, the country has always been known to give birth to remarkable scientists, nobles, and great people from many disciplines. Russia, too, has always been going head-to-head with the U.S.A. in matters of technology and innovations. One of their biggest competitions in the history of human kind is when they raced to launch the first man to the outer space and Russia won it by sending Yuri Gagarin to orbit the earth. Many milestones have proven that Russia is the home of the smartest people in the world, and this surely has a lot to do with the country’s system of education. But how has actually education been in Russia and what has changed since the fall of the Soviet Union. We will have a look at the specific values of it.

Level of Education in Russia

The Ministry of Education and Science is the department that provides most of Russia’s education services with the rest established by private organizations. According to a research, the literacy rate in Russia – currently – is at 99% for both male and female with 54% of the adults age 24 to 64 years old have completed a tertiary education.

It is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 to 15 years old to attend schools in Russia. The levels included in this stage are primary school education (for children between 6 to 10 years old of age) and senior school (for children between 10 to 15 years old.) If they wish to pursue their education to the higher level, another two more years of the secondary school must be completed – at this point they may choose between a vocational school and a non-university institute.

Pre-school education has been around in Russia for quite a while since the Soviet time. By the 1980’s, there were around 88,000 pre-school institutions all around the country. But, together with the downfall of the Soviet Union, the number dropped to around 48,000. Today, this level of education is used as a preparation for children to enter the primary level.

Education for the Students with Special Needs

Russia encourages its citizens to go to school and be educated as well as possible, including the ones with special needs. The Ministry of Education and Science divide this special education into two; for them with physical disabilities and the other for mental disabilities. Russia has special schools for the deaf, blind or with poor eyesight, and cerebral palsy. The numbers of these special schools are not as many as the regular ones and limited in only several big cities in the country. There are also vocational trainings and two colleges for the deaf and blind. As for the children with mental disabilities, they are excluded from the regular system of education but channeled to something called a correction facility that resembles a boarding school or counseling. Parents or guardians may choose home schooling as an alternative, too.

Education for International Students

Russia offers many slots every year for international students to study in its higher education establishments through both scholarship and non-scholarship ways. The Ministry of Education funds 15,000 foreign students to study for free under the condition they pass the exams. But, with scholarship or not, studying in Russia is quite appealing because even under contract, the fee is still cheaper than in Europe in general. Some universities also provide residence for students with much lower fee than the apartments and the living cost in Russia is lower than other European countries. There are around 244,000 foreign students in Russia currently, and this number is a 60% rise in the last five years. The government’s goal is 700,000 in 2025. Imagine the chances a foreign student can get in Russia.


As to why Russia opens so many slots and provides massive number of seats for international students is said to be its soft way to introduce and spread the country’s values and teaching around the world. Of course, foreign students don’t get to sit in classes listening to propagandas – they get great education, as a matter of fact – but the years they spend in Russia will definitely change the way they see things which then they will take home with them. That could sound a bit scary, but it should not be that bad if an in-depth informal study about how the Russians live is also conducted besides going to classes.

Knowledge Day and Russian Teachers

It is one of many important things in Russia to celebrate the Knowledge Day every September 1st. It has been around since the Soviet era when the new school year officially begins. It is special for children who have just started going to the primary school because they will dress up very nicely and bring bouquets of flowers to be presented to their teachers as a way for the parents to kindly ask for their assistance over their children.


Sadly, though, the Russian government hasn’t provided decent ways to upgrade the quality of the primary school teachers’ skills over the years. They still lack in the modern knowledge of English, science, and mathematics. Russia also ranks low for teacher salary and assurance of their prosperities. This is a contrast to how the higher education in the country gets better ranking each year while the basic layer is still struggling.

All in all, education in Russia is one of many that should be counted – not only the higher level but also the compulsory one. The country will always be nationalist and so true to its roots, but many things have changed since the downfall of the Soviet Union, and this should help with how schools are regulated in the country and the way the government gives equal rights for Russians and non-Russians to study in the country. These points should say a lot about the values of the nation’s education without having to peek into the government’s hidden agenda behind it.

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