This is Argyn's blog. I comment on topics of my interests such as software, math, finance, and music. Also, I write about local events in Northern Virginia, USA and all things related to Kazakhstan

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Кафедра физики конденсированного состояния АГУ им. К. Жубанова

This is a rarity: a web site of the committee for dissertations defenses in Aktobe State University. It has one actual avtoreferat posted there, and it's in Kazakhstan! I never saw anything like this in the country.

I have to explain a little bit how it works. In Kazakhstan, as in former USSR, there are two advanced degrees in science instead of one (PhD) in the western world. They have "candidate of sciences" and "doctor of sciences" degrees. The first one is roughly equivalent to PhD, you have to study 3-5 years in "aspirantura", pass several "candidate minimum exams" and "defend a dissertation". You have to have several published articles, of course. There'll be a supervisor assigned to you, who will give you a topic of your work. You have to write a "dissertation" and "avtoreferat". The latter is the essense of the work in 40 or so pages, while the former is a complete work.In addition to a supervisor, there'll be "a leading organization" (ведущая организация) assigned to you, which is usually a university or a research institution. The actual defense happens at one of the committees, which are approved by "VAK" (высшая аттестационная комиссия), Highest Attestation Committee appointed by the government. Once the dissertation is defended, VAK has to confirm the defense, only after that you become a "candidate of sciences" (кандидат наук)."Doctor of sciences" is a more advanced degree. It's supposed to be awarded to people who "created new directions in sciences". It takes more time and effort, and somewhat similar in procedure. Usually, you have to be a "candidate of sciences" before starting to work on doctor's degree. I think that Kazakhstan is about to move to one PhD degree instead of two level system.It's funny that in higher education USSR had one university degree "diploma", while in the west there were two Bachelor and Master. I got "diploma" in Physics, which was 5 years study plus thesis defense, i.e. like MSc degree in USA. My sister graduated later and she got BSc and MSc degrees in Economics because Kazakhstan adopted two level higher education system after my graduation.


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