Higher Educational Institutions

Higher Educational Institutions

 

institutions that train highly qualified specialists and scientific and pedagogical personnel for various branches of the economy, science, and culture; conduct theoretical and applied scientific research, which forms the basis for training specialists; and provide refresher courses for teachers in higher and secondary specialized schools and for specialists employed in diverse branches of industry, agriculture, and culture.

Higher educational institutions include universities, polytechnical institutes, industrial institutes, branch institutes of different specializations (for example, engineering, agriculture, medicine, pedagogy, the arts, and economics), and higher military educational institutions. In many countries there are various kinds of higher theological educational institutions as well as secular higher educational institutions.

Some higher educational institutions are called academies (the K. A. Timiriazev Agricultural Academy, military academies), higher schools (the N. E. Bauman Higher Technical School in Moscow, higher naval engineering schools), conservatories, schools (the V. I. Nemirovich-Danchenko Studio-School attached to the M. Gorky Moscow Art Academic Theater of the USSR), colleges in some countries, and so forth.

Universities train mostly specialists in the humanities and natural sciences, though some also train engineers and medical personnel. Polytechnical institutes and other technical higher educational institutions train engineers of various specializations. Branch institutes train specialists for specific branches of the national economy, science, and culture, for example, agronomists, economists, lawyers, physicians, teachers, artists, and actors.

The concepts “higher school” and “higher educational institution” have not always been the same at different periods and in different countries. At present, too, there are considerable differences in levels of higher education, in the purposes and methods of training specialists, and in the length of schooling, for the development of higher education in each country is closely connected with the country’s economic and sociopolitical system.

Historical survey. Higher (philosophical) schools (higher for that time) first appeared in Athens and in Rome in the fifth through third centuries B.C. The first higher school to be termed a university (in the code of Theodosius, A.D. 438) was a philosophy school, opened in Constantinople in 425. As a type of higher educational institution, universities appeared much later: in the 11th and 12th centuries in Italy (Salerno and Bologna), at the beginning of the 12th century in France (Paris), and at the end of the 12th century and beginning of the 13th century in Spain (Salamanca) and England (Oxford).

The first higher schools on the territory of the USSR were the Colchis Academy in the fourth century and the Ikalto, Gremy, and Gelati academies in Georgia in the 11th and 12th centuries. In the 13th and 14th centuries universities were founded in England (Cambridge, 1209), Italy (Naples, 1224; Rome, 1303), Portugal (Coimbra and Lisbon, 1290), Spain (Valladolid, 1346), Bohemia (Prague, 1348), Poland (Krakow, 1364), Austria (Vienna, 1365), and Germany (Heidelberg, 1386; Cologne, 1388). During the Renaissance, universities were founded in many large cities of Western and Central Europe—in Barcelona (1450), Freiburg (1457), Basel (1460), Munich (1472), Uppsala (1477), Madrid (1508), Jena (1558), Geneva (1559), Edinburgh (1583), Dublin (1591), and Ljubljana (1595).

The Vilnius Academy was opened in 1579 and granted the rights and privileges of a university. (It was subsequently reorganized as a university.)

In the first half of the 17th century universities were founded in Córdoba (1613), Amsterdam (1632), Budapest (1635), and Cambridge (Harvard College, 1636). In 1632 the Kiev Mogila Academy was founded; in 1661, the University of L’vov; and in 1669, the University of Zagreb. In 1687 the Slavic, Greek, and Latin Academy was founded in Moscow.

In the late 17th and early 18th century general advances were made in knowledge in response to the requirements of the production of material goods and of trade and navigation; science was emancipated from the power of religion; the natural sciences developed; achievements were made in mathematics, physics, and astronomy; and industry and culture grew rapidly. All this contributed to the development of universities (for example, Yale University, 1701; University of Caracas, 1725; University of Havana, 1728; University of Gottingen, 1737; University of Pennsylvania, 1740; Columbia University in New York, 1754; and the University of Bonn, 1786) and led to the organization of schools which at that time were considered to be higher specialized schools, such as the School of Mathematical and Navigational Sciences in Moscow (1701), the Naval Academy in St. Petersburg (1715), the Higher Mining School in Ostrava (1716), the National School for Bridges and Roads in Paris (1747), the Freiberg Mining Academy (1766), the Mining School in St. Petersburg (1773; now the Leningrad Mining Institute), the Land Surveying School in Moscow (1779; the Moscow Institute for Geodesy, Cartography, and Aerial Photography and the Moscow Institute of Engineers for Organization of Land Exploitation trace their history from it), and the Medical Surgical Academy in St. Petersburg (1798). The first Russian university under the Academy of Sciences was founded in St. Petersburg in 1725. It was called the Academic University. Moscow University was founded in 1755 on the initiative of M. V. Lomonosov.

