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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

State to Reform 5-Year University Curriculum

Government officials have approved a plan to abandon the Soviet system of higher education in favor of bachelor and master's programs.

The plan, designed by the Education and Science Ministry, calls for Russian universities to make the switch this coming September, but some universities are allowed to defer the change, Minister Andrei Fursenko told RIA-Novosti.

The new plan calls for a three-year bachelor's program -- as is the case for most undergraduate programs in Britain -- and a two-year master's program. The new bachelor's curricula would give students 90 percent of what they need to know for 10 to 15 related professions, Fursenko said. The new master's program would equip students with specific knowledge for their field of choice, he said.

Students currently enrolled in Soviet-style five-year programs would be able to complete their degrees in accordance with the old system, Fursenko said.

The minister noted that several former Soviet states have already switched to the bachelor's and master's system, adding that Russia must change to attract students from abroad and produce a competitive workforce.

The ministry estimates that only 15 to 20 percent of Russian university graduates meet the requirements of prospective employers.