Party Schools of the CPSU

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Party Schools of the CPSU


(higher party schools [HPS’s]), republic and inter-oblast educational institutions for the training of party and soviet leadership cadres.

The HPS’s have two divisions: a two-year program, which begins after completion of other higher education and provides advanced party and political training; and a four-year program, which begins after secondary schooling and provides both a higher general education and advanced party and political training. The HPS’s accept as students party members recommended by the Central Committees (CC’s) of the Communist parties of the Union republics or by oblast and krai committees of the CPSU. Candidates must be under 40 years of age for the two-year division and under 35 for the four-year division. They must have been members of the party for at least three years and must possess experience in party, soviet, or Komsomol work or in journalism. Communist workers and kolkhozniks who have demonstrated organizational ability in elective party and soviet organs may also be candidates. (During 1974–75, more than one-third of the students in the four-year division were from this last category.)

The HPS’s have departments for the study of the history of the CPSU, Marxist-Leninist philosophy, political economy, scientific communism, party development, and the development of the Soviet state and Soviet law. There are also departments specializing in the international communist and national-liberation movements, Soviet economics and the management of the national economy, journalism, Russian language, and foreign languages. The HPS’s conduct research on ways to improve the style and methods of party and state activity. They are supervised by the CC of the CPSU, the CC’s of the Communist parties of the respective Union republics, and the oblast and krai committees of the CPSU. The quality of instruction is supervised by the HPS under the CC of the CPSU and the Correspondence Higher Party School (CHPS) under the CC of the CPSU. The CHPS has a three-year program for those with other higher education and a five-year program for those with a secondary education. It has the same curriculum as a regular HPS. The CHPS has two branches, 16 divisions (14 of which use the facilities of local HPS’s), and 97 consultation centers. It develops and publishes textbooks and other teaching aids for the HPS’s and soviet and party schools.

The CPSU has always paid great attention to the training of party cadres. In the prerevolutionary period, party members were trained in Marxist circles. The first educational institution for the training of party cadres was the party school in Long-jumeau, which was founded by Lenin in 1911. After the October Revolution of 1917 the party created courses and schools of soviet and party work, as well as the la. M. Sverdlov Communist University, which became the main link in the system of party schools and Communist universities that was forming in the 1920’s. On the basis of a decree of the CC of the party passed on Aug. 2, 1946, the Academy of Social Sciences Attached to the CC of the CPSU was created. In addition to the HPS under the CC of the party, new HPS’s with two-year programs were formed under the CC’s of the Communist parties of Union republics. Others were formed under oblast and krai committees of the party. Between 1946 and 1958 more than 60,000 persons graduated from HPS’s. By a decree of the CC of the CPSU dated June 26, 1956, the number of HPS’s was reduced. The CHPS was created under the CC of the CPSU.

The HPS curriculum is the subject of the decree of the CC of the CPSU dated Sept. 1, 1972, On Measures to Improve the Training of Party and Soviet Cadres in the HPS Under the Central Committee of the CPSU. In keeping with this decree, all HPS’s not only provide thorough education in Marxism-Leninism and the theory and practice of party and soviet work but also devote great attention to the study of the management of the national economy, to the social psychology and pedagogy of party work, and to the experience of the socialist countries in the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. An important place in the learning process is reserved for methods of applying knowledge in practice, mastery of the art of directing social and economic processes, and work with the masses. In 1974 there were 14 HPS’s in operation. More than 166,000 persons have graduated from all the HPS’s between 1946 and 1974.


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