With the development of capitalism and large-scale machine industry in the 19th and early 20th century, universities and engineering and other branch higher educational institutions were established in many countries all over the world, for example, universities in Buenos Aires (1821), Toronto (1827), Athens (1837), Santiago (founded in 1738, reorganized in 1843), Montevideo (1849), Sydney (1850), Zurich (1855), Bombay and Calcutta (1857), Bucharest (1864), California (1868), Tokyo and Stockholm (1877), Algiers (1879), Peking (1898), and Cairo (1908); poly technical institutes in Athens (1836), Delft (1842), and Budapest (1856); and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1861).

The following higher educational institutions were founded in Russia in the beginning of the 19th century: Dorpat (Tartu) University (1802), the Forestry Institute in St. Petersburg (1803), universities in Kazan (1804) and Kharkov (1805), and the Lazarev Institute of Oriental Languages in Moscow (1815). Several higher schools were established in St. Petersburg: the Institute of Transportation and Communications Engineers (now the Leningrad Institute of Railway Engineers) in 1809, the Main Pedagogical Institute in 1816, a university in 1819 (now the A. A. Zhdanov Leningrad University), and the Technological Institute (1828). The Moscow Higher Technical School was founded in 1830. During the years of political reaction that followed the suppression of the Decembrists’ uprising (1825), the universities were deprived of the autonomy which they had enjoyed from the beginning of the 19th century. In 1832 the University of Vilnius was closed. Only a few higher educational institutions were established in the next two decades: the Institute of Civil Engineers in St. Petersburg (1832; today the Leningrad Institute of Civil Engineering), the University of Kiev (1834), and veterinary institutes in Dorpat (1849) and Kharkov (1851).

The democratic revolutionary movement of the 1860’s, the abolition of serfdom, and the development of industry fostered the organization of new higher educational institutions, such as the Riga Polytechnical Institute (1862), the Petrovskoe Agricultural Academy in Moscow (1865, now the K. A. Timiriazev Agricultural Academy), Novorossiisk University in Odessa (1865), and the Historical and Philological Institute in St. Petersburg (1867). The universities regained their autonomy under the Statute of 1863. In the 1870’s and 1880’s, despite the reaction which stopped the development of higher schools (under the Statute of 1884, the universities were again deprived of their autonomy), several more higher educational institutions were established, including the Kharkov Technological Institute (1885), the University of Tomsk (1888), and the Ekaterinoslav Mining Institute (1889), as well as advanced courses for women. The revolutionary movement of the late 19th and early 20th century stimulated the activities of the higher schools. The tsarist government was compelled to permit student organizations to exist and to make the offices of rector and deans elective. Among the higher schools established were polytechnical institutes in Kiev (1898) and St. Petersburg (1902), the Don Institute (in 1909, in Novocherkassk), a technological institute in Tomsk (1900), a university in Saratov (1909), about 30 advanced courses for women (most of which were of the university type), the Women’s Pedagogical Institute (1903) and the Pedagogical Academy (1908) in St. Petersburg, and the P. G. Shelaputin Pedagogical Institute in Moscow (1911). In 1908, Shaniavskii’s People’s University was established in Moscow with private and public funds. However, higher educational institutions still did not satisfy the country’s need for specialists and remained inaccessible to the people in general. The total number of higher educational institutions in Russia in the 1914-15 academic year was 105 (with 127,400 students), with most of them located in Petrograd, Moscow, Kiev, and Kharkov.

