Brief history of the International Relations Office
Our university’s activity in the sphere of international cooperation has a long history. It began in 1948 when the first foreign students came to Moscow State Pedagogical Institute named after Lenin (MSPI). Just by the end of the 1950’s MSPI had become one of the leading USSR universities in the sphere of scientific pedagogical personnel training for foreign countries. During the post-war years students from many countries friendly to the USSR such as China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Korea, Mongolia, Algeria, Syria, Ethiopia, Hungary, Peru were directed on an international exchange basis to our university as well as to other major universities. The majority of foreign students studied at that time at the faculties of Preschool Pedagogics and Psychology, Pedagogics and Psychology, Biology and Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and Philology.
The beginning of the 1960’s was marked by an intense inflow of foreign students to MSPU. At that time the admittance of foreigners averaged 50-60 people annually, and the total number reached 300.
In the 1960’s some organizational departments responsible for instructing foreign students appeared at MSPU. In 1964 the Department of Russian as a foreign language was founded. In the 1960’s Russian language teachers began to be employed (more than 100 persons annually) at schools and universities of Yugoslavia. At that time the Komsomol organization of MSPU organized the first exchange of student groups with the youth organizations of Zagreb University. Also in 1967 the Dean’s office for foreign students was established.
In the 1970’s the number of countries that sent their citizens to study at MSPU increased. Citizens of Bulgaria, Poland, the German Democratic Republic, Yugoslavia, Vietnam, Cuba, Afghanistan became students of MSPU. It is worth mentioning that in the1970’s along with foreign students and postgraduate students there was a great number of trainees that studied mostly at the Faculty of Philology and the Faculty of Primary Education. At the turn of the1970-1980’s trainees from Great Britain, France, the USA appeared among the MSPU students. By the 1980’s citizens of North Korea, China, Egypt, Syria had joined our students. The Olympic Games of 1980 in Moscow favored that fact as well as the construction of MSPU student residences in the south-west of the capital.
In 1980 the laboratory of foreign countries collaboration was established and in 1993 it was reorganized into the Department of international relations that exists up to the present time. At that time the student group exchanges continued, they were organized by the Komsomol organization of MSPU and youth organizations of socialist countries. Particularly at that time besides usual student exchanges there were student construction detachments with the universities of Bulgaria, German Democratic Republic and Czechoslovakia. For a great international activity and for enlarging international students contacts the Komsomol organization of MSPU was awarded a service medal of International Union of Students.
In the following years the scope of functions of the Department of international relations broadened together with the main directions of MSPU’s international activity: work with foreign students and realization of interuniversity cooperation with foreign partner universities, participation in international projects and programmes, collaboration with international organizations and foundations. Lecturers and staff members of the university take part in activities of the foundation «Русский мир» (“Russian world”), have active cooperation with foundations of Germany, Great Britain, Holland within both humane and natural-science projects, including American council of teachers of Russian and TEMPUS.
In 2007-2008 within the frames of innovational program the Office of International relations took part in carrying out a number of educational projects with foreign partners, arranged large-scale qualification courses abroad for teaching the staff.