Ia. M. Sverdlov Communist University

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ia. M. Sverdlov Communist University


the first higher school in the USSR for training party cadres and workers in the soviets. It was an outgrowth of the courses for agitators and instructors, which were established in Moscow in July 1918 on the initiative of Ia. M. Sverdlov and sponsored by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee. Sverdlov also drew up the first program of study. In January 1919 the courses became the School for Work in the Soviets, out of which the Central School for Soviet and Party Work was created in accordance with a resolution of the Eighth Congress of the RCP (Bolshevik). In July 1919 the Central School was renamed the Ia. M. Sverdlov Communist University.

Initially, the university had a six- to eight-month curriculum. Later, it was increased to two, three, and four years. Lenin devoted a great deal of attention to the organization of the university and to the the development of its programs of study. He delivered two lectures on the state at the university on July 11 and Aug. 29, 1919, and on Oct. 24, 1919, he gave a farewell speech to the students who were going off to the front. Among the prominent party figures who gave lectures at the university were Ia. M. Sverdlov, A. M. Gorky, M. I. Kalinin, V. V. Kuibyshev, and A. V. Lunacharskii. Teachers at Sverdlov Communist University included V. V. Adoratskii, N. N. Baturin, A. S. Bubnov, M. F. Vladimirskii, V. P. Volgin, S. N. Gusev, F. Ia. Kon, N. M. Lukin, S. I. Mitskevich, S. A. Piontkovskii, M. N. Pokrovskii, I. I. Skvortsov-Stepanov, A. M. Stopani, and E. M. Iaroslavskii. At different times M. N. Liadov, V. I. Nevskii, and V. P. Antonov-Saratovskii served as head of the university.

The Communist Evening University, Soviet and Party Evening School, Communist Sunday University, Communist Correspondence University, Lecturers’ Classes, and later, the Institute of Graduate Students operated under the auspices of the university. In the decade after the university’s founding, more than 10,000 people graduated from it and 19,000 studied there. Under a resolution passed on Sept. 21, 1932, by the Central Committee of the ACP (Bolshevik), the Ia. M. Sverdlov Communist University was reorganized as the Ia. M. Sverdlov Higher Communist Agricultural University. On its 15th anniversary in 1933 the university was awarded the Order of Lenin. In 1935 it became the Ia. M. Sverdlov Higher School for Propagandists under the Central Committee of the ACP (B).


Ivanova, L. V. “Kommunisticheskie universitety i ikh rol’ v podgotovke istorikov-marksistov v 1918–1922 gg.” In Istoriia i istoriki: Istoriografiia istorii SSSR. (Collection of articles.) Moscow, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.