Russia is the largest country in the world by area, the 9th largest by population. Its territory incorporates 85 so-called Federal Subjects, 160 ethnic groups co-exist here. Due to this, in some republics where the majority of population identifies itself as belonging to other than Russians group, school education is sometimes performed in national languages.
Russian population constitutes more than 146 mln people. School age students amount to about 15,5 mln people
Russian school education system constitutes 11 years, 9 of them are compulsory.
The system is divided into 3 steps:
primary school (1-4 years, age of students usually 7-10)
middle school (5-9 years, age of students usually 11-15)
high school (10-11 years, age of students usually 16-18)
After the 9th year compulsory education finishes, but to get their diploma students are required to pass state exam (OGE). They have to pass 4 subjects: Maths and Russian are obligatory, 2 more they choose themselves. There mark scale in Russia is from 2 to 5, 5 being the highest (excellent), 4 (good), 3 (satisfactory), 2 (unsatisfactory). In order to pass the exam they need to get at least a 3 in each subject.
Then there are three paths: a student can go to work (but they usually get unqualified jobs), go to a special college (not the same as US college, it does not give any degree) or continue at high school.
If they choose to continue at high school, they study for 2 more years and then pass another state exam (EGE) which allows them to get a diploma and get points in order to apply to university. To be admitted to the exam they need to have at least satisfactory marks. They are required to pass 2 subjects: Maths and Russian. The rest of the subject are chose according to the program they are going to apply to at the university (universities publish the required subjects on their websites). The maximum number of points in one subject is 100. The exam is unified for the whole country.
School year starts on September, 1 in the whole country and ends in May (in June for graduates who pass exams). Holidays are unifies as well for the whole country, the dates are announced before the beginning of the year. It is usually 1 week in autumn, 2 weeks in winter, 1 week in spring. First graders have an additional week usually in February and their winter break starts earlier than for the rest.
Depending on school and the age the week can be 5 or 6 days long.
In Russia there 46 schools that follow IB program.
In St. Petersburg there are around 1 000 schools and about 45 000 in Russia on the whole
In Russia the majority of schools are public. They vary by name and specialization. There general education schools, so-called gymnasiums that are traditionally considered to be strong in Humanities and Languages and lyceums that are strong in Maths and Sciences.
There are about 700 private schools in Russia and almost half of them is situated in Moscow. There are also international schools, they mostly follow British curriculum.
There is no unified ranking for high schools in Russia. Mostly it is possible to see a ranking by the city.
Now there are 662 universities in Russia. The majority of them are public (484), the rest are private (178).
University education now comprises 4 years for Bachelor's degree and 2 years for Master's degree (after Russia has entered Bologna process). Earlier the education was 5 years long and that is why many Russian have a degree of Specialist.
Entrance rate depends on the ranking of university. Some public universities also offer free places sponsored by the state and competition for those places is especially high. Whether a student gets the state-financed place or not depends on the number of points they get at the state exam after 11 years.
There is another type of educational institution in Russia which is called college and a number of vocational institutions. Colleges are usually a way of transition: students can go there after the 9th Year at schools, study there for 2 years and then transfer to the 3rd year at university, thus, saving time. Vocational institutions usually prepare for technical professions.