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Home / Education in Russia / System of education in brief / Russian Educational System today /

Vocational education



Vocational education (nachalnoe professionalnoe obrazovanie) is the initial stage of professional education. It is aimed at the training of skilled workers, usually on the basis of basic general education. Vocational training for certain occupations may be based on secondary (complete) general education. Educational programmes for persons wishing to take up vocational education after basic general education are different from those offered to persons who have finished secondary (complete) general education.

A total of 3,911 educational institutions, some of which are private, with an enrollment of 1,694,000 students offer course programmes in vocational education in the country. Admission to vocational education institutions normally does not require any entrance examinations.

Two kinds of vocational education can be distinguished:

The first kind of vocational education is offered by vocational education institutions called Professional Schools (Professionalnoe Uchilishche). In these institutions, educational programmes are aimed at the acquisition of professional qualifications and mainly cover subjects for professional training. The duration of these educational programmes is:


1 to 2.5 years, following completion of basic general education (nine-year programmes);

1 to 1.5 years, following completion of secondary (complete) general education (eleven-year programmes).

After passing the State final attestation, graduates of Professional Schools are awarded Diplomas (Annex 2, Fig. 5) that give them the right to exercise a profession. Such a Diploma also entitles its holder to pursue non-university level higher education (in case studies are pursued in the same profile, educational programmes can be shortened), however this type of vocational education does not give the right of access to university level higher education.

The second kind of vocational education is offered by vocational education institutions called Professional Lycei (Professionalnye Litsei). In these institutions, educational programmes, in addition to the professional education component, also include a general education component (educational programme of the tenth and eleventh grades). After passing the State final attestation, graduates of a Professional Lyceum are awarded diplomas that not only give them the right to exercise a profession but also indicate that they have received secondary (complete) general education. This diploma gives its holder the right to be admitted to university level higher education institutions (in case studies are pursued in the same profile, university programmes can be shortened).

The duration of studies in a Professional Lyceum is:


at least 3 years, following completion of basic general education (nine-year programmes);

1 to 1.5 year, following completion of secondary (complete) general education (eleven-year programmes).


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