Lomonosov Moscow State University

About University

History of Moscow State University

 THE HEART OF RUSSIAN EDUCATION" Moscow University is by right regarded the oldest Russian university. It was established in 1755. The foundation of a university in Moscow became possible only due to the efforts of Mikhail Vasil’evich Lomonosov (1711-1765), the outstanding Russian scholar and scientist, a person of encyclopaedic learning. In 1940 on the occasion of its185th Anniversary, Moscow University was named after M.V.Lomonosov. Alexander Pushkin was quite right when he wrote about the giant of 18th century world science: "Combining the formidable will-power and the formidable strength of perception, Lomonosov embraced all the branches of learning. A thirst for a deeper appreciation of things proved an overwhelming passion with that impassioned spirit. A historian, rhetorician, mechanic, chemist, mineralogist, artist and poet, he had experienced it all and perceived it all ...". M.Lomonosov’s work mirrored all the strength, beauty and vitality of Russian science that was pushing back the frontiers of contemporary knowledge, the achievements of the country which was able, ensuing Peter the Great’s reform, to narrow considerably the gap between Russia and the foremost nations of the world, and catch up with them. M.Lomonosov attached great importance to the creation of a system of higher education in Russia. Back in 1724 the StPetersburg Academy of Sciences, founded by Peter the Great, had instituted a university and a grammar school to instruct scholars and scientists to be of Russia. However, neither the university nor the grammar school proved up to the mark. That is why M.Lomonosov had on many occasions brought up the idea of opening a university in Moscow. His suggestions spelled out in a letter to I.I.Shuvalov laid the groundwork for the blueprint of Moscow University. I.Shuvalov, favourite of the Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, encouraged the advancement of Russian science and culture and backed up many of Lomonosov’s enterprises. Upon acquainting herself with the Shuvalov-presented project for the new school of learning, Elizaveta Petrovna signed a decree on the foundation of Moscow University, which happened on January 12 (25 January, New Style) on StTatyana Day celebrated according to the church calendar. The solemn ceremony of inauguration of Moscow University took place on the day when the coronation anniversary of Elizaveta Petrovna was being celebrated, on April 26 (May 7, New Style), 1755. Since then these occasions have been traditionally celebrated at Moscow University by student festivities, and the traditional Lomonosov Readings are timed to coincide with them. To conform to Lomonosov’s scheme, Moscow University opened three faculties, those of philosophy, law and medicine. The students would start their course at the faculty of philosophy where they received a solid education in natural sciences and the humanities. They could then go on specilizing in law, medicine or further their course at the faculty of philosophy. Unlike the universities in the West, Moscow University did not have the faculty of theology, which accounts for the existence in Russia of a special system of education for the Russian clergy. The professors would deliver their lectures not only in Latin, the then generally recognized language of science, but also in Russian. Moscow University was noted for its students and the teaching staff, democratic in their composition and views. To a large extent it is exactly that fact that accounts for the popularity among the undergraduates, the teachers and the tutors of progressive scientific and social ideas. Already in the preamble to the Decree for the foundation of the university in Moscow, it is stated that it is established "for a general education of members of the raznochinets (those who are not of gentle birth). The University enrolled students of varied backgrounds, the only exception being for those of serf extraction. M.Lomonosov set as an example the Western universities that had rid themselves of the estate prejudice. "At the University that student is more honoured who has learned more; but whose scion he is doesn’t matter". During the latter part of the 18th century, out of 26 Russian professors who taught in Moscow University, only three were of the noble birth. Members of the raznochinets estate comprised in the 18th century more than a half of the student element. The most gifted students were sent abroad to further their education in universities, thus were strengthened contacts and links with world science. State allocations would not cover all the expenses of Moscow University, the more so that originally the students did not pay teaching fees and later low-income students became exempt from