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European-Style Degrees a 'Mistake' for Russia, Says Top University Head

Maxim Stulov / Vedomosti

The head of Russia's most prestigious university has criticized the country's move to a European-style degree system as a “mistake.”

Viktor Sadovnichy, the rector of Moscow State University, said that undergraduates should study for five to six years, rather than the four years currently required for a bachelor's degree.

Sadovnichy claimed that many new degree programs set “all sorts of different standards” and often “lost their direction,” the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Russia reshuffled its higher education system in 2009 to follow the Bologna Process, a universal standard for higher education across Europe. Five- to six-year “specialist” degrees, which existed in the Soviet Union, were replaced by a two-tier system of a four-year bachelor’s degree with an optional two-year postgraduate qualification.

Reformers hoped this step would help to modernize Russia's higher education institutions and implement degree requirements comparable to those of the Western system currently recognized in more than 50 countries.

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