From the history of university education formation in the Soviet provinces

  • Maksim Kail Smolensk State University, 4 Przhevalskogo St., Smolensk, 214000, Russian Federation
Keywords: history of education, higher education, Smolensky state university


Maksim Kail, Ph.D. in History, Associate Professor at Smolensk State University, Smolensk, Russian Federation. Email: Address: 4 Przhevalskogo St., Smolensk, 214000, Russian Federation.

As exemplified by organization of Smolensk State University, one of the first six universities established in Soviet Russia, the paper explores how governmental authorities, private initiatives, intellectuals, associations, scientific communities, and prominent scientists were getting involved into development of university education in Russia. Establishment of the university is regarded as a sociocultural phenomenon that determined development of education, science, and culture in the macroregion (the Western region of Russia).

The author identifies stages of establishment and organizational challenges of the Smolensk University. He describes its structure in the first years of existing and demonstrates importance of the young Western region university for the regional community.

The key role in establishing the Smolensk University was played by regional initiatives and uncompromising measures taken by the University Organization Committee. Thus, higher education in Soviet Russia owed its existence and development mostly to private and social scientific initiatives. Overcoming objective or subjective difficulties in development of the Smolensk University often depended directly on the will and nerve of the leading scientists, departmental teams of scientists and educators, and the university as a whole.

Creating a regional university and developing some of the fields of study were determined by the needs of the region, by its physical and staff resources. A prompt development of university infrastructure in the harsh conditions of the Civil War is explained by the highest priority that regional authorities placed on building a higher educational system.


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How to Cite
Kail, Maksim. 2013. “From the History of University Education Formation in the Soviet Provinces”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 1 (October), 256-72.
History of Education