Why is Ukraine a Top Destination for International Students?

Ukraine has a long and rich history of providing top-class medical education. The first higher educational institutions in Ukraine can be dated back to the 17th century and even then, they attracted students from all over the world. Experienced teachers and professors, a great diversity of specialties and European standards of quality make Ukrainian medical universities a popular choice among students worldwide. Today, Ukraine is one of ten leading countries in the sphere of international education. Ukrainian degrees are recognised in countries all over the world, as well as the level of teaching is highly valued by foreign employers.

The Higher Education System in Ukraine

Higher education is governed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Ministry of Education and Sciences of Ukraine. The operation of higher education institutions (both state and private) is monitored by the Ministry of Education and Science and a number of other related authorities. Under Ukrainian law, higher education institutions must have a special permit (license) from the Ministry of Education and Science in order to provide educational services.

According to Ukraine’s “Law on Education”, higher education comprises the following levels and categories of establishment:

  • Level I: Vocational schools and other higher educational institutions of a corresponding level
  • Level II: Colleges and other higher educational institutions of a corresponding level which teach Bachelor and junior specialist courses
  • Level III: Institutes, conservatories, academies and universities that teach bachelor’s and Specialist, as well as junior specialist courses
  • Level IV: Institutes, conservatories, academies and universities which teach Bachelor’s, Master’s and Specialist courses

Opportunities for International Students in Ukraine

International students can study in over 240 higher education institutions and gain specialisations in different scientific fields. Every year, higher educational institutions in Ukraine welcome students from more than 150 countries. Year by year the number of foreign students who want to receive undergraduate and postgraduate professional education in Ukraine is increasing.

The ECTS system has been implemented within Ukrainian higher educational establishments within the framework of the Bologna process. The ECTS system is based on the principle that a student’s full educational workload in one academic year makes up 60 ECTS credit points (i.e. 30 credit points per semester) and this is equal to 1,960 academic hours. In higher educational establishments across Ukraine, one credit point is equal to 36 working hours. For example, to receive a master’s degree in Medicine, it is necessary to obtain 360 ECTS credit points.

What Are the Different Types of Degrees in Ukraine?

  • Bachelor (“Bakalavriat”): The preparation for a bachelor’s degree is carried out on the basis of complete general secondary education. The duration of studying is four (4) years. Graduates, who successfully pass the state exams, obtain the bachelor’s degree, which gives them the right to work in the studied field and to be admitted to related master’s programmes.
  • Master (“Magistratura”): Studying for a master’s degree is possible, provided that one already has a bachelor’s degree. The duration of the course programme is 1 to 2 years. The graduates need to pass the state certification, which includes a public presentation of the “Graduate Work” (thesis). Students that successfully pass the state certification are awarded a master’s degree, which gives them the right to work in their field and the right of admission for post-graduate education;
  • PhD (“Doktorantura”): A PhD degree is a scientific degree awarded on finishing the post-graduate programme. A student who has a master’s degree may be admitted to the postgraduate course of the university. Receiving a PhD degree involves a public presentation of one’s Dissertation. The duration of the studies for this degree is 3 to 6 years.

How Much Does It Cost to Study in Ukraine?

International students complete their studies at Ukrainian universities on a contractual basis. The approximate cost of tuition and hostel fee ranges from 2600 to 3100 per year. This means that students can access high quality education at a very affordable price.

What Language Are Courses Conducted Through?

The main languages of instruction in Ukrainian Higher Educational Institutions are Ukrainian, Russian and/or English. Many programmes are conducted in either Ukrainian or Russian, but there are plenty of English-language programmes.

International applicants who do not speak the language of instruction have the opportunity to undertake a course with the Preparatory Department of the university. During this 10-month training period, they will learn the language while also building a basic knowledge of some topics related to their degree subject. Upon successful completion, the student will graduate with a diploma and can join their chosen programme.

Timetables at Ukrainian Universities

Foreign students usually arrive for their studies between the 15th of August and the 15th of November. Academic years (i.e. under the university calendar) run from September 1st to June 31st. The academic year is split into two semesters, lasting roughly five months each. Students who study medicine in Ukraine have a two-week break between January and February and a substantially longer break from July 1st to August 31st.

The Grading System in Ukraine

In 2005, Ukraine joined the Bologna Process. In accordance with the Performance Appraisal Rating System Regulation in Ukraine, the grading system stands as follows:

Numerical Grade Description Definition
95-100 Vidminno A-Excellent
85-94 Dobre B-Very Good
75-84 Dobre C-Good
65-74 Zadovil`no D-Satisfactory
60-64 Zadovil`no (Dostatn`o) E-Satisfactory (satisfies minimum criteria)
Less than 60 Nezadovil`no FX- Unsatisfactory
Non-performing Nezadovil`no F-Fail (additional work is required)

Accommodation & Living Costs in Ukraine

Ukraine is one of the cheapest European countries and this makes it one of the best options for studying abroad.

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