Your bookmarked countries have an update since your last login. View Bookmarks x

What Our Members Say About EDGE

"AACRAO Edge is a resource I access daily in evaluating international educational credentials. The online platform has proven to be essential to allow for ongoing credential evaluation, whether you are working remotely from home or in your office. Country profiles and sample documents are regularly updated and made readily available. I would highly recommend purchasing this resource if you are evaluating foreign educational credentials."

– Karee Head, International Admissions Specialist, University of Idaho

"As a recently anointed “Senior” level international credential evaluator with ACEI, I have found EDGE an incredibly helpful resource. The EDGE country profile overviews and credential advice have been instrumental in my training. I refer to EDGE frequently and find the information I need. Also, the PDF versions of the print publications of World Education Series are a plus for anyone who doesn’t have access to them. Though at ACEI we have the print publications, it’s nice to know that digital copies are available which come in handy especially now when we are working remotely and don’t have access to the physical library at our office."

– Yaixa Rodriguez, Senior International Credential Evaluator, Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc.

"I joined the credentialing world in 2015 and AACRAO Edge, from day one, has been essential to my work in a variety of ways from developing institutional policy to training staff for consistent credential practices. Evaluating foreign credentials is complex, multifaceted, and at times can make one feel as though they are a detective searching for clues to a puzzle. AACRAO Edge lends assistance in this process by providing guidelines and support that help professionals connect all the puzzle pieces together."

– Amanda Holder, Assistant Director of International Graduate Admissions, IUPUI



Located in southeast Europe, Ukraine is neighbor to Belarus and Russia to the north and east, and to Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland on the south and west. Carpathian and Crimean mountains rise in the south, and Ukraine has coastline on the Black Sea. The population of Ukraine is about 47 million, 67% in the urban industrial east. Although Russian is widely spoken, some 90% of the people claim Ukrainian as their native language. The country has about 200 colleges and universities and 500 technical and vocational schools, and 70% of the current adult population attended secondary or higher education.

Scythians, Goths and other nomadic peoples arrived in the Ukraine area throughout the first millennium B.C. Greeks and Romans established trading outposts there. Slavic tribes occupied central and eastern Ukraine in the 6th century A.D. and established Kiev, which long prospered as a commercial crossroad. By the 11th century “Kievan Rus” was the largest state in Europe. Most of the population converted to Christianity by 1000 A.D. But rivalries among feudal lords precipitated decline, Mongol raiders destroyed Kiev in the 13th century, and for hundreds of years the territory of modern Ukraine was partitioned and controlled by different forces—Poland, Lithuania, Russia, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Soviet Union. Through it all, the Ukrainian people maintained a sense of individual identity. The Cossacks earned a reputation for fierce martial spirit and love of freedom. Writers and intellectuals kept alive Ukrainian linguistic and cultural traditions.

After suppression by Stalin and the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s, Ukraine spent another 46 years as a communist state within the Soviet Union. But the 1986 explosion at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant was in many ways a turning point for the Soviet Union and Ukraine, and with the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine became an independent state in 1991.


Ukraine began to reform its Soviet-dominated education system immediately after independence. Currenty, education in Ukraine is overseen by the Міністерство освіти і науки.

Primary and Secondary Education

All children, ages 7-16, attend a 9-year compulsory primary and lower secondary (middle) school program. When students complete the first nine years of education, they receive the Certificate of Incomplete General Secondary Education. After two years of upper secondary education, students receive the Certificate of Complete General Secondary Education.

Upper secondary education takes place at two types of institutions: general academic schools and secondary vocational-technical schools. Secondary vocational-technical schools are designed to give lower secondary graduates skills for entry directly into the job market. These studies are at the technikum, for highly skilled technical, industrial, engineering studies, agriculture, business and some applied arts; and the uchilishche, for pre-school teacher training, nursing, medical technologies, and librarianship. Admission to these upper secondary institutions is based on the nine-year Certificate of Incomplete General Secondary Education and heavily weighted entrance examinations which confirm general and mathematical knowledge. Programs last up to 5 years; typically 3 years to complete secondary education and 2 years of postsecondary education. Certificates awarded after three years of study include the Atestat or Matriculation School Certificate, Vocational School Leaving Certificate, Professional Secondary School Leaving Certificate, and, after two years of postsecondary level study, the Junior Specialist Diploma.

Post-Secondary Education

In the Ukraine, all education from the upper secondary through doctoral levels is considered “professional” education, and is as follows:

  • Level I: Technical and vocational education = first (or initial) professional education
  • Level II: College education = intermediate professional education/basic higher education
  • Level III: University education = higher professional education/complete higher education.

Traditional Ukrainian (Soviet) higher education was highly specialized, and emphasized engineering, technology, science and military fields. Curricula included mostly mandatory field­ courses and few un­related subjects like social sciences or humanities. Since 1992, private education institutions in particular have more closely followed Western models, and offered more flexibility and career variety. Economics, management, and the humanities have been especially popular.

