Russia has 11-grade system of secondary education. It is compulsory up to 9th form inclusive. Children begin school at age 6 or 7 and study for 4 years to receive primary general education. Then, they study for another 5 years to receive basic secondary education. The Certificate of Incomplete Secondary Education (ATTESTAT) is awarded. After finishing the 9th form graduates of this level may continue their education for another two years at senior high school to receive secondary complete general education. Secondary education leads to the award of the ATTESTAT (a Certificate of Completed General Secondary education.
Initial and Intermidiate Education (Professional).
Institutions of initial and intermidiate professional education (PTU -proftekhuchilischa, professional leceums, tekhnikums and colleges train qualified workers, middle-level specialists such as techncians and skilled nurses. They confer Diplomas after 2 years' study on the basis of Secondary (complete) general education and after four to four-and-a-half years on the basis of Basic general education.
Higher education is provided by public and non-State accredited higher education institutions. The majority of state institutes of higher education are regulated by the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation. Some of them are regulated by other state Ministries, such as the Ministry of Health Care, the Ministry of Railway Transportation, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of International Affairs and others. There are three levels of higher education: 1) incomplete higher education (2 years at least); 2) basic higher education (4 years) leading to the Bakalavr's degree, the first university level degree; 3) postgraduate higher education (total number of years of post-secondary education: 5-6 years or more.