Russkie studenty v nemetskih universitetah v XVIII - pervoy polovine XIX veka

TitleRusskie studenty v nemetskih universitetah v XVIII - pervoy polovine XIX veka
Publication TypePublication review
AuthorsMcArthur, Sarah
Author(s) of reviewed materialAndreev, Andrei Iurevich
Title in EnglishRussian Students at German Universities from the 18th to the mid-19th Century


PublisherMoscow: Izdatelstvo “Znak.”
Review year


Full Text

In this work, Andrei Andreev examines the experiences of Russian students studying at German universities starting at the beginning of the 18th century until 1848, when the Spring of Nations brought the practice to a dramatic and abrupt halt. According to Andreev, students from the Russian Empire began studying at German institutions in significant numbers in the early 18th century, when there were not any universities in Russia yet. Many of these early students were ethnic Germans or the children of foreign workers in Peter the Great’s service. However, over the course of the century, the number of ethnic Russians travelling to Germany increased. Andreev argues that the experiences of these students had a profound impact on the development of Russian science and culture. The founder of Russia’s first university, Mihail Lomonosov, studied in Marburg, Germany as well, and therefore it should come as no surprise that the university he subsequently founded in Moscow was largely based upon the German model.

Furthermore, Andreev argues that at different times various German institutions fostered and disseminated intellectual trends and ideas that had tremendous impact when brought back to Russia. At the turn of the 19th century, students flocked to Göttingen, where professors such as Schlozer lectured and used new methods to approach subjects including Russian history. Students frequently returned to Russia filled with the "Göttingen spirit" of Enlightenment and idealism that they hoped to spread in their mother country. By the second quarter of the 19th century, Russian students preferred to study in Berlin, where many of Russia’s future professors were trained in the 1820s and 30s. Andreev concludes that, as a result of Russian students being educated abroad in large numbers, instruction in Russian universities in the 19th century had strong roots in the German lands, and this left a profound impact on the Russian system of higher education.

Andreev’s highly specialised book represents a welcome addition to both Russian history and historiography. It contains outstanding appendixes providing biographical information on the various Russian students, as well as lists showing exactly how many Russian students studied in Germany and at what time. It is an excellent resource for students or specialists interested in this specific period of history.