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Moscow State University Today
before March 9, 2006


Moscow State University (MSU) is one of the leading centres of Russian science and culture. The university gained status of Russian self-administered (autonomous) higher educational institution in 1992, when the President of the Russian Federation signed an appropriate decree.

The Charter of Moscow Lomonosov State University was adopted after extensive discussion during Council’s of scientific councils session in November 1988. This Council consists of MSU Scientific Council members, members of scientific councils of faculties and institutes and work collective’s councils from departments, which do not have a scientific council.

According to the new Chapter, privileges of faculties and science and research institutes are extended significantly. These institutions are now independent science and education organizations within MSU structure. Their administration and activities are under regulations for faculty (institute) activities, which adjust MSU Charter for a certain department.

Moscow University currently consists of 29 faculties and 9 science and research institutes: institutes of mechanics, nuclear physics and microworld physics, astronomy institute, computing centre, institute of physical and chemical biology, institute for mathematical studies of complex systems, institutes of anthropology and world culture. Teaching and research are performed in museums, field science and education centres, during expeditions, on research vessels and in centres for advanced training. The university has more than three hundred of scientific departments.

There are more that 31 thousand students and about 7 thousand PhD students in MSU. More than 5 thousand of professional take courses of advanced training. Four thousand teachers and professors, as well as 5 thousand research fellows, help students to get their education at said faculties and science and research centres. Supporting and operational staff numbers about 15 thousand people.

The university has more that 600 buildings and facilities with the total of 1 mln square meters at its disposal, including the magnificent Main Building at Vorobiovy Gory. The MSU territory is 205,7 ha only in Moscow.

MSU expects further extension of its territory. The Fundamental Library is already built - it is located on the side of Lomonosovsky Prospect opposite to that with Main Building. The Third Building for the Humanities is also finished and will host the Faculty of Economics.

Due to the enormous scientific potential and unique opportunities for interdisciplinary studies and research university scientists are able to concentrate on research fields of highest priority. Recent years are notable for breakthrough in studies of high-energy physics, high-temperature superconductivity, laser systems, mechanics and mathematics, renewable energy sources, biochemistry and biotechnology. As for arts and humanities, new dimensions open during studying live issues of sociology, political economy, history, psychology, philosophy and history of culture. About 1,5 thousand of PhD theses and 250 theses for Doctor of Science title in various disciplines are defended in the university each year.

University’s faculties and department always paid much attention to improving of professional training quality. Today the university continues its policy of upgrading and improving of students' and PhD students' learning process. Several faculties have two stages of higher education – bachelor – master. New curricula have emphasized the role of self-education and knowledge applications to the future career of a university graduate. The problem of education becoming more humanities-oriented is one of today’s burning issues. The teaching staff of a new interdepartmental educational centre for Social Sciences and Humanities reads courses in domestic and foreign history and culture, philology, economics, law and arts at different faculties. University students have an opportunity to get education through individual curriculum and take lectures courses in various subjects on different faculties. Much attention is paid to students’ health.

Students of first two years have compulsory physical education twice a week. Senior students can continue their physical education in a variety of sports sections and as paid members of health-improving groups.

MSU training combines educational and scientific activities, gives fundamental knowledge in chosen science and specialty. The fundamental basis is usually taught during first two or three years of training, then special training starts.

One of the most important features of training process in the MSU is combination of training with autonomous scientific studies, in the field, chosen by a student him(her)self. Students participate in scientific projects and student research societies; take part in student conferences together with seminars, thus making the right choice of further training. Results of many student research projects are published in science magazines and meeting proceedings.

Several faculties, such as faculties of history, economics, sociology, journalism and psychology, have evening courses, and journalism faculty also offers distance learning.

Training period at Moscow State University last for five or six years depending on the faculty and form of training. At the end of his studies in the University each students prepares and defends his diploma project. Higher education is, as a rule, free of charge. But since 1992, due to market relations’ development, the university admits up to 15% of extra students, who are to pay for their education. Every advanced student receives state scholarship. Non-residents usually live in dormitories. University graduates get employed in higher educational institutions, science and research institutes, schools, culture and production fields, government, private and non-governmental organizations. According to MSU Charter, students and PhD students have their own representative bodies, dealing with issues of student life. The principal student control authority is MSU Student Council.

Moscow University is also widely acknowledged as Skills Development School. More than 5 thousand teachers take retraining course at Moscow State University every year. Those professional, who have practical background, are welcome to master latest scientific and technical developments at special department – “engineer branches” – of some faculties. Centre for Scientists’ and Teachers’ Retraining and Institute for Advanced Training of Social Sciences and Humanities’ Teachers are responsible for such activities.

MSU publishers play a significant role in accomplishing scientific, educational and cultural tradition of the university. MSU publishers publish the total of 3 mln copies of more than 400 items of training and scientific literature, popular science editions, Arts and Science and reference books annually. The topics of published materials include almost every field of modern science – philosophy and psychology, history and economics, state and law, philology and journalism, mathematics, physics and astronomy, chemistry and biology, geology and geography.

Gor’kiy Science Library is the largest university library in Russia. It has about 8 million books, more than 2 million of which are in foreign languages. MSU library helps more than 55 thousand readers a year, lending them 5,5 mln books.

Moscow State University is a member of International Association of Universities and has direct cooperation agreements with more than 60 foreign centres and associations, universities of Europe, USA, Japan, China, other Asian states as well as Australia, Latin America and Arab states.

First foreign students have appeared in the university in 1946. Since that time MSU has trained more than 11 thousand highly qualified professionals for more than 150 countries. Every year MSU admits more than 2 thousand students and PhD students from all around the world. More than 400 students take preliminary courses, offered for foreign students by the university.

Tags: Russian universities education in Russia Moscow State University   


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