Higher educational institutions in the USSR. The Great October Socialist Revolution fundamentally altered the higher schools system and the class and national composition of the student body. The Soviet government set higher educational institutions the task of training highly skilled specialists from among the working people for employment in various branches of the national economy, science, and culture. By a decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR, signed by V. I. Lenin and issued on Dec. 11, 1917, all educational institutions, including higher educational institutions, were transferred to the jurisdiction of the People’s Commissariat for Education. Rabfaki (workers’ schools) were opened to help young people from the working and peasant classes complete their general secondary schooling and prepare them to enter higher educational establishments. The rabfaki played an important role in changing the class composition of the student body. (For example, in 1925-26, graduates of the rabfaki constituted 40 percent of all students admitted to higher educational institutions.)

Special attention was given to universities as constituting scientific, academic, and cultural enlightenment centers. In 1918 universities were opened in Nizhny Novgorod (present-day Gorky), Dnepropetrovsk, Voronezh, Irkutsk, Tbilisi, Tashkent, Baku, Yerevan, Sverdlovsk, Minsk, and other cities. At the same time, the first specialized higher educational institutions of various kinds were established. By the 1922-23 academic year the country already had 248 higher educational institutions (with 216,700 students). In 1925 graduate study was organized in higher educational institutions to train teaching and scientific research personnel. In 1928 the Central Administration for Higher and Secondary Technical Educational Institutions (Glavvtuz) was established under the Supreme Council on the National Economy of the USSR. In the years 1928-30 higher educational institutions were transferred to the jurisdiction of the appropriate people’s commissariats in order to bring them closer to the national economy. In the 1931-32 academic year, by the end of the first five-year plan period, the USSR had 701 higher educational institutions (with 405,900 students). In the early 1930’s a number of industrial branch institutes grew out of large higher educational institutions with numerous departments. For example, the Moscow Mining Academy (founded in 1918 on the initiative of V. I. Lenin) gave rise to mining, geological exploration and research, petroleum, and peat institutes, as well as an institute of steel and an institute of nonferrous metals and gold. The Moscow Higher Technical school gave rise to mechanical and machine-building, aeromechanical, power, and other institutes. Mining and metallurgical institutes and departments opened in Siberia, the Donbas, and other parts of the country. Aviation, machine-tools and instruments, transportation and communications, and chemical technological institutes were opened in cities, such as Moscow, Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa, Gorky, Rostov-on-Don, and Dnepropetrovsk. In addition to industrial branch institutes, polytechnical institutes were established, for example, in Kuibyshev and Yerevan. Civil engineering institutes were organized in 1930. In 1932, the All-Union Committee for Technical Higher Education (VKVTO) was established under the Central Executive Committee of the USSR to take charge of technical higher educational institutions. In the early 1930’s more than 40 pedagogical, medical, economics, and other institutes were organized as offshoots of universities; evening and correspondence departments and schools started appearing at higher educational institutions (mostly at humanities institutes), and the first independent evening and correspondence institutes were established. In the 1920’s and 1930’s the activity of higher educational institutions was regulated by the Statute on Higher Educational Institutions of the RSFSR, approved by the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR on July 3, 1922. In 1936, in connection with the extensive development of all branches of higher education, the VKVTO was replaced by the All-Union Committee for Affairs of Higher Schools. Standard rules for higher educational institutions, determining their structure and the content of their work, were adopted in 1938.

The development of Soviet higher education is inseparably linked to the name of V. I. Lenin; its development from the 1920’s through the 1940’s is linked with the names of A. V. Lunacharskii, N. K. Krupskaia, G. M. Krzhizhanovskii, M. N. Pokrovskii, A. S. Bubnov, I. I. Mezhlauk, F. N. Petrov, and other eminent leaders of the state and of public education and culture.

In the 1940-41 academic year the higher educational institutions of the USSR had a total enrollment of 811,700 students, of whom 558,100 were daytime students, 26,900 were evening students, and 226,700 were correspondence students. In 1940, the number of specialists graduated from higher schools was 126,100.

During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45, the fascist German occupation did a great deal of damage to Soviet higher education. Many higher educational institutions were destroyed; some were moved to eastern regions of the USSR. To prevent a decline in the number of specialists trained at higher educational institutions, more than 50 such institutions were opened in the eastern regions of the USSR by the 1943-44 academic year.

