Photos of university / #official_msu
Moscow State University is the oldest educational institution of Russia. It has a long-standing tradition of academic excellence. At this oldest and most famous Russian university scientific and educational schools of international reputation have been formed. Among its graduates and professors there are Nobel Prize winners and world known scientists. Moscow State University includes a number of scientific research institutes specialized in the most significant areas of modern science such as Mechanics, Nuclear Physics, Astronomy, Lasers, Molecular Biology, Bioorganic Chemistry, Anthropology, Materials Sciences, Ecology, Humanitarian Sciences, and others.
Many outstanding scholars, public and state leaders of the world have been elected Honorary Professors and Doctors of the University. Among them are J. Goethe, the beloved German thinker and novelist, the first prime-minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru, Margaret Thatcher, and last but not least, Bill Clinton.
Ivan Shuvalov and Mikhail Lomonosov promoted the idea of a university, and Russian Empress Elizabeth decreed its establishment on January 25 [O.S. January 12] 1755. The first lectures took place on April 26.
In the 18th century, the university had three departments: philosophy, medicine, and law. A preparatory college was affiliated with the university before it was abolished in 1812. In 1779 Mikhail Kheraskov founded a boarding school for noblemen (Благородный пансион), which became a gymnasium for the Russian nobility in 1830. The university press, run by Nikolay Novikov in the 1780s, published the most popular newspaper in Imperial Russia — Moskovskie Vedomosti.
The roots of student unrest reach deep into the 1800s. In 1905 a social-democratic organization emerged at the university and called for the overthrow of the tsar and for the establishment of a republic in Russia. The Tsarist government repeatedly threatened to close the university. In 1911, in a protest over the introduction of troops onto the campus and mistreatment of certain professors, 130 scientists and professors resigned en masse, including prominent figures such as Nikolay Dimitrievich Zelinskiy, Pyotr Nikolaevich Lebedev, and Sergei Alekseevich Chaplygin. Thousands of students were expelled.
After the October Revolution of 1917 the school began admitting proletariat and peasant children. In 1919 the university abolished tuition fees, and a preparatory facility was established to help working-class children prepare for entrance exams. During the implementation of Joseph Stalin's First Five-Year Plan (1928–1932), Gulag prisoners constructed parts of the university. Stalin would later ironically mock, repress, and imprison the intelligensia.
After 1991 nine new faculties were established. In 1992 the university gained a unique status: it is funded directly from the state budget (bypassing the Ministry of Education), which provides a significant level of independence.
Moscow State University is one of Russia's most prestigious institutions of higher learning, and has demanding entry requirements for prospective students. Nonetheless, it performs inconsistently in international rankings. It was placed 77th overall by the Academic Ranking of World Universities and 112th by QS World University Rankings. Moscow State University ranked 43rd in 2008, 44th in 2009–2011, and 45th among 300 Best World Universities in 2012 compiled by Human Resources & Labor Review (HRLR) on Measurements of World's Top 300 Universities Graduates' Performance. Despite its large number of faculties, Moscow State University seems to be strong mostly in natural sciences and mathematics (currently placed between 38th and 75th in the world). Despite the fact that it is still the highest ranked Russian university according to the three international rankings mentioned above (with the nearest Russian competitor being Saint Petersburg State University that scored 300–400th), the university was consistently placed outside top 5 nationally in 2010–2011 by Forbes and Ria Novosti / HSE, with both ratings based on data set collected by HSE from Russian Unified State Exam scores averaged per all students and faculties of university.