Communist Universities

Communist Universities

 

in the USSR, party higher educational institutions that trained party, Soviet, and trade union workers from 1919 to 1935.

Communist universities were established in the largest cities of the country on the basis of short-term party courses. The first was the la. M. Sverlov Communist University (1919); its work served as a model for other Communist universities. The system of communist universities expanded as a result of the resolutions of the Eighth and subsequent Party Congresses. Communist universities were guided directly by the Central Committee of the party. In 1921 the J. Marchlewski Communist University for National Minorities of the West (KUNMZ) and the Communist University for Workers of the East (KUTV) were established in Moscow.

Party workers with at least three years of party membership were admitted to the communist universities, which had a three-year and later a four-year program of study. To maintain the theroretical skills of leading local cadres, one-year programs were also instituted at these universities. In 1923 the Central Committee of the RCP (B) confirmed the Model Regulations of Communist Higher Educational Institutions. Most communist universities had divisions of party work and political education, the trade union movement, economics, and administration and law. Special divisions were created in accordance with the national makeup and educational level of the students and the requirements of the time. The program of the communist universities included sociopolitical lecture series (history, philosophy, and political economy), series on the natural sciences (mathematics, physics, chemistry, geography, and biology), and the study of Russian and foreign languages. In addition to the administration, there was an influential board of directors, which included administrators, faculty, and students.

The largest communist universities were the la. M. Sverdlov University, KUNMZ, KUTV, the Lenin Turkestan Worker and Peasant University (Moscow), the Artem University (Kharkov), Leningrad University, and the universities of Byelorussia (Minsk), Transcaucasia (Tbilisi), the Northern Caucasus (Rostov-on-Don), and Saratov. There were also communist universities in the capitals of other Union republics and in certain administrative centers of the country. In 1927 an all-Union communist correspondence university was founded in Moscow; other communist universities organized correspondence divisions. There was also a program of postgraduate study at communist universities.

By 1931 there were 45 central republic and krai (oblast) communist universities. In addition to the universities, there were specialized party educational institutions and scholarly research institutions, including the Communist Academy, the Institute of Red Professoriat, the N. K. Krupskaia Academy of Communist Upbringing, the Leningrad Institute of Political Education, and communist institutes of journalism. The Marxism courses of the Communist Academy, courses for district party workers under the auspices of the Central Committee of the RCP (B), international Leninist courses, and Sun Yat-sen University of the Workers of China also had the status of communist universities.

The communist universities played a large role in the training of leading party, state, and trade union cadres. By the Sept. 21, 1932, resolution of the Central Committee of the RCP (B), the majority of the communist universities were reorganized into communist higher agricultural schools. In 1935 the communist universities were replaced by the Higher School of Propagandists under the Central Committee of the RCP(B) and schools of propagandists in republic, krai, and oblast centers. In 1939 the Higher Party School under the Central Committee of the CPSU was established; in 1946 the Academy of Social Sciences was founded under the jurisdiction of the Central Committee.

G. V. ANTONOV and I. V. ZAGOSKINA

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