In the 1950’s, in an effort to improve the quality of the training of specialists, some institutes which did not have the requisite material and technical or academic and scientific resources for the new stage in the development of Soviet higher education were merged with large higher educational institutions (for example, some law and pedagogical institutes were merged with universities and teacher institutes with pedagogical institutes), and at the same time new universities and polytechnical and industrial branch institutes were founded. Scientific and technological progress, automation of production, and rapid industrial and agricultural development in the 1950’s and 1960’s led to the establishment of higher educational institutions, departments, and specializations in such new fields as radio electronics and electronic technology, automation and computer technology, biophysics, and biochemistry. Specialized institutes were opened in such cities as Moscow, Tomsk, Kharkov, Minsk, Novosibirsk, and Taganrog. These included radio technology, electrotechnology, engineering and physics, physics and technology, and electronic technology institutes. Factory-based higher technical educational institutions were organized at large industrial enterprises. The training of personnel with degrees in civil engineering, economics, and chemical technology and of specialists in public services and other fields was expanded. New higher educational institutions with specific specializations are usually established in industrial and economic centers of the country.

In 1970 the USSR had 805 higher educational establishments (with 4.58 million students), including 457 in the RSFSR (2,671,000 students), 138 in the Ukrainian SSR (806,600 students), 28 in the Byelorussian SSR (140,100 students), 38 in the Uzbek SSR (232,900 students), 44 in the Kazakh SSR (198,900 students), 18 in the Georgian SSR (89,300 students), 13 in the Azerbaijan SSR (100,100 students), 12 in the Lithuanian SSR (57,000 students), eight in the Moldavian SSR (44,800 students), ten in the Latvian SSR (40,800 students), nine in the Kirghiz SSR (48,400 students), seven in the Tadzhik SSR (44,500 students), 12 in the Armenian SSR (54,400 students), five in the Turkmen SSR (29,100 students), and six in the Estonian SSR (22,100 students). The higher educational network included 51 universities; 201 branch higher educational institutions in various industries and construction; and 37 higher educational institutions in the field of transportation and communications, 98 in agriculture, 50 in economics and law, 99 in public health and physical culture, 216 in education and culture, and 53 in arts and film.

In the 1969-70 academic year there were 2,139,000 day-time, 668,000 evening, and 1,742,000 correspondence students in higher educational institutions. They were divided as follows among the specialized groups of higher educational institutions: 1,805,400 in industrial and building institutes; 251,900 in transportation, radio technology, and communications institutes; 432,600 in agricultural institutes; 334,200 in economics and law institutes; 309,200 in public health and physical culture institutes; 1,374,400 in education institutes (including 489,500 in universities); and 41,800 in arts and cinema institutes.

In 1970 higher educational institutions graduated 630,600 specialists and admitted 911,300 new students (500,700 to daytime studies). There were more than 57,000 graduate students (including 20,500 holding down jobs at the same time). That same year about 15,200 students completed graduate studies. Between 1918 and 1969 higher schools trained 8.5 million specialists.

As of January 1970, there were over 7.5 million persons with higher education working in the national economy. Ninety-three higher educational institutions have been awarded orders of the USSR for achievements in training specialists and in the development of science, technology, and culture (1971).

The Constitution of the USSR guarantees the right to higher education to all citizens, regardless of race, nationality, sex, property or social status, and religion, and that right is ensured by an extensively developed network of higher educational institutions, free tuition (including all kinds of academic studies), and a system of state stipends (received by the great majority of students—more than 70 percent) awarded for excellent and good achievement. Out-of-town students are usually provided with dormitories. Entrance rules are the same throughout the USSR. Higher educational institutions admit persons up to the age of 35 who have completed secondary schooling. (There is no age limit for evening and correspondence students.) All applicants must take competitive examinations in the subjects closest to the selected specialization, in their native language and literature, and in one foreign language (for those planning to specialize in philology and some of the other humanities). Applicants to conservatories, higher arts educational institutions, and physical culture institutes must also take an examination in their specialty. Various kinds of reference materials and academic aids are published annually in mass editions to help applicants to higher educational institutions, and numerous preparatory groups and courses are offered at higher educational institutions, enterprises, building sites, and so forth. Entrance examinations are usually held in August, though evening and correspondence higher educational institutions which operate seasonally hold examinations at various times from October to February. Some preference with regard to admission to higher educational institutions is accorded persons who have had at least two years practical work; persons demobilized from the Soviet Army; persons sent to full-time higher schools by enterprises, organizations, kolkhozes, and sovkhozes; and persons who have graduated from secondary school with a gold medal or graduated from a secondary specialized school with honors. Exempt from entrance examinations are persons who have passed graduation examinations at preparatory divisions established at higher educational institutions for young people of working-class and kolkhoz backgrounds and demobilized servicemen by the decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR of Aug. 20, 1969. (By the beginning of the 1970-71 academic year there were 500 such preparatory divisions with an enrollment of more than 60,000.) Foreign nationals residing in the USSR permanently are subject to the same admission rules. Foreign nationals are also admitted to Soviet higher educational institutions on the basis of appropriate treaties and agreements.

