The article presents a short review of changes in legislation concerning the regulation
of higher education, and analyzes certain provisions of the new legislation. Particular
attention is given to the relationship between the various levels of learned degrees
as provided for by the changes in the legislation. The author highlights certain
contradictions between the new legislation and the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
The author considers the possible influence of the introduction of the two'stage
higher education system on programs for second degrees. Job opportunities for Bachelors
and Specialists’ status are discussed. The study is based on an analysis of
the current legislation, academic papers in jurisprudence, and media publications
dealing with education reform (including articles by foreign authors).