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Popular Teaching Languages in Ukraine Universities

What Are The Teaching Languages in Ukraine Universities

There are two most popular teaching languages in most Ukrainian educational institutions namely:

  1. Ukrainian Language
  2. Russian Language

Those are the two main teaching languages used for lectures in most institutions for native Ukrainians.

The use of Foreign languages, as a teaching language started gaining prominence with the increase and proliferation of foreign students seeking affordable university education in Ukraine.

Among the foreign languages used, English language is the one that has gained more prominence and is widely being used. Effectively, English language could be unofficially assumed to be the third widespread teaching language used in Ukraine. However, it is important to point out that the use of English language as a teaching language is mostly employed for foreign students.

The use of English language is mostly popular in the medical fields, Engineering and some Economics and management courses. Most postgraduate courses are hardly available for study in English language. In essence, the percentage of courses taught in English by comparison to the local language is quite small. However, with the popularity Ukraine is gaining as an affordable education destination, many universities are making plans to offer courses in English language. So, in the near or distant future, the use of foreign languages as a teaching language, especially English, is expected to rise.

To get a better grasp of underlying reason behind the multiple languages, it is important to first understand the ethnic framework of Ukraine, and it’s historic antecedents.

Ukraine is composed mainly of native Ukrainians. However, in the East, there is a concentration of Ukrainians that are Russian speaking and culturally affiliated with Russia. Towards Western part, and regions bordering with Poland and Hungary, there is also some cultural blend with these neighbouring cities, and also reflects in the language spoken in these regions.

As a former member of the Soviet Union for many years, along with many other nations, Russian language was the central communicating language that was used in both official and non-official communications.

Consequently, upon break up of the former Soviet Union, an independent Ukraine inherited a system that was predominantly Russian oriented.

This explains why Russian language is widely used as a teaching language in many educational institutions of higher learning.

As Ukraine continued to grow as an independent nation, Ukrainian language started gaining more prominence as a means of communication and is in fact, the official language even though Russian language is also recognized in some regions. Currently, Ukrainian language is mostly used in central and eastern part of the country, with it’s popularity only expected to be on the rise.

Many international students usually have a hard time deciding on the appropriate study language to choose. There are pros and cons for choosing any. However, the most common drawback of studying in the local language is the need for a one year language preparatory program prior to enrolling into the main program. In attempt to avoid that, many international students opt to study in English, if the option exists.

On the flip side, it should be noted that studying in English language is more expensive than studying in any of the local languages. Also, as Ukraine itself isn’t an English speaking country, it could be challenging to find lecturers who are very fluent in spoken English, even whey they are authorities in their fields.

There is a more detailed post on the pros and cons of language selection. If interested, then go and check the article on study in Ukraine language choice analysis.