The Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University is the largest educational institution of theNovgorod region. The plan to set up the NovSU as a regional educational, research and innovation complex should be highlighted among the key administrative decisions, the implementation of which has strengthened the position of the university on the national educational services market.
The Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University (NovSU) was established by the Resolution of Russian Government on June 30, 1993 on the basis of the two oldest higher education institutions of Veliky Novgorod: Polytechnical and Pedagogical Institutes. The AgriculturalAcademy which had played an important role in the development of the region was later included in the structure of the University.
The creation of NovSU served the purpose of amalgamation of rich experience in specialists’ training by conducting fundamental research and training at all levels of higher, post-graduate and advanced education among the wide scope of natural science, humanities, culture and other research fields.
Education ranks highest in the value system of Veliky Novgorod. It is due to the conformity of the natural laws of development and the needs of the Novgorod region – its policy, economics, and culture.
Archeological findings and analysis of ancient written sources witness the fact that the written language already existed in Novgorod during the Pagan period (IX-X centuries). Adoption of Christianity was a supplementary but very important fact of enlightenment, which invited an inflow of Byzantine literature and its components – elements of ancient culture and science. The first elementary schools of grammar were established in the city.
In the year of 1030 Prince Yaroslav-the-Wise of Novgorod founded a school of advanced type for “book learning”, which gathered 300 children of senior men of city districts and clergy.
The first half of the 16th century was marked by the resumed research in the field of education and culture. Here the figure of Novgorod archbishop Makariy was of great importance. The pieces of literature written and published by Makariy were used for educational purposes as well as for the upbringing of young generation in Novgorod and other cities of Russia.
The developed system of education in Novgorod allowed the merchants in the 17th century to occupy the position of one of the highly-educated classes of the Russian State. Meteorology, accounting, history, geography, foreign languages, the fundamentals of economics and law were included into the curriculum.
Peter the Great approved and supported the initiative put forward by the Archbishop Iova ofNovgorod concerning the creation of the Greek-and-Slavonic School in the city. In accordance with his Decree signed on January 31st, 1706 two Greek doctors Ioanikiy and Sophroniy Lihud from the Padua University were sent to Novgorod. With the money borrowed from the treasury of St. Sophia Cathedral a two-storied building was erected on the territory of the Kremlin inNovgorod. 150 students of all ages and trades were admitted to the school.
In 1740 Novgorod “acquired” a new theological seminary, which was established with a curriculum almost identical to the one employed at the KievAcademy. This seminary surpassed many of its counterparts in terms of available financial resources.
During 170 years of its existence the seminary produced over seven thousand alumnae. Among them are prominent religious and political figures, scientists and teachers. The alumnae of the seminary were scattered over Russian cities, more than half of the priests and lecturers of the Ecclesiastical Academy in St-Petersburg came from Novgorod.
After the year of 1917 the Novgorod Institute of Public Education occupied the seminary premises. Later in 1934 it was reorganized into the Novgorod Sate Teachers’ Training Institute and then in 1953 into the Novgorod State Pedagogical Institute.
In 1964 the branch of the Leningrad Electrical and Engineering Institute was established in the city which served as a basis for the establishment of the Novgorod Polytechnical Institute in 1973.
In 1969 a branch of the Leningrad Agricultural Institute for the part-time students was opened in Novgorod, and later in 1986 it was turned into the Novgorod Agricultural Institute.
This way a unique, continuous and rapidly developing educational system was created, which succeeded in satisfying the needs and expectations of the Novgorod society, consistent with its social and cultural level.
The establishment of the Novgorod Sate University of the classical type in 1993 was a historically predetermined phenomenon. During the history of its creation and development the University accumulated all of the educational traditions of 11 centuries and assured their development on the advanced level.