Changes in education

Education in Ukraine is changing. Upper secondary education now lasts 2 years, but that is going to change to 3 years. At the moment, primary and secondary education together last 11 years, in the new system this will be 12 years.

Compulsory education ends after secondary education, and this will remain the case in the new system. The first graduates of 12 years of education will not be seen until 2030 at the earliest, because the first children started at primary school under the new system in September 2018.

The way in which education is given will also change: there will be less focus on learning facts, and it will be more about how to use knowledge. Students will be also able to choose more subjects themselves. Little is known yet about the content of secondary education in the new system.

Primary education and lower secondary education

Children start attending school from the age of 6. The first 4 years of primary education are called ‘beginners’ education’ in Ukraine. This is followed by 5 years of ‘basic education’. Ukrainian basic education also includes lower secondary education.

  • : 9 years.
  • Content:
    • 4 classes of ‘beginners’ education’: the language of instruction is Ukrainian, but may be Russian or a minority language (e.g. Tatar or Romanian) until class 4. Pupils take a state exam at the end of class 4.
    • 5 classes of ‘basic education’: since 2017, education from class 5 is almost exclusively in Ukrainian. Pupils start learning a foreign language during this period of 'basic education'. The state determines a large part of the subjects. The schools may determine some subjects themselves. At the end of this period, pupils take another state exam.
  • Diploma: Svidotsvo pro zdobuttia bazovoi serednioi osviti - Cвідоцтво про здобуття базової середньої освіти (Certificate of basic secondary education). Please note: this diploma had a different name until 2018: Svidotstvo pro bazovu zagalnu seredniu osvitu - Свидоцтво про базову загальну середню освiту (Certificate of basic general secondary education).

We compare a Svidotsvo pro zdobuttia bazovoi serednioi osviti - Cвідоцтво про здобуття базової середньої освіти to 3 years of general lower secondary education.

We compare a Svidotstvo pro bazovu zagalnu seredniu osvitu - Свидоцтво про базову загальну середню освiту to 3 years of general lower secondary education.

Upper secondary education

At the moment, upper secondary education lasts 2 years, but this is going to change to 3 years. See Changes in Education. Below we describe the system as it is today. In the coming years, students will continue to receive their secondary school diploma in this system, the Svidotstvo pro zdobuttja povnoi zagalnoi serednioi osviti (Certificate of complete general secondary education).

  • : 2 years (will change to 3 years, see Changes in Education).
  • Content: students take at least 15 subjects, sometimes more than 20. They take a state exam in at least 3 subjects, Ukrainian, mathematics or history, and 1 or 2 elective subjects. This exam is called Derzhavna pidsumkova attestatsia (DPA) - Державна підсумкова атестація (state exam). They take school exams in the other subjects. The state determines a large part of the subjects. Students can also specialise in a certain subject combination. Sometimes students can also take a vocational elective subject.
  • Function of the diploma: access to higher education. Please note: for admission to higher education, students take entrance exams in the last class of secondary education.
  • loma: Svidotstvo pro zdobuttia povnoi zagalnoi serednioi osviti - Свідоцтво про здобуття повної загальної середньої освіти (Certificate of complete general secondary education).
    Please note: this diploma had a different name until 2018: Atestat pro povnu zagalnu seredniu osvitu - Атестат про повну загальну середню освiту (Certificate of complete general secondary education).

We compare a Svidotstvo pro zdobuttia povnoi zagalnoi serednioi osviti - Свідоцтво про здобуття повної загальної середньої освіти to at least a HAVO diploma.

We compare a Atestat pro povnu zagalnu seredniu osvitu - Атестат про повну загальну середню освiту to at least a HAVO diploma.

Please note: 'at least a diploma' means that these diplomas have a higher level than a HAVO diploma, but a lower level than a diploma. The level of a Svidotstvo pro zdobuttia povnoi zagalnoi serednioi osviti and an Atestat pro povnu zagalnu seredniu osvitu is between a HAVO diploma and a VWO diploma.

You can find more information about primary and secondary education on the ENIC Ukraine website.