This paper examines the key milestones in the development of Imperial Novorossiya University in Odessa in the context of the development of the institution of the rectorship within the higher education system of the 19th and early 20th century Russian Empire. The study’s findings revealed that the mission of Imperial Novorossiya University was both centered on influencing intellectual, cultural, and social life in the region and aimed at expanding Russian imperial influence in the Balkans. The paper mentions that thanks to the universities there developed in the cities where they were opened a special intellectual, conceptual, and axiological space. As a consequence, each such city received the status of a university city. The study’s findings revealed that, despite being young, Imperial Novorossiya University became a powerful academic and educational center in Ukraine alongside the already running universities in Kiev and Kharkov. In large part, this became possible thanks to the progressive educational policy implemented by the university’s rectors for the purposes of closing education gaps, meeting students’ special educational needs, and providing students with comprehensive support, including financial assistance for their education. In part, this was possible through improvements in education quality via an effective staffing policy from the university’s rectors, which included enlisting prominent scholars and pedagogues to work at it. In addition, the rectors contributed to the development of the university’s own “talent foundry”, helping get university graduates and talented gymnasium teachers hooked into science and teaching. All these measures contributed to the development of a special education model to help ensure sustainable development at the level of the university, the region, and the country as a whole. The paper also examines the distinctive characteristics of the institution of the rectorship at Imperial Novorossiya University vis-à-vis Imperial Kharkov University and the Imperial University of Saint Vladimir in Kiev.
Source: Andriy Ye. Lebid, Sergey I. Degtyarev (2023). The Institution of the Rectorship within the Higher Education System of the 19th and Early 20th Century Russian Empire: The Case of Imperial Novorossiya University. European Journal of Contemporary Education. 12(1): 267-278
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