Candidates for an academic degree conferred by the University or a research institution independently (without participation of Higher Attestation Commission and Ministry of Education and Science) will be able to defend their thesis in English. This is mentioned in the Government decree project, published on a web-site for legal information disclosure.
Thesis may be presented in the form of manuscript and in the form of a report. Other requirements should be the same as to works defended in conventional dissertation councils that confer degrees under standard procedures with participation of Higher Attestation Commission and the Ministry.
Requirements set to the members of dissertation councils shouldn`t be lower than those set to members of other councils. To defend one thesis there should be organized a commission of experts in a particular area under the supervision of a person who works in the University at which was established the council. The other members can work in other institutions, including international ones.
Pilot project that allows certain universities and research institutions to confer degrees independently is designed for 4 years (2014 - 2018). Yet, it is not known what institutions will get this right. Previously it was told that all the requirements for these instituions will be developed by the group of experts under supervision of MEPhI Rector Mikhail Strikhanov.
The idea to confer degrees independently emerged in the framework of discussion of reform on academic attestation system. This reform started just after the scandal with fake theses defended in the dissertation council at Moscow State Pedagogical University. Following the results of the scandal more than 20 people were forfeited degrees of Candidate of Science in History and Doctor of Science in History.
Currently Saint Petersburg State University confers its own academic degree, requirements to thesis defense are set by the University itself, the defense is carried out in English. Saint Petersburg State University PhD holders simultaneously with defense in the University undergo classic thesis defense with participation of the Higher Attestation Committee and the Ministry of Education and Science. Conferment of Saint Petersburg State University degree is not regulated on the level of the Government or the Ministry of Education and Science.