The Ministry of Education is the only accrediting body, and both public and independent institutions may conduct educational activities and offer degrees at three levels.

Level I

Uchylyshcha and Technika (Vocational and technical schools) award the Swidoctwo Pro Zakinchennia Uchylyshcha and the Diplom Technika.

Institutions of Levels I and II are now considered institutions of higher education (prior to 1992 they were specialized secondary schools). They can exist separately or be affiliated with other institutions. Students can be admitted to Level I programs after completing either the Certificate of Incomplete General Education (which represents nine years of education), or the Certificate of Complete General Secondary Education (which represents 11 years of education); plus entrance examinations.

Students entering after “incomplete secondary education” study for one to five years. Students completing one or two year programs receive the Swidoctwo Pro Zakinchennia Uchylyshcha which qualifies them for employment. Students studying in programs of three, four or five years duration receive both the Attestat and the Swidoctwo Pro Zakinchennia Uchylyshcha, which qualifies them for employment and further education.

Students entering after “complete secondary education” study for two to three years and receive the Diplom Technika, (Professional Secondary School Leaving Certificate), which qualifies them for employment and further education.

Level II
Colleges award the Junior Specialist Diploma with Professional Qualification or the Bachelor's degree.

Many of the institutions of Level II are the old secondary Technicums now upgraded to colleges. They tend to admit only students who have completed the Certificate of Complete General Secondary Education. The standard length of a program is 4 years and the award is the Bakalavra. This is consistent with the Bologna process which instituted the first separation between undergraduate and graduate (see Level III below) degrees throughout Europe.

Levels III and IV
Institutes, conservatories, academies, and universities award Dyplom Spetsialista, Bakalavra, Magistra, Kandydat Nauk and Doktor Nauk degrees.

Institutes normally offer Level III programs, and universities and academies usually rank at Level IV. (For example, after 1992, Level III Kiev Polytechnic Institute became the Level IV National Technical University of Ukraine, and expanded its degree offerings.) An "Institute" in Ukraine may offer a broader range of higher education programs than is often associated with specialized institutes elsewhere.

The Dyplom Spetsialista requires 5-6 years of study beyond the Certificate of Complete General Secondary Education. As the name implies, this diploma is awarded in highly specialized fields, especially in engineering.

The Master’s Degree also requires one to two years (and frequently one additional semester practicum) beyond the Bakalavra (bachelor's degree). The master's degree is oriented toward a scientific or research career.

Ukraine has two doctoral degrees, the Kandydat nauk, and Doctor nauk. The Kandydat nauk is awarded after 3 or 4 years of research beyond either the Dyplom Spetsialista or the Masters; plus a thesis and examinations. The Doctor nauk is the highest degree in Ukraine, awarded only to those already holding a Kandidat nauk who have published a significant volume of original research over an extended period of time. The doktor nauk is comparable to postdoctoral study in the United States.

Continuing Education

Ukraine continuing education serves persons who are already on the job. Candidates for such courses must pass an entrance exam. Some higher education institutions (mostly private) have departments of continuing education. A few higher education institutions organize evening classes in industry, at the same level as full-time studies. Ukraine television broadcasts public educational programs for students and teachers, primarily at the secondary level.

Teacher Training

Pre-primary and primary school teachers are trained in teacher-training institutions of Level I or II (see text, above). Secondary school teachers are trained at institutes and universities, (see Level III, above) in the respective faculties of their teaching specialties (Education, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Physical Education, etc.). Higher education teachers are recruited from among university graduates who hold the Master or Candidate of Science degrees, and generally have some education training.

headshot of Johnny Johnson JOHNNY K. JOHNSON
Director of Foreign Credentials Evaluation
Services of America (FCSA)

Annual Subscription Rates

CategoryMember StatusUp to 2 usersUp to 10 usersUp to 30 usersUnlimited
InstitutionalMember $600$1,275$2,025
Non-Member $825$2,000$3,250
Non-Institutional**Member $2,275$2,875$3,625
Non-Member $2,750$3,750$5,000


**contact us to verify if you qualify for our small business discount

Subscribe Today                      Sign-up for a free trial



Upcoming AACRAO Events

On-Demand Learning

Self-Paced | Online

Self-paced courses aligned with our competency and proficiency framework, AACRAO's on-demand training will build your skills and enhance your resume. 

Courses in:

  • Compliance
  • International
  • and more

Learn More

SEM_2020_1440x400 update

The International Institute

The AACRAO International Institute covers promising practices for the evaluation of international credentials that combines AACRAO’s On-Demand International Series with five, two-hour, virtual instructor-led training sessions.

Learn More
AACRAO International Institute Banner