Economics Education

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Economics Education

 

in the USSR, the training of specialists in planning, accounting, finance, and other fields of economics to work in the national economy, research, and education.

Educational institutions offering instruction in economics arose in connection with the development of industry and trade. The first commercial schools were established in Russia in the second half of the 18th century. Economics courses were first taught in the country’s universities in the 19th century. In the early 20th century, commercial institutes established in Moscow and Kiev were the first specialized higher educational institutions to train specialists for trade and industry.

Economics education began its true development after the October Revolution in 1917. During the years of Soviet power, a vast network of higher educational institutions specializing in economics, university departments of economics, technical and agricultural institutes, branches of economics institutes in industrial centers, and economics technicums has been established. Economics education is offered by day, evening, and correspondence study. The aggregate of academic courses of study required for each specialization is determined by the nature of the graduate’s future job. Marxist-Leninist political economy is the methodological and general theoretical foundation of the training of economists. It fosters the formation of a communist world view in future specialists. The general courses of study common to all specializations in economics are the history of the CPSU, Marxist-Leninist philosophy and scientific communism, the history of the national economy, and the economic geography of the USSR and foreign countries, as well as courses in the technology of individual sectors of production and a foreign language. Students take a general course in higher mathematics and special courses in probability, statistics, and mathematical programming. Other mandatory studies include computers and computer programming, mechanized processing of economic information, and bookkeeping.

Specialization is available for the further training of economists. For example, students studying national economic planning may specialize in the planning of prices and prime cost, and those studying the economics of trade may specialize in the economics of food services or another area.

Economists are trained on the basis of a combination of theoretical learning and practical acquisition of work methods and procedures in a given specialization. Attention is focused on independent work by students and student participation in departmental research, student scientific societies, and the like. At the end of their final year of study, students at higher educational institutions of economics receive the qualification of economist and are assigned, according to the makeup of their training, to jobs in planning offices, offices of labor and wages, and supply offices at enterprises, ministries, and government departments, as well as to the systems of the Ministry of Finance, State Bank (Gosbank) and Central Statistical Board. Researchers and teachers in economics are trained in graduate study programs, which have been established at most higher educational institutions of economics and departments of economics. Technicums graduate specialists in planning, accounting, and merchandising with a secondary economics education. The training offered by technicums is narrower than that at higher educational institutions. Technicum graduates receive the qualification of planning technician, merchandising specialist, bookkeeper, and others.

Specialists working in economics, industry, agriculture, construction, and transportation may increase their knowledge in courses for advanced qualification offered at higher and secondary educational institutions, at institutes for improving the skills of managerial personnel and specialists, and through the network of universities of Marxism-Leninism and people’s universities. The decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU of Aug. 31, 1971, On Improving the Economics Education of the Toiling Masses, played an important role in improving economics education, and a vast system of economics study at the higher, secondary, and elementary levels was set up in the country. Party organizations direct the work of all levels of economics study through councils on economics education. Methodological councils on the work of the schools of communist labor, which have become one of the large-scale forms of economics education, have been established at all trade union committees. The objective of mass economics education is to develop the labor activism of the toiling masses by every means possible.

Economists are trained in the USSR for many countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Special attention is devoted to the economies of the particular countries. The Patrice Lumumba Peoples’ Friendship University of Moscow is very helpful in this work.

REFERENCES

Butiagin, A. S., and Iu. A. Saltanov. Universitetskoe obrazovanie v SSSR. Moscow, 1957.
Zinov’ev, S. I., and B. M. Remennikov. Vysshie uchebnye zavedeniia SSSR. Edited by P. I. Polukhin. Moscow, 1962.
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