According to the Ukrainian constitution, access to free education is granted to all citizens. Complete general secondary education is compulsory in the state schools which constitute the overwhelming majority. Apart from public establishments, there is also a small number of accredited private secondary and higher education institutions.
Citizens have the right to obtain free higher education in the state and communal educational establishments on a competitive basis. Education in Ukraine is divided into four stages: primary; junior secondary; senior secondary and tertiary or post-secondary education, which includes college and university programs and vocational/technical education.
Education in the country begins at the age of 6 or 7. Primary classes are classes 1 to 4, junior secondary – 5 to 9 and classes 10 and 11 are referred to as senior secondary. After the 9th class pupils can continue their education in technical schools or colleges of different types. Graduates from 11th class (Senior Secondary) get the chance for admission to higher education institutions and those who finish technical schools or colleges successfully, also gain access to higher education.
The Law on Higher Education (2002) establishes a three-level structure of higher education: incomplete, basic, and complete educational levels with corresponding educational-proficiency levels of Junior Specialist, Bachelor, Specialist and Master. In 2016 the Ministry of Education transformed this system to the levels of Junior Bachelor’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Sciences.