Higher Attestation Commission (Russian: , Ukrainian: ? ?, abbreviated Cyrillic: , 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.
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:
The Higher Attestation Commissions in other nations have similar responsibilities.
Scientific degrees awarded VAK were classified into an established list of specialties, grouped into the following major sections
|01.00.00||Physics and Mathematics||09.00.00||Philosophy||17.00.00||Art Studies|
|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|