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in many countries, the first academic degree. In the medieval universities of Western Europe, it was granted to students upon completion of the first stage of education. In Russia at one time, teachers in ecclesiastic schools were called baccalaureates; at the end of the 18th century, graduates of the Teachers’ Institute of Moscow University received this degree. The baccalaureate, within contemporary systems of academic titles and degrees of many foreign countries, including Great Britain and the USA, is granted to graduates of universities and other higher educational institutions after they have passed special examinations, and sometimes, upon defense of a dissertation abstract. As a rule, the baccalaureate is equivalent to the diploma received by graduates of four-year Soviet higher educational institutions upon passing state examinations. In France, since 1808, the baccalaureate certifies completion of secondary education and gives the right to university admission.