The structure and work content of higher educational institutions are determined by the Regulations on Higher Educational Institutions of the USSR, confirmed by decree no. 64 of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, dated Jan. 22, 1969. Higher educational institutions are headed by rectors. Prorectors are in charge of the academic and scientific work of higher educational institutions. Higher educational institutions are composed of departments, which train undergraduate and graduate students in one or several related specializations, provide refresher courses for specialists in the given branch of the national economy and culture, and also guide the scientific research of the subdepartments conducting academic-methodological and scientific research in one or several allied disciplines. Some higher educational institutions have general technological departments to give students training in general engineering. The department is headed by a dean. Among the structural subdivisions of higher educational institutions are branches of higher educational institutions and academic consultation centers, which are organized to assist correspondence students at their places of work or residence. A council of the higher educational institution (or department), organized by the office of the rector (dean), deals with the basic questions of the work of the school (department). Higher educational institutions which have been granted the right by the Supreme Attestation Commission to hear the defense of candidate’s and doctoral theses have councils for conferring advanced academic degrees.

The following positions have been established for the professorial and teaching staff of higher educational institutions: head of the subdepartment, professor (as well as consultant-professor), assistant professor, senior instructor, instructor, and assistant, all of whom (except for consultant-professors) are appointed or reappointed by competition every five years. (All decisions on the competitions are adopted by the council of the higher educational institution by secret ballot.) In 1970 there were 883,400 professors and instructors employed in the higher educational, scientific research, and other institutions of the USSR, including 21,800 doctors of sciences and 205,400 candidates of sciences.

Higher educational institutions organize the academic process according to curricula and study programs, developed by leading scholars, discussed by the councils of the given higher schools, and approved by the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education of the USSR. Some of the larger higher educational institutions in the country have individual curricula that enable them to train specialists on the basis of the progressive methods of scientific schools that developed within their walls.

Attendance of classes in higher educational institutions is mandatory. The academic year (42 academic weeks) consists of two semesters, each of which ends with examination sessions. The student’s weekly work load of compulsory academic studies (lectures, practical training, seminars) is limited to 24—34 hours. On completing the course of training in higher educational institutions (from four to six years, usually five years) the student must take state examinations or present a diploma project (thesis); in universities and some branch higher educational institutions students must do both—pass state examinations and present a diploma project (thesis).

In accordance with the special training received, graduates of higher educational institutions are certified as one of the following: physicist, radiophysicist, mathematician, chemist, physicist and instructor of physics, philologist and instructor of Russian language and literature (in a university), teacher of a specific subject (in pedagogical institutes), physician, agricultural scientist, radio engineer, mechanical engineer (production design engineer, power engineer, engineer-physicist, geological engineer, metallurgical engineer, engineer-economist, construction engineer), architect, actor, director, and so forth. In 1971 there were more than 400 higher school specialties. The scientific or scholarly level of these certifications is usually equivalent to the master’s degree (or other corresponding academic degree) conferred in foreign higher educational institutions. All graduates of higher educational institutions (irrespective of the form of training—daytime, evening, or correspondence) receive the same kind of diploma, giving them equal rights as specialists.

