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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a monetary allowance paid at regular intervals, usually by the month, to persons enrolled in daytime divisions or departments of specialized educational institutions and in various types of courses. Stipends are also paid to persons on leave of absence from work who are pursuing a course of graduate study in preparation for scientific or scholarly work, to persons preparing to defend a doctoral dissertation, and to persons enrolled in courses of advanced training.

The practice of granting stipends to some students was first introduced in medieval universities and urban schools. Stipends were granted in Russia beginning in the 18th century. The funds for stipends came from private philanthropy, revenues from urban magistraty (administrative bodies), the church, and the state treasury.

The USSR has a state system of stipends that seeks to guarantee access to all levels of education. State revenues are the main source of funds for stipends. Persons sent to study at higher and specialized secondary educational institutions by industrial and construction enterprises and by sovkhozes and kolkhozes are paid stipends by these organizations.

In higher and specialized secondary educational institutions, students are awarded stipends according to their academic achievement and their participation in volunteer activities. The decisions to award stipends are made twice during the academic year and are based on the results of examinations. In specialized secondary educational institutions, stipends are also awarded on the basis of an overall evaluation of a given student’s current level of achievement. Stipends are granted to students in the first semester of the first year according to the results of entrance examinations. In the vocational-technical educational system, all the students of technical schools whose level of achievement is satisfactory receive stipends.

The size of a stipend varies according to the field of study, and in higher educational institutions the size of the stipend depends on the course of study followed. Students who have excellent grades in all subjects and who take an active part in volunteer activities and in scientific and technical research receive stipends with an increment of 25 percent. Persons sent to study by industrial and construction enterprises and by sovkhozes and kolkhozes receive stipends with an increment of 15 percent.

The size of stipends granted to graduate students depends on the type of higher educational institution or scientific research institute attended and on the rate of pay received before enrollment in graduate school. Students and graduate students who attain a high level of achievement in their studies and in their scientific and scholarly research receive nominal increments in their stipends. These increments are established in commemoration of anniversary dates or in memory of outstanding state, scientific, and cultural figures.

A student or graduate student who becomes temporarily unable to pursue his course of study continues to receive his full stipend. Those persons who are pursuing a course of advanced training while on leave from work generally receive their normal wage, and some receive a supplementary stipend in addition.

A state system of stipends exists in the other socialist countries as well. As a rule, a student’s level of achievement and his material status are taken into account in the awarding of stipends.

In the educational institutions of capitalist countries, the funds for stipends are provided by government revenues, monopolies, philanthropic organizations, and private individuals. Government stipends are awarded to a small number of students who fulfill specific requirements, including those of political reliability and adherence to religious beliefs. Stipends are also granted to persons without material resources, as well as to persons pursuing a course of study in areas considered to be particularly important. Between 30 and 40 percent of the students receive stipends. Those students who receive stipends are still required to pay tuition.


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