them. The administration of the University had to cast out wide to raise extra money, including the engagement in commercial activities. Great help was rendered by such patrons of the arts as the Demidovs, the Stroganovs, E.P.Dashkova and others. The would acquire and hand over to the University research equipment, collections, books, set up scholarships for the students. The graduates would not leave their alma mater in the lurch either. On many occasions, when the University was having a bad patch, they raised money by subscription. According to the established tradition, the professors bequeathed their private collections to the University library. Among them were the most precious collections of I.M.Snegiryov, P.Ya.Petrov, T.N.Granovsky, S.M.Solovyov, F.I.Buslaev, N.K.Gudzi, I.G.Petrovsky and others. Moscow University played an outstanding role in spreading and popularizing scientific and scholarly knowledge. Members of the general public were allowed to attend lectures delivered by Moscow University professors or be present while the students were debating different issues. In April, 1756 a printing facility and a book-shop opened on the premises of Moscow University in Mokhovaya Street. Thus began the development of book publishing in Russia. There and then the University launched the first civic periodical publication known as Moskovskiye Vedomosti (Moscow Gazette), and starting from January, 1760 they began the magazine Poleznoye Razvlecheniye (Useful Entertainment). For ten years, from 1779 to 1789, the print shop was headed by the graduate of the University grammar school, a prominent Russian representative of the Enlightenment, N.I.Novikov. A year after the inception of the University, the library opened its doors wide. Over a hundred years it remained the only public library in Moscow. The work of Moscow University as an enlightener of the public helped set up on its basis and with the participation of the professors and the tutors such major centres of Russian culture as Kazan grammar school (from 1804 - Kazan University), the Academy of the fine arts in StPetersburg (until 1764 it was affiliated to Moscow University), the Maly theatre and others In the 19th century, early scientific societies came into being: society of nature explorers, society of Russian history and antiques, lovers of Russian literature. In the 18th century, within the walls of Moscow University studied and taught such remarkable figures representing Russian science and culture as philosophers N.N.Popovsky, D.S.Anichkov; mathematicians and mechanics V.K.Arshenevsky, M.I.Pankevich; physician S.G.Zybelin; botanist P.D.Veniaminov; physicist P.I.Strakhov; soil scientists M.I.Afonin, N.E.Cherepanov; historian and geographer Kh.A.Chebotarev; historian N.N.Bantysh-Kamensky; philologists and translators A.A.Barsov, S.Khal’fin, E.I.Kostrov; lawyers S.E.Desnitsky, I.A.Tret’yakov; publishers and writers D.I.Fonvizin, M.M.Kheraskov, N.I.Novikov; architects V.I.Bazhenov and I.E.Starov. As Moscow University combined in its work issues related to education, science and culture, it became, to quote A.I.Hertzen, "the heart of Russian education", a centre of world culture. Until 1804 the activity of Moscow University was governed by the Imperial Decree on the Establishment of Moscow University. In 1804, with the approval of the Charter the University gained a large amount of independence. The Rector and the deans should be chosen from among the ranks of the professors. They elected as the first Rector Kh.A.Chebotarev, a professor of history and philology. The Council of Professors did all the business relevant to University life, awarded degrees. Books printed with the approval of the Council in the local print shop became exempt from statutory censorship. The students attended four faculties (known then as departments): moral and political sciences, physical and mathematical sciences, medical sciences and philology. The course lasted for three years, After the final examinations, the best graduates were awarded a candidate degree, the others acquired the rank of a "valid student". Continuity between the different levels of education was gaining ground. Under the 1804 Charter, the University had the authority to execute an overall supervision over all primary and secondary schools in the provinces of central Russia. The invasion in 1812 of Napoleon’s army sparked off the hitherto unknown patriotic enthusiasm among University students. Many joined the home guard, and the effort of the physicians was especially noted by M.I.Kutuzov. While the Napoleonic troops were staying in Moscow the University buildings virtually burned down. The fire caused the destruction of the library, archives, the museum, the equipment. The rebuiling and renovation of Moscow University became a paramount cause for entire