Higher educational institutions provide refresher courses for specialists. Refresher courses for teachers in higher schools are offered in 120 departments and in six institutes (1971). In addition there are 70 departments for raising the skills of specialists in the national economy. Higher educational institutions have scientific research divisions, problems laboratories (more than 400 in 1971), and branch laboratories (more than 500 in 1971) dealing with major scientific and technological tasks. The larger higher educational institutions have scientific research institutes and construction design offices. (In 1971 there were 48 such scientific research institutes.) There has been considerable expansion of scientific research and construction design work among students. Nearly every higher educational institution has a student scientific society, where students engage in scientific experiments and research and abstract new scientific works under the guidance of professors and instructors. Many higher educational institutions have student construction design and technological offices. In 1971 more than 600,000 students were active in scientific societies, offices, and circles. Scientific and other kinds of student organizations are an effective form of student participation in the subdepartment’s scientific research and practical work. They operate under the guidance of Party, trade union, and komsomol organizations on the basis of self-government and the development of student initiative and activism. Their work is coordinated by all-Union, republic, and city councils on student scientific work.

Students participate in the government of higher educational institutions. Representatives of student organizations are included in the councils of higher educational institutions (departments) and are members of student commissions that deal with the distribution of stipends. In many higher educational institutions there are numerous student construction squads and student clubs, theaters, performing groups, and sports societies. (In 1971 more than 1 million students belonged to the Burevestnik Society.) All-Union student sports festivals and contests of various kinds are held every year. Public and scientific organizations for students, graduate students, professors and teachers, and other staff members each have their own rules. Soviet students take an active part in the international youth and student movement. The Student Council of the USSR is the coordinating agency for Soviet student associations in the USSR and represents Soviet students in the International Union of Students.

The work of higher educational institutions is directed and coordinated by the republic ministries of higher and secondary specialized (public) education, as well as by the appropriate branch ministries and departments, taking into account the specific features of a republic’s national economy or of the country’s branches of the economy and of their need for specialists. Overall leadership is effected by the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education of the USSR. Scientific papers and the work experience of higher educational institutions are made known to the public in the journals Izvestia vysshikh uchebnykh zavedenii (Journal of Higher Educational Institutions), Nauchnye doklady vysshei shkoly (Scientific Papers of the Higher School), and Vestnik vysshei shkoly (Journal of the Higher School), and in the Uchenye zapiski and Trudy of universities and institutes. In 1971 there were 426 large-circulation newspapers being printed by higher educational institutions. Textbooks and academic aids are put out by the Vysshaia Shkola and Prosveshchenie publishing houses and by other branch publishing houses.

In 1971, the higher educational institutions of the USSR had a total enrollment of 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students and Stazhery (students on special course not leading to degree) from 126 countries. The USSR has student exchange programs with the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy, the Federal Republic of Germany, and other countries of Europe, Asia, America, and Africa. In 1960 the Patrice Lumumba People’s Friendship University was opened in Moscow to train specialists from the countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. A number of higher educational institutions have established preparatory departments for foreign students to teach them the Russian language and give them a secondary-school level of knowledge.

Soviet higher educational institutions are developing friendly ties with higher schools in many countries all over the world. Eminent foreign scholars and progressive and public figures hold honorary professorships and doctoral degrees in Soviet higher educational institutions, and Soviet scholars hold honorary professorships and doctoral degrees in many foreign higher educational institutions. Some major Soviet universities are members of the International Association of Universities (IAU). Soviet higher education is represented in the International Association of Teachers of Russian and Russian Literature. In the 1950’s and 1960’s the USSR helped build the Bombay Technological Institute in India, the Rangoon Technological Institute in Burma, the Polytechnical Institute in Conakry (the Republic of Guinea), and other institutes.

Higher educational institutions have also developed widely in other socialist countries, where, as in the USSR, they are under state jurisdiction. New universities and branch institutes have been opened where specialists can be trained to meet the needs of the national economy and culture. The class composition of the student body has changed. Women are educated on equal terms with men. Tuition is free. Students are given state stipends and provided with dormitories.

In capitalist countries any educational institution that trains specialists on the basis of a general secondary education is considered a higher school. There is usually no clear distinction between higher and secondary specialized schools. In addition to state schools, many countries have higher educational institutions owned by private individuals, big monopolies, and religious and other communities.

S. I. ZINOV’EV, V. G. PANOV, and A. N. GORSHENEV

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