Soviet and Party School

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Soviet and Party School


an educational institution organized by the CPSU to train personnel for party organizations and soviets in rural areas. A soviet and party school provides secondary education in party-related political affairs and specialized training to organizers in economics, agronomy, and zootechny. Such schools accept members of the CPSU active in public and political affairs. Students, who must be recommended by party committees to enter, include party, soviet, and Komsomol workers, industrial workers, and kolkhozniks. Individuals who have already acquired a secondary education are admitted for a two-year course of study, and graduates of eight-year schools for a three-year course.

Short-term courses were organized in a number of major cities after the victory of the October Revolution of 1917 in order to train propagandists and organizers of Soviet power. These courses were the beginning of systematic training for soviet and party workers. In 1920 soviet and party schools began operating on the oblast level (providing one year of training), at the provincial level (six months of training), and at the district level (four months of training). A program for the training of soviet and party personnel during the peaceful construction of socialism was set forth at the Tenth Congress of the RCP(B) in 1921. It established district-level schools to offer intensive programs, provincial-level schools to train two or three graduating classes per year, oblast-level advanced party schools, and Communist universities—higher party schools.

In 1925, by the end of the reconstruction period, there were 179 soviet and party schools at the district level and 67 at the provincial level, with a total of 26,000 students. The curriculum and training programs changed with the changing tasks of the party. During the early years of the collectivization of agriculture, soviet and party schools mainly trained propagandists and secretaries of rural party groups. In the 1930’s, during the socialist reconstruction of the economy, the schools began dealing with production and training industrial and agricultural workers.

The training of party and soviet personnel continued uninterrupted throughout the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), although the length of the training periods and the types of training were changed. The new postwar goals of soviet and party activity led to a restructuring of the party’s educational facilities. The three-year party schools and secondary agricultural schools for kolkhoz chairmen were replaced between 1955 and 1957 by 52 soviet and party schools, which began training managerial kolkhozniks, as well as party and soviet workers in rural areas. Some soviet and party schools were closed in subsequent years, as a result of the growing demand for party and soviet workers with higher education.

New educational programs have been implemented in soviet and party schools since 1968. The curriculum has been expanded considerably in the fields of the history of the CPSU, Marxist-Leninist philosophy, scientific communism, political economy, party and soviet construction, constitutional law, the scientific organization and economic analysis of agricultural production, social psychology, and pedagogy.

More than 60,000 students graduated from soviet and party schools between 1955 and 1974. In the 1974–75 academic year, approximately 3,800 students were enrolled in 16 soviet and party schools.


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