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Organization of the academic process in a higher education institution

Training of specialists in higher educational institutions may be carried out in different forms: full-time education, evening education, distant education, and external education.

Full-time education is the main form of receiving a certain level of education or qualification, which assumes that a student devotes all his/her time to studies and does not work anywhere.

Evening and distant education assume that a student studies at a higher education institution and simultaneously works somewhere. In distant education a great emphasis is placed on home studies, whereas in-class studies are very limited.

External education is a specific form of studies assuming that a student studies on his/her own without attending classes and then takes tests and exams at a university, and submits all necessary academic papers in accordance with the academic curriculum.

The academic year in the higher educational institutions in Ukraine starts on the 1st of September and is divided into two semesters (terms): fall semester from September to the end of January and spring semester from February to the end of June. A semester lasts 16-18 weeks and is followed by a three-week examination period. At the end of each semester the student takes 4 or 5 examinations and 5 or 6 tests. Successful passing of examinations and tests guarantees the possibility of getting to the next semester.

Ukrainian universities use a traditional 5-point scale:

  • "5" = "excellent"
  • "4" = "good"
  • "3" = "acceptable" or "satisfactory"
  • "2" = "unacceptable" or unsatisfactory” or fail.

Together with the national 5-point scale, the ECTS is used.

Students that study at state expense receive a standard scholarship (stipend) if their average grade at the end-of-semester exams and differentiated tests is at least 4; this rule may be different in some universities. All the students go on vacations between two terms.

The majority of institutions are coeducational. On the average, male and female students are equally represented at higher education institutions. Once admitted, freshmen are divided into groups of 20 to 25 students, who attend most of the classes together and study as a team until they graduate.

Students have classes everyday except for weekends.

Training at higher education institutions includes

· Classes (in-class studies)

· Home studies

· Practical training (internship)

· Various kinds of control

Classes can take place in different forms, in particular

· lecture;

· laboratory class, practical class, seminar;

· tutorial.

The word "lecture" dates back to the 14th century, comes from the Latin "lectus", which means “reading”. Indeed, in the universities of Medieval Europe, the main form of teaching was reading books and giving comments. The subsequent meaning of the word lecture "oral discourse on a given subject before an audience for purposes of instruction" is from the 16th century. The noun "lectern" refers to the reading desk used by lecturers.

In our modern system of higher education, a lecture is the main form of academic instruction at higher education institutions which is aimed at presenting theoretical material to students and realized mostly in the form of monologue. Lecturers are usually professors or associate professors, sometimes leading senior lecturers.

A seminar is a form of academic instruction, which is conducted in small groups and is often accomplished through an open discussion or a dialogue with a seminar instructor, or through a more formal presentation. It is relatively informal, at least compared to lectures as forms of academic instruction.

A practical class (or just practical) is a form of academic instruction assuming detailed consideration and discussion of theoretical material, practical application of the theoretical material learned during lectures by performing different types of practical assignments.

A laboratory class is a form academic instruction under which students perform experiments under the teacher supervision. It is especially important for training students in the field of natural or technical sciences and aimed at developing practical skills related to using laboratory equipment, computers, mastering methods of experimental research.

A tutorial is a consultation given to individual students or groups of students with a view to clarifying and explaining some theoretical or practical questions, giving instructions as to the performing assignments, etc.

Apart from classes, students get individual assignments, such as term papers or term projects, calculation assignments, other types of written and oral assignments. Such assignments allow students to get a deeper understanding of the theoretical issues, to acquire additional knowledge and demonstrate the level and quality of their mastering a certain academic discipline.

Training at higher education institutions includes practical work (internship) in different organizations, which gives students the possibility to gain experience.

To check the quality of knowledge and skills of students, different methods of the knowledge control are used. They include tests, midterm exams, module exams, final exams.

In order to graduate, students have to take final state examinations and to prepare and defend a graduation work (diploma work, diploma thesis, diploma project, master thesis) before a panel of professors, which is called the State Examination Board. The head of the State Examination Board is invited from a different institution. The State Examination Board checks and attests the quality of theoretical and practical preparation of students, the level of their qualification.

Students who graduate with honors (75 percent excellent and 25 percent good grades) receive the so-called "Red Diploma."

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