Higher Attestation Commission

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Higher Attestation Commission (Russian: Высшая аттестационная комиссия, Ukrainian: Вища атестаційна комісія, abbreviated Cyrillic: ВАК, Latin: VAK) is a name of a national government agency in Russia, Ukraine and some other post-Soviet states that oversees awarding of advanced academic degrees. Due to translation differences, these committees are sometimes translated as the "State Supreme Certification Commission" or other similar variation; the common Cyrillic-based acronym of VAK remains a constant with all versions.

A commission of a similar kind (Bulgarian: Висша атестационна комисия) operated in Bulgaria until 2010, when it was abolished as part of a reorganisation of academic structures.[1]

On December 9, 2010, the Higher Education Commission of Ukraine was merged into the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.[2]

Russia and the former Soviet Union[edit]

During the Soviet Union, the Higher Attestation Commission under the USSR Council of Ministers (also abbreviated as VAK) oversaw and controlled the awarding of advanced academic degrees and academic ranks in all of the USSR. With the fall and break up of the Soviet Union, separate Higher Attestation Commissions arose in the newly independent nations. For example, the Russian agency became the Higher Attestation Commission of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, taking similar duties in the Russian Federation.

The responsibilities of the Russian Commission include:

  • coordinating Dissertation Councils in Russian universities and research institutes;
  • promulgating regulations concerning awarding of academic degrees;
  • awarding the degrees of Candidate of Sciences and Doctor of Sciences, upon the recommendation of the Dissertation Council in the university or research institute where the defense of the dissertation took place;
  • awarding the academic rank of Professor;
  • making decisions on equivalence of foreign degrees awarded to Russian citizens.

Since 2016-2019, some (29, as of June 2020[3]) top-level educational and scientific establishments in Russia, e.g. Moscow State University, were granted the right to award degrees independently, i.e. without a control, of the VAK; there are voices against extension of this option.[3]

The Higher Attestation Commissions in other nations have similar responsibilities.

Fields of study[edit]

Scientific degrees awarded VAK were classified into an established list of specialties, grouped into the following major sections[4]

Code Field Code Field Code Field
01.00.00 Physics and Mathematics 09.00.00 Philosophy 17.00.00 Art Studies
02.00.00 Chemistry 10.00.00 Philology 18.00.00 Architecture
03.00.00 Biology 11.00.00 Geography 19.00.00 Psychology
04.00.00 Geology and Mineralogy 12.00.00 Law 22.00.00 Sociology
05.00.00 Technical science 13.00.00 Education 23.00.00 Political Science
06.00.00 Agriculture 14.00.00 Medical Sciences 24.00.00 Culturology
07.00.00 History 15.00.00 Pharmaceutics 25.00.00 Earth Sciences
08.00.00 Economics 16.00.00 Veterinary 26.00.00 Theology
  • positions 20.xx.xx were occupied by military sciences,[5] position 21.xx.xx are kept in reserve since abolition of "naval sciences" at 1980th.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Закон за развитието на академичния състав в Република България" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-11-21. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  2. ^ Указ Президента України № 1085 від 9 грудня 2010 року «Про оптимізацію системи центральних органів виконавчої влади» Archived 2012-02-10 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b "РАН предлагает ограничить список организаций, присуждающих ученые степени" [Russian Academy of Sciences advices to restrict the list of degree-awarding organizations]. Rossiyskaya Gazeta. 2020-06-02. Retrieved 2020-06-04.
  4. ^ http://vak.ed.gov.ru/316
  5. ^ "Темы диссертаций и авторефератов по специальности "Военные науки", ВАК РФ 20.00.00".

External links[edit]