International Teacher Training University Establishment Experience


The globalization of the modern world reflects the realities not only of the economy, but also of social life. In the 1990s, Russia was bound to solve problems far from globalization, but globalization gradually penetrated into Russia. Globalization is of particular interest in the field of education, providing opportunities for cooperation. