Why did Mendeleev not go to university? (Educational policy of Nicholas I)

Igor S. Dmitriev
The Herzen State Ped­a­gog­i­cal Uni­ver­si­ty of Rus­sia

Why did Mendeleev not go to uni­ver­si­ty? (Edu­ca­tion­al pol­i­cy of Nicholas I)

Abstract. The arti­cle exam­ines the edu­ca­tion­al pol­i­cy of the Russ­ian Empire dur­ing the reign of Nicholas I. In par­tic­u­lar, the his­to­ry of the appear­ance of the order of Nicholas I on lim­it­ing the num­ber of stu­dents at uni­ver­si­ties is con­sid­ered. Accord­ing to this order, the staff of stu­dents at the uni­ver­si­ties was “lim­it­ed to 300 in each, with the pro­hi­bi­tion of enroll­ment in stu­dents until the avail­able num­ber is not includ­ed in this legal­ized amount.” An excep­tion was made only for med­ical fac­ul­ties, since the army need­ed qual­i­fied doc­tors. This meant that in most uni­ver­si­ties in Rus­sia the admis­sion of stu­dents should be (and actu­al­ly was) closed for sev­er­al years. A par­tic­u­lar­ly dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion has devel­oped in the St. Peters­burg and Moscow uni­ver­si­ties. That is why many tal­ent­ed young peo­ple, includ­ing D. I. Mendeleev, could not get a uni­ver­si­ty edu­ca­tion. The study shows that the edu­ca­tion­al pol­i­cy in Nicholas Rus­sia was ambigu­ous and con­tra­dic­to­ry. The emper­or simul­ta­ne­ous­ly want­ed to get high­ly qual­i­fied offi­cials and spe­cial­ists who met the high­est Euro­pean require­ments, but at the same time, con­sid­er­ing uni­ver­si­ties as a source of social desta­bi­liza­tion and ide­o­log­i­cal dan­ger, he took mea­sures that hin­dered the nor­mal devel­op­ment of high­er edu­ca­tion (in pri­mar­i­ly civic) in the coun­try.

Key­words: Mendeleev, Nicholas I, S. S. Uvarov, edu­ca­tion­al pol­i­cy, enlight­en­ment in Rus­sia

DOI: 10.32326/2618–9267–2021–4–2–158–179


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