Russian society. Scientific establishments, scientists, private persons gave out for the University money, books, antique manuscripts, nature and science collections, equipment. For the University library alone, 7.5 thousand books had been collected. Despite the difficult patch Moscow University was going through, the professors and the students didn’t waste time and started classes just on 1 September, 1813. Towards the 1820s the number of students at Moscow University exceeded 500. In the first half of the 19th century Moscow University played a leading role in Russia’s civic life. Many members of the Decembrist movement belonged to its old students. The traditions of free-thinking continued to be live and well in the student societies led by the Kritsky brothers, N.P.Sungurov, V.G.Belinsky, A.I.Gertsen, N.P.Ogarev and N.V.Stankevich. Within the University walls the Westernists and the Slavophils were having lively debates over a path Russia should take as it advanced into the future. Public lectures and discourse by the leader of the Westernists, the brilliant history scholar T.N.Granovsky, attracted the entire Moscow intellectual elite of the 1840s. Moscow University proved vigorous as a publisher, not confining itself to producing only scientific works. The University printers were the first to issue "The Sonnets" by A.Miczkewic, "The Sportsman’s Notes" by I.S.Turgenev. Recalling the years of the reaction under Nicolas I, A.I.Gertsen, appreciating a special role played by Moscow University, wrote: "The University that fell from grace with the authorities grew as its influence grew: into it, as into a great reservoir flew the young blood of Russia’s from all the quarters, from all walks of life; in its auditoriums they cleansed themselves from home-bred prejudice, avaraged out, fraternized, then again broke up and flew out into all corners of Russia, into all its segments". A new stage in the University life began with the downfall of serfdom in 1961 and as Russia embarked on the path of capitalism. The University Charter adopted in 1863 mirrored the major course of the government for reforms designed to accelerate the country’s development. The growth of industries, trade, agriculture, change in the sphere of government, in the courts, the army - all called for better standards and the extention of university education. The 1863 Charter provided for a greater number of thesubjects learnt and the increase in the teaching staff. More importance was attached to seminars, practical and laboratory work. The tradition of appointing by election the Rector and the deans, virtually wiped out in the reign of Nicolas I, revived again. The four faculties of Moscow University - history and philology, physics and mathematics, law, and medicine - taught about 1500 students, most of whom belonged to the raznochinets class. In pre-revolutionary Russia the professors of Moscow University had done much for the fusion of science and practice. University scholars and scientists produced school text-books and manuals. A large number of graduates worked at schools giving account of themselves as the most skilled part of the Russian teachers. On the initiative and with the assistance of Moscow University in the latter half of the 19th century and the early 20th century cropped up the famous museums in Moscow: Polytechnical, History, Zoology, Anthropology, the Fine Arts (now the Pushkin Museum of the Fine Arts): opened the Botanical Gardens and Zoological Gardens (Moscow Zoo). The 1863 Charter, having opened up new opportunities for the advancement of Russian education and science, remained in effect only until 1884. Following the assassination of the Czar Alexander II, the government again clamped down on the autonomy of Moscow University keeping a more strict eye on how things were taught there. Nevertheless, the University survived as a centre of both progressive science and the spiritual life of Russia. Moscow University is associated with the names of the outstanding thinkers of the turn of the century: V.S.Solov’yov, V.V.Rozanov, E.N.Trubetskoiy and S.N.Trubetskoy, S.N.Bulgakov, P.A.Florensky. The students and the professors responded to the most burning topics of the day. Moscow University had as tutors the renowned figures of Russia’s political parties. The students of Moscow University led the ranks of freedom champions in the 1905-1907 revolution. At the gathering September 7, 1905, the students adopted a resolution calling for an overthrow of autocracy and transformation of Russia into a democratic republic. The upswing of the revolutionary movement just before the First World War also affected Moscow University. In 1911 in a show of protest against the victimizations of some professors and the infringement on the University autonomy, 130 professors and tutors demonstratively quit their jobs. Among them were such world-renowned scientists as K.A.Timiryazev, P.N.Lebedev, N.D.Zelinsky, N.A.Umov, S.A.Chaplygin, V.I.Vernadsky, V.I.Picheta and others. The government hit back sacking from the University over a thousand undergraduates, arresting and banishing from Moscow the revolutionary-minded students. A steep cutback in the number of students occurred after the break-out of the First World War in 1914. In spite of the multiple difficulties besetting it, Moscow University for the first 150 years of its existence made a great contribution to the advancement of Russian science and culture. In the 19th and the early 20th centuries at the University worked the most prominent scientists representing the Russian science schools of mathematicians and mechanics N.D.Brashman, N.E.Zhukovsky, N.V.Bugaev, S.A.Chaplygin; physicists and astronomers A.G.Stoletov, F.A.Bredikhin, A.A.Belopol’sky, N.A.Umov, P.N.Lebedev, P.K.Shternberg; chemists V.V.Markovnikov, V.F.Luginin, I.A.Kablukov, N.D.Zelinsky; biologists and soil scientists K.F.Rul’e, A.I.Filomafitsky, I.M.Sechenov, K.A.Timiryazev, A.N.Severtsov, M.A.Menzbir, A.N.Sabanin, D.N.Pryanishnikov; medicine M.Ya.Mudrov, F.I.Inozemtsev, N.V.Sklifosovsky, G.A.Zakhar’in, A.A.Ostroumov, N.V.Filatov, F.F.Erisman, V.F.Snegirev; geographer and anthropologist D.N.Anuchin; geologists G.E.Schurovsky, V.O.Kovalevsky, A.P.Pavlov; geochemist V.I.Vernadsky; historians T.N.Granovsky, N.I.Nadezhdin, M.T.Kachenovsky, M.P.Pogodin, I.D.Belyaev, S.M.Solov’yov, V.O.Klyuchevsky, B.I.Ger’e, N.A.Rozhkov, M.N.Pokrovsky, Yu.V.Got’e; philologists N.S.Tikhonravov, F.I.Buslaev, N.I.Storozhenko, F.F.Fortunatov, F.E.Korsh, V.F.Miller, S.K.Shambinago, M.N.Speransky, M.M.Pokrovsky, V.N.Schepkin; lawyers B.N.Chicherin, K.D.Kavelin, M.M.Kovalevsky, P.I.Novgorodtsev; economists I.K.Babst, A.I.Chuprov, I.I.Yanzhul; philosophers E.N.Trubetskoi and S.N.Trubetskoi, and others. The revolutionary storm that swept across Russia in 1917 had a varied and inconsistent impact on the destinies of higher school. On the one hand, it had become much more democratic with tuition fees null and void and the students entitled to state grants. From 1919 Moscow University entirely went over to the state-financing scheme. To make sure that young people from working-class and peasant families had adequate proficiency to pass University entrance examinations, in 1919 the University opened a preparatory worker faculty that remained as an affiliation of Moscow University until 1936. The world-renowned scientists D.N.Anuchin, N.E.Zhukovsky, N.D.Zelinsky, A.N.Severtsov, K.A.Timiryazev, S.A.Chaplygin and others continued to teach for the first ten years after the revolution. At the same time, a split in society that occurred during the revolution had a very negative effect on Moscow University. Some students, prominent scholars and scientist had to leave it. A certain amount of damage was done by the 1930s reorganizations started in pursuit of training a larger number specialists. The faculties of medicine, Soviet law and chemistry (temporarily) spun off and formed independent institutions. The sections of geology, minerology and geography at the faculties of natural sciences broke off to become independent institutions. On the basis of the humanities faculties, in 1931 opened the Moscow Institute of Philosophy, Literature and History that didn’t come back until ten years later. Things were carried too far also in the arrangement of the curriculum that introduced a "team-laboratory method" to the training process, cancelling lectures and placing a serious job of acquisition in the hands of student teams of 3-5 persons working on their own, while a standard examination when students individually show their proficiency was replaced by collective team reports. Fortunately, that period in the life of the University didn’t last long. In 1932 the team-laboratory method was dropped. On the heels came new curricula and a general arrangement of work in universities and institutes was changing too. Candidate dissertations, first in the years of Soviet rule, were defended at Moscow University in 1934. Moscow University did not prove immune from the tragic developments in public life of the country in the 1930s -50s. The ideological and administrative pressure from the authorities stood in the way of the freedom of creative work. The system restricted contacts with foreign scientific centres, while many scientists and scholars were subjected to unjust reprisals and entire sectors of research particularly in social sciences, philology, cybernetics and biology were closed down. Though having suffered such heavy losses, University science as a whole had made great headway. By 1941, the day department alone had about five thousand undergraduates. Over 30 professors and researchers became full members of the USSR Academy of Sciences. The scholars and scientists of Moscow University had written text-books for secondary school, universities and institutes The 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War proved a great ordeal for our country. Already on June 25, 1941, the first unit of students and staff of Moscow University left for the front, mainly to join the ranks of officers or become political workers. Moscow University volunteers manned the 8th (Krasnopresnenskaya) Division of the Home Guard in the Red Army that heroically thought during the defence of Moscow. From October, 1941, the University was evacuated first to Ashkhabad and then in summer, 1942, to Sverdlovsk and did not come back to Moscow until the spring of 1943, though classes with students remaining in Moscow resumed in February, 1942, just after the rout of the nazi hosts near Moscow. During the war years Moscow University produced more than 3 thousand specialists. The University personnel with their achievements in science and research made a considerable contribution to the cause of the country’s defence and strengthening its economy. In the four years of the war the University carried out more than 3 thousand projects in research and development. Among others, the projects included: the development aircraft construction and the perfection of naval ship control, the proof of the validity of the theory that ensures the precision of ordinance firing and range firing, working out and introduction of a precise time signal system for the whole country, the invention of explosives. The medical workers introduced the preparation known as "thrombine" that improved blood coagulation; projects were launched for the research of unranium; the geologists discovered vast deposits of tungsten, facilitated the opening up of the "second Baku"; the geographers provided the cartography material for the Red Army, and so on. The scholars of the humanities made a great contribution to strengtheing the morale of the army and the nation, exposing the criminal nature of fascism, and promulgating the patriotic ideals. The documents of the Nuremberg and the Tokyo tribunals, where the nazi criminals were put on trial, contained the elaborations worked out by the law scholars at Moscow University, e.g. on individual criminal liability for the former nazi bosses. All in all, more than 5 thousand University people fought in the battles of the war, over a thousand were awarded orders and medals of the USSR and the allied countries, and seven were honoured with the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. About 3 thousand undergraduates, postgraduates, professors, tutors and staff of Moscow University perished at the fronts of the war. In their honour, next to Academic Building 1 was opened a memorial and lit the Eternal Fire of Glory. To repair the ravages of the war and go ahead, the county needed a boost in University education. In the late 1940s - the early 1950s the infrastructure of Moscow University greatly improved. A huge complex of new University buildings was erected on Lenin (Vorob’yovy) Hills. On 1 September, 1953, they opened their doors for the students. The laboratories, class rooms and auditoriums were fitted out with the modern equipment. The University budget rose 5-fold compared to the pre-war years. The better infrastructure and the steps taken in the mid-1950s to ease off the restrictions imposed on Russian politics, the extension of contacts with foreign countries allowed to enlarge substantially the scope of research carried out in Moscow University. The University opened a great many specialized laboratories, inter-faculty too, and set up a major research computing centre. Some new faculties integrated into the structure of Moscow University. Among them were the Institute of Oriental Languages (the Institute of Asian and African Countries since 1972 attached to Moscow University), the faculty of psychology, the faculty of computing mathematics and cybernetics, and the faculty of soil science, the first opened in Russia. An overall number of undergraduates in the day department rose from 13 thousand in 1953 to 26 thousand in 1992. Moscow University has transformed into a major international centre for the training of undergraduates and postgraduates. To teach Russian to foreign citizens, the University opened a specialized faculty, one of the first of this kind (now known as the International Education Centre). All in all since 1917 Moscow University has produced about 180 thousand specialists and some 35 thousand candidates of sciences for the economy, culture and education. Among the faculty Moscow University had the following prominent scholars and scientists: mathematicians and mechanics P.S.Alexandrov, V.V.Golubev, D.F.Egorov, M.V.Keldysh, A.N.Kolmogorov, N.N.Luzin, I.G.Petrovsky, I.I.Privalov, V.V.Stepanov, O.Yu.Shmidt; physicists V.K.Arkad’ev, L.A.Artsimovich, N.N.Bogolyubov, S.I.Vavilov, V.I.Veksler, A.A.Vlasov, P.L.Kapitsa, I.V.Kurchatov, L.D.Landau, G.S.Landsber, Ya.B.Zel’dovich, A.S.Predvoditelev, D.V.Skobel’tsyn, I.E.Tamm, R.V.Khokhlov; chemists A.A.Balandin, I.V.Berezin, S.I.Vol’fkovich, Ya.I.Gerasimov, B.A.Kazansky, V.A.Kargin, A.N.Nesmeyanov, A.V.Novosyolova, P.A.Rebinder, N.N.Semyonov, A.N.Frumkin, N.M.Emanuel’, geographers N.N.Baransky, A.A.Borzov, K.K.Markov, V.N.Sukachev, I.S.Schukin; geologists A.D.Arkhangel’sky, N.V.Belov, A.A.Bogdanov, A.P.Vinogradov, Yu.A.Orlov, M.M.Filatov; biologists and soil scientists A.N.Belozersky, D.G.Vilensky, L.A.Zenkevich, N.K.Kol’tsov, G.V.Nikol’sky, A.I.Oparin, N.P.Remezov; historians A.V.Artsikhovsky, B.D.Grekov, A.A.Guber, N.M.Druzhinin, N.I.Konrad, M.V.Nechkina, A.M.Pankratova, S.D.Skazkin, M.N.Tikhomirov, L.V.Cherepnin; art historians V.N.Lazarev, A.A.Fyodorov-Davydov; philologists D.D.Blagoi, S.M.Bondi, V.V.Vinogradov, N.K.Gudzy, R.M.Samarin, D.N.Ushakov; philosophers V.F.Asmus, V.P.Volgin, G.E.Glezerman, E.V.Il’enkov, B.M.Kedrov; law scholars M.N.Gernet, P.E.Orlovsky, A.N.Trainin; psychology scholars A.N.Leont’ev, A.R.Luriya, S.L.Rubinstein; economists L.Ya.Berri, A.Ya.Boyarsky, B.S.Nemchinov, K.V.Ostrovityanov, S.K.Tatur, N.A.Tsagolov, and others. Today, Moscow University is a leading centre of Russian education, science and culture. The refinement of skills, quest for scientific truth, looking up to the humanist ideals of good, justice and freedom - that’s what we see as keeping up the finest University traditions. In June 1992 in conformity with the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation Moscow University acquired the status of a self-governed Russian university. In November 1998, we approved the Charter of M.V.Lomonosov Moscow State University following extensive discussions at the Council of Learned Councils of Moscow University comprised of the members sitting on the Learned Council of Moscow University, at the Learned Councils of the faculties and institutes and also at the councils of work collectives of the units that have no learned councils. The Council of Learned Councils of Moscow University in line with the Charter makes decisions on a major issues relevant to the University, elects the Rector. The overall administration of the University is carried out by the Learned Council of Moscow University made up of the Rector and the Pro-Rectors, the deans of the faculties and the directors of the institutes, elected representatives of tutors and researcher from the faculties and research institutes (2-4, depending on the size of the unit), one representative of undergraduates and postgraduates from each faculty; 5 members of the Learned Council represent the engineering and maintenance services of the University. The Learned Council of Moscow University sees to the most important issues concerning research and academic work, international ties, approves the structure and the budget, awards professor titles, endorses the appointments of of faculty department heads, looks at the plans for social and economic development of the University. Sittings of the Learned Council of Moscow University are held at least once a month. The new Charter significantly enlarges the rights of the faculties and research institutes. They have become autonomous research and training institutions integrated into the structure of Moscow University. They are governed and function in line with the faculty (institute) regulations which the Charter makes relevant to each unit concerned. Declared by the Charter the ideas of democratizing the University life, glasnost in decision-making and self-government aim to ensure freedom of teaching, research and spiritual refinement of the personality. In accordance with the Charter a major unit of the University is a department (laboratory, section) whose staff, undergraduates and postgraduates collectively and democratically make decisions on issues related to research, curriculum, academic and civic activities of their members. At present Moscow University comprises 21 faculties: mechanics and mathematics, physics, computing mathematics and cybernetics, chemistry, higher school of material sciences, biology, soil science, geography, geology, fundamental medicine, history, philology, foreign languages, philosophy, sociology, psychology, economics, law, journalism, Institute of Asian and African countries, institute of pablic administration and social studies and also 8 research institutes - mechanics, nuclear physics, physics of microcosm, astronomy, computing centre, physical and chemical biology, anthropology, world culture. Research and teaching are done in the museums, research vessels, in the refresher centre. Altogether the University has 300 faculty departments. Now more than 31 thousand undergraduates and about 7 thousand postgraduates are taught, and over 5 thousand specialists do the refresher course at Moscow University. The faculties and research institutes engage 4 thousand professors and tutors, about 5 thousand researchers to train them. Auxiliary and maintenance personnel consists of about 15 thousand workers. Moscow University has at its disposal more than 600 buildings and facilities including the beauty of a sky-scraper on Lenin Hills. Their overall area reaches 1 million square metres. In Moscow alone, the territory of the University takes up 205.7 hectars. However, even these impressive figures do not meet the needs of the time, modern trends in science and education. The contemporary level in the development of fundamental and applied research, its inter-disciplinary character, and also the problems pertaining to training wide-range specialists require an improvement of the economic and technical basis. In October, 1987, the government made a decision to start a new project, building for Moscow University facilties with state-of-the art equipment. The design by the architect G.N.Tsitovich envisages putting up new academic and research buildings, libraries, a swimming-pool, a stadium, a palace of culture, and other facilities for recreation and service. The new University campus will lie in Lomonosov Prospekt between Vernandsky Prospekt and Michurin Prospekt making an integral whole with the existing layout of the buildings. The enormous scientific potential, unique possibilities for inter-disciplinary research enables the University scientists to focus their efforts on priority and pioneering projects. Recent years have been marked by remarkable achievements in research of high-energy physics, high-temperature superconductivity, laser systems, mathematics and mechanics, reusable power sources, biochemistry and biotechnology. As for the humanities, new trends are taking shape as topical issues are examined in sociology, political economy, history, psychology, philosophy, history of culture. Every year, up to 1.5 thousand candidate and 250 doctoral dissertations in a wide variety of sciences are defended in Moscow University. In the past year the University has been strengthened with the opening of two new units integrated into its structure - the faculty of fundamental medicine and the science park. The faculty of fundamental medicine signals that medicine has made a comeback to Moscow University as a science after a long breakaway. The science park is designed to introduce contemporary high technologies, above all in such areas as telecommunications, biotechnology, laser technology, ecology, etc. The faculties and departments have always shown care and concern for improving standards in training specialists. And now too, much is being done to better teaching techniques when working with undergraduates and postgraduates. Some faculties have adopted a two-grade system of education (bachelor - master). The new curricula place a stronger emphasis on independent, practice- and career- relevant work. To impart a humanities element to education in general, the tutors of the newly-formed inter-faculty centre of social education and the humanities teach Russian and world history and culture, philology, economics, law, the arts at the faculties of natural science and the humanities faculties. University students may have individual curricula, attend lectures and classes specializing in several areas at different faculties. The students’ fitness is also a matter of great importance. Twice a week freshmen and sophomores are to have physical culture classes and do sports. Undergraduates may optionally go in for it in sports sections or fitness groups requiring payment. A special feature for the courses of study in Moscow University is a combination of academic and research work, doing the general course for the chosen science and at the same time specializing in a narrow area. Normally, the fundamentals are taught in the first, second and third years. The students don’t major until they are senior undergraduates. In Moscow University curruculum provides for a mix of studies and independent research of one’s own choice. Work in study groups, student research societies, and at student conferences along with seminars special seminars enables the students to make the right choice. Many student papers find their way into scientific journals and other special publications. Some faculties - history, philology, economics, law, sociology, journalism and psychology - have evening departments, and in the faculty of journalism there is even a correspondence department. A course in Moscow University runs for 5-6 years depending on the faculty and the form of training. Before the graduation the student prepares and defends a diploma paper. As a rule, the courses of studies at the University are free of charge. But there are at most 15 per cent of applicants now who are enrolled over and above the intake quota as paying students. Such decision made in 1992 was dictated by market - oriented relationships gaining momentum in Russia. Every student who does well gets a state grant. Out-of-town students are provided with accomodation in the halls of residence. University graduates work in universities, institutes, research institutions, schools, in the spheres of production and culture, as civil servants, at public and private agencies. In conformity with the Charter students and postgraduates have their own representative bodies to deal with issues relating to student or postgraduate affairs. This self-government scheme is headed by Students’ Council of Moscow University. Moscow University is also a recognized centre for the upgrade of professional skills. Every year, 5 thousand teachers and employees from industries, institutions and higher-education establishments do the refresher course. Specialists who have experience in practical work may bring their expertise up to date in a special department, so called "engineering streams", functioning at some science or humanities faculties. Moscow University Publishing House does a very important job promulgating scientific, cultural and educational traditions of Moscow University. It produces annually over 400 titles - text-books, scientific publications, popular science, science fiction and reference running for more than 3 million copies. Subject matter encompasses virtually all branches of science - philosophy and psychology, history and economics, state and law, philology and journalism, mathematics, physics and astronomy, biology and chemistry, geology and geography. The readers justly appreciate the series called University Library that produces the monuments of philosophical, aesthetical and historical thought, memoirs as well as works of Russian and foreign literature. Scientists, researchers, specialists and all interested in the latest developments in physics and mathematics may make use of another series produced by the University Publishers - Physics: Ideas, Achievements, Perspectives. The series - The Great French Revolution. Documents and Studies -contains most interesting research by the University historians that have been done over recent years. Moscow University Publishing House is launching two new series - Spiritual Heritage - and - Readings in Philosophy - that will contain works by outstanding philosophers, historians, cultural figures. The A.M.Gorky science library has the largest university collection of books. Its deposits house about 8 million volumes, of which 2 million are books in foreign languages. The University library caters for about 55 thousand readers lending them 5.5 million books. Moscow University maintains extensive international links. It is a member of the International University Association, has direct cooperation agreements with more than 60 centres and associations, with universities of Europe, the USA, Japan, China, other Asian countries, Australia, Latin America, Arab states. Since 1946, when the University welcomed the first foreign students, it has trained over 11 thousand of highly skilled specialists for 150 countries. Every year Moscow University trains 2 thousand students and postgraduates from different countries of the world. More than 400 students do the pre-university preparatory courses for foreign citizens. The most important areas of cooperation in science and technology are: joint development of scientific projects, exchange of professors and tutors for teaching and research work, exchange of students and postgraduates for a viriety of trainee courses. Each year the University enrolls for different crash courses over 2 thousand foreigners and sends approximately the same number to all corners of the globe. At Moscow University operate the UNESCO Demography International Courses, the UNESCO Hydrology Courses, the International Biotechnology Centre, a network of courses and seminars of Russian language for foreign teachers. In 1991 they opened the French Iniversity College, the Russian-American University, the Institute of German Science and Culture. Over 60 scientists, statesmen and politicians from abroad are awarded the titles of honoured doctors and professors of Moscow University. In their turn, many prominent University scholars and scientists are honoured members of foreign academies and universities. 250 years in the history of the oldest Russian university evidence what a great contribution those it fostered have made to the cause of serving all-human ideals of freedom, humanism, good, beauty and truth .