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St Petersburg Education
Russians: Intellectual and Educated People

St Petersburg education is well esteemed in Russia. In fact, it goes without saying, that having a university or college degree is common here and intellectually speaking, Petersburg residents are interesting people to talk with and enjoy deep subjects.

As one of Russia’s most important centers for education and scientific research, the city of St Petersburg has the second largest concentration of higher education institutions in Russia.

St Petersburg EducationSt Petersburg Education

Here, you can find dozens of public and private universities of different fields and types.

Most of these Russian universities meet European and international standards of education and are highly regarded across the country.

In fact, St Petersburg education seems to be one of the best. This is illustrated by the wide number of young Russian people enrolling themselves in one of more than 120 universities, institutes or academies in St. Petersburg Russia after completing high school.

One of the great colleges that stands out for outstanding education is the oldest and largest institution of higher education in Russia - St. Petersburg State University, founded in 1724. Every year, this university enrolls approximately 32 000 undergraduate students. 

Moreover, the second largest non-governmental higher education institution is the Institute of International Economic Relation, Economics and Law. Other relevant universities include also the Saint Petersburg State Polytechnical University, Herzen State Pedagogical University and Saint Petersburg Military Engineering-Technical University, just to name a few.

It is also true that education for many Russian students is free of charge. In 1918 the Soviet government instituted free, compulsory schooling which enabled most Russians to receive a good, basic education. 

Not too bad so far for St Petersburg education, but there is more...

As a result, Russia has the highest educational level in the world (more than 40% of the total population have a college or university degree). Since the Perestroika, the system of higher university education is slowly deteriorating, but it still remains among the world's best.

Nowadays things have changed a little, so to get a free education, Russians must pass the entrance exams. However, the universities have had to decrease the number of students studying on a free basis due to poor state financing. Therefore, people have started to note that, at present, Russian education brings with it certain financial dues as in many other western places.

Besides this, another problem with education is that it has always been rather theoretical and unrelated to practice. Therefore, it's common for a person undertaking an engineering degree to work in sales, or one with a chemical background to find themselves in marketing.

In the old days having a degree was an end in itself. So don't be surprised if a woman with a university degree works as a secretary.

Having a PhD degree here is also not a big deal and doesn't give you a big advantage unless you work for a foreign company or foreign public/charity organization, which are considered to be the best form of employment.

In conclusion, in the past few years the Russian government have been trying to change the country's educational programs in order to make it better. And as we speak, the current education system both in St. Petersburg and Moscow as well as other Russian cities seems to work pretty well. Nevertheless, it will take years to build a new system that combines the past and the future.

Written by Davide C.


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