Education in the Soviet Union
Policies and Institutions Since Stalin
Routledge – 2012 – 236 pages
This book provides a comprehensive survey of the successes and failures of education and training in the Khrushchev and Breshnev years. The author gives an objective assessment of the accessibility of the main types of institution, of the contents of courses and of Soviet attempts to marry the functioning of their education system to their perceived economic and social needs. In addition the book has many useful and original features: For ease of analysis it summarises in diagram form complex statistics which are not usually brought together for so long a time period. It provides a systematic account of educational legislation; Matthews’ comparison of series of official decrees will allow subtle shifts in government policy to be accurately charted. Particular attention is also paid to a number of issues that are often neglected: the employment problems of school and college graduates; the role and professional status of teachers; political control and militarisation in schools; the close detail of higher education curricula; and the rate of student failure. Of special value is the chapter on those educational institutions which are often omitted from Western studies and which are hardly recognised as such in most official Soviet sources.
‘Given the comprehensive range of the book, the depth of coverage is impressive…it will remain a standard work on the subject for many years to come.’ The Times Higher Education Supplement
‘Accomplishes effectively what it sets out to do, namely to describe and analyse the development of policies, in outline and in details and their effect on the institutions that comprise the system. Matthews’ work is a valuable contribution to the field…’Comparative Education.
Preface. 1 General Education under Khruschchev. 2 General Education under Brezhnev. 3 Low and Middle-Grade Technical Schools 4 Higher Education under Khrushchev and Brezhnev. 5 Some Student Problems. 6 Supplementary Educational Services. Conclusion Soviet Education: Successes and Failures. Appendix A: Total Enrolments in Soviet Educational Institutions. Appendix B: The State Education System. Appendix C: Comparative Education Costs, c. 1972. Glossary of Soviet Administrative and Other Terms. Bibliography. Index.