Saturday, December 10, 2011

Russia - Tomsk - Tomsk State University

Tomsk State University.

Sent by Suyazova from Tomsk, Russia.

This is from Wikipedia : Tomsk State University (TSU), formerly Imperial Tomsk University, is the first university in Siberia—it was founded in 1878 in Tomsk, Russia. TSU opened in 1888 with only one department, the medical school. Today, there are 22 departments in TSU with 23,000 students.

The idea to open the first university in Siberia occurred to progressive minds in Russia back in 1803, but it was not until the late nineteenth century that it became realistic. The government delayed the decision either due to a lack of money or the inadequate development of secondary education in the region. Moreover, some thought that a university in Siberia was a luxury and it was dangerous to give Siberian people higher education. These reasons only resulted in a delay, and could not entirely remove this question from the agenda.

Tomsk was one of the seven cities in Siberia that aspired to the high honour of hosting a university. Eventually, it won. On May 28, 1878 Emperor Alexander II passed the Decree of the State Council of the Russian Empire permitting the establishment of the Imperial Siberian University in Tomsk. This put an end to the 75-year-old struggle for a university in Tomsk and marked the beginning of its history: the construction, opening and development of the ninth higher educational establishment in Russia and the first in Siberia. The construction of the main building of Tomsk Imperial University and the first dormitory was made possible thanks to private donations, which amounted to half of the budget. Simultaneous with the construction, a library was being assembled as were the materials for some laboratories, museums, the botanical garden with its greenhouse and the herbarium.

The university was meant to be an exclusive educational establishment that combined the academic process with research and aimed at developing a creative personality capable of self-improvement. As a classic university, TSU is based on research and educational schools. It means that the most research is based in the sciences and academic process must involve a sound combination of the natural sciences and the humanities accompanied with a flexibility in education. Professor V. M. Florinsky said in his speech at the opening ceremony: “We would like our professors and scientists, inspired by their love for the Motherland, to serve both students and science with equal eagerness. We would like them to be more independent in their scientific research and to set up their own scientific schools. Only a combination of the academic process with scientific research will enable our university to fulfill its high mission and, independently of its direct utilitarian objectives, to bear fruit in higher education.” These are the principles that Tomsk State University has been following ever since.

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