Russia's institutions of higher education
Moscow State University is the largest educational institution in Russia. Mikhail Lomonosov (1711-1765) inspired the foundation of Moscow University. On the Day of St. Tatiana, Count I.I. Shuvalov officially asked the permission of Empress Elizabeth to establish the University. The University was set up by the edict of the Empress issued on January 12, 1755 (according to the Russian old style). Since that time St. Tatiana has become the patron saint of Moscow University, and January 25 is celebrated as University Day in Russia.
When Moscow University was founded there were three faculties - philosophy, law and medicine there. Today there are 24 faculties mere. From the outset the best Russian scholars lectured at Moscow University. Professors were invited from all European countries. The instructions were given in Russian and in Latin. Young people from all estates but serfs could be enrolled as students. Moscow University was the centre of advanced Russian science and social thought. In the Age of Enlightenment the University was patronised by Catherine the Great. In 1785 the Empress granted the University some land for the construction of the central building.
The fire of Moscow of 1812 destroyed the magnificent classical building of the University. Precious books and archives were also lost. The construction of the new building was carried out under the supervision of D.I. Zhilyardi. Today the Institute of Asia and Africa, one of the University faculties, is housed there. In 1832 Nicholas I granted the mansion of the Pashkovs to the University. Today the Journalist Faculty is located here. During the period 1833-1836 the mansion was reconstructed into a Lecture Block. The library was located in the left wing. The University Chapel occupied the right wing. Following the October Revolution of 1917, the University got the state status and became known as Moscow State University (MGU in Russian). In May 1940 it was named after M.V. Lomonosov. In 1953 the modern University building on the Vorobyevy Hills was constructed. Sciences faculties were transferred here. In the years 1950-1970 the University campus was laid out. Now almost all the faculties are located there.