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2022-02-12 14:21:27

TOP-10 secrets of Moscow State University: a look through 265 years of work

TOP-10 secrets of Moscow State University: a look through 265 years of work

January 25 celebrates the day of Russian students. This holiday has a formal premise - in the middle of the XVIII century, Tsarina Elizabeth issued a decree: to establish a university in Moscow. This event just happened on the day of St. Tatiana.

In honor of the recent holiday, we will recall several interesting and interesting facts from the life of this oldest university in Russia.

The university was not initially associated with Lomonosov

Now the university bears the name of a person who made an outstanding contribution to Russian science - a naturalist, physicist and chemist, self-taught from the northern Kholmogory Mikhail Lomonosov. It is believed that he founded the university – but this is only half true.

The dreamy scientist shares this fame with the Elizabethan favorite, his friend, Count Ivan Shuvalov. It was he who communicated the idea to the Empress and spoke before the Senate. The Tsarina approved everything, the Senate approved, and Shuvalov became the first curator, heading his brainchild until his death.

And Lomonosov is not found either in the decree on the establishment, or even in the collection of speeches on the occasion of the opening of the university.

The first building of Moscow State University was located on Red Square

Nowadays, the university is closely associated with the Sparrow Hills, but this complex of majestic buildings was created in the 30s of the last century. The historical building was located in the building of the Glavptek, near the Resurrection Gate - exactly on the site where the GIM, the historical museum on Red Square, is now located.

As the institution grew, it expanded, new buildings were opened in the area of Tverskaya and Nikitskaya, as well as on Mokhovaya, organizing a semblance of a student campus. Some of these buildings are still occupied by faculties: psychology, Asia and Africa, journalism.

Moscow University was more democratic than European

The most important goal facing the founders of the first Russian university was the creation of a first-class educational institution capable of competing with the best institutions in Europe. This was successful, although there were still certain differences.

First of all, it was said that the teaching was conducted in the national language, and for a very long time there was no theological faculty in the structure. This was due to the fact that there was no brave soul ready to adapt the orthodox training of priests to the rigors and difficulties of the university course.

There were few faculties at all.

All students studied at the Faculty of Philosophy

In the original Lomonosov plan, there were to be three of them: the university intended to train philosophers, doctors and lawyers. However, for enrollment in the last two, it was possible to enroll only after the student listened to a three-year course in philosophy. It was possible to stay there – to deepen knowledge and improve in this most important of the social sciences.

The first professor of the law faculty was expelled when zero people entered the course

The first dean of the law faculty was a professor from Germany, the philosopher Philip Heinrich Dilthey. He combined his position as a law professor with lecturing at the Faculty of Philology.

This continued until 1763, when no student wished to study at the faculty. The administration of the university listened to the applicants, assessed the degree of sloppiness in terms of the administration of the faculty entrusted to him - and jumped out into the street. However, Diltey was a famous philosopher and was friends with some courtiers, so the enlightened Catherine the Great ordered his restoration by a personal decree.

Not only nobles were admitted to the university

Society in the Empire was deeply archaic and class-based, but at the university everything was different: noble and diverse children studied together. They valued the level of knowledge, neglecting the origin. The university also provided for the education of gifted students at the expense of the treasury, it was available to the poor. Their studies were fully paid for by the state. In addition, there were several scholarships.

Despite such democracy, until the Russian Revolution of 1917, women were not accepted here for study and work.

The university existed thanks to trustees and patrons of the arts

Despite the status of the imperial, a significant share of the treasury of the higher educational institution was money from the assistance of the merchant families of the Demidovs and Stroganovs. They donated various necessary tools, replenished the book collection, gave finds from expeditions; in particular, such a donor was Akinfiy Demidov, who initiated the collection of minerals of the university.

A special contribution to the development of the university was also made by graduates who collected money by subscription to the student: a kind of trust fund. In the best years, the number of donaters exceeded several hundred.

The first non-state newspaper in the country was created at the university

In 1756, the same restless Queen Elizabeth ordered to establish a newspaper at the university. It was called "Moscow Vedomosti". The issue continued until 1917, when the printing house was closed by the Bolsheviks. Editing was carried out by the rectors of the university, who collected Russian and European news for the next issues. In 1761, they immediately began to publish a thick literary magazine "Useful Entertainment", but he, unfortunately, did not live very long.

You will not be satisfied with news alone: the printing house was rented by a well-known publicist, publisher and friend-opponent-correspondent of Catherine the Great Nikolai Novikov, a member of the Masonic lodge. He has published more than eight hundred publications in various disciplines.

University professors were officials

As in Germany, the professorship was held in the category of bureaucracy and was under the control of the state. It also managed property (which included serfs and landowners in the Urals).

For some time, like the universities of Europe, this university had its own judicial presence for employees who allowed certain offenses.

The Bolshoi and Maly Theaters appeared thanks to Moscow State University

In the same year, when the newspaper was launched, a theater group was opened at the institution. The artists were directly students, and the director (and in fact the clerk) was the famous prose writer Mikhail Kheraskov. The productions were very diverse; in addition to domestic works authored by Fonvizin and Lomonosov staged the latest comedies, plays and vocal numbers from France and Italy. As in European theaters, most of the roles were played by men (at first - only them, since there were no students at Moscow State University at that time). However, in 1757, an advertisement appeared in the university newspaper that girls were being sought in the team.

In 1780, a building specially built on Znamenka street died in the fire of another metropolitan fire. Then it was decided to build another theater on Petrovka, where in 1825 the Bolshoi and Maly theaters were opened (the troupe of students remained amateur).

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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