Ukraine - Country Commercial Guide
Education Services

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-09-24

With nearly 5.8 million students in a country the size of Texas, Ukraine is among the largest and most talented international student markets in Europe.

After decades of standing in Russia’s shadow, Western institutions are gradually taking more notice of Ukrainian students. The country ranks fourth in the world in the number of people with a higher education degree, and the literacy rate is 100 % among its younger generations.

In 2019-20 the number of students in primary and secondary school reached 4,138,000, in vocational school 245,000, and in higher education 1,439,700 students.

Education reform introduced in 2014 continues to hold significant promise for a fundamental transformation of the sector. New laws adopted in recent years have brought a major shift towards democracy and decentralization of the educational system in Ukraine leading to further harmonization and integration with European norms and standards.

Despite its track record in producing talented, literate students, over the last twenty years Ukraine’s educational system has suffered, which in turn has caused increasing numbers of students to look for study abroad programs. According to the Ukrainian think tank CEDOS, the number of Ukrainian international students has tripled since 2009 and reached 83,00 in 2017-18. The most attractive countries to study are Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Russia, Canada, the United States, Spain, Austria, and France.

When selecting a country, Ukrainians base their decisions on a country’s reputation for helping a student with career preparation and the strength of a country’s overall education system. When comparing schools, prospective students consider first the quality and then the cost of tuition.

According to the most recent Open Doors Report of the Institute of International Education, 1,899 Ukrainian students went to the U.S. to study in 2019-20. Fifty percent of Ukrainians studying in the U.S. pursue bachelor’s degrees, 28 % enroll in graduate programs, 17 % take optional practical training, and five percent pursue non-degree programs. Due to a limited number of high-quality business education programs in Ukraine, business administration is the number one field of study for Ukrainian international students followed by engineering, computer science, art and design, medicine and dentistry, as well as law.

Regarding competition for U.S. universities, according to agents, Canada is the primary competitor in recruiting Ukrainians to study in primary and higher education programs, whereas the U.K. is the major competitor for language schools and programs.

Market entry

There are many recruiting agents in Ukraine and numerous small agencies dominate the market. Most agents concentrate their efforts on serving students who plan to use their parents’ income or personal savings to pay for their education.

Even though cost is a major obstacle for Ukrainians to study in the U.S., nearly all agents report that they currently partner with U.S. schools in recruiting students, and the majority of them are satisfied with the support they receive from U.S. institutions. When asked what additional form of support would help them to promote student recruitment for the U.S., companies named the following:

  • More scholarship offers for Ukrainian students
  • Regular market visits, agent workshops, and exhibition support
  • School trips for agents
  • Guidance on visa information
  • Faster application process and accommodation assistance

Trade events

There are no educational trade events on a national level in Ukraine. The educational companies organize their own fairs and invite international schools to participate. Usually, these fairs take place in October and February.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Secondary Education
Community Colleges
Higher Education


  • Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine
  • Osvita.Ua (Education portal)
  • Analytical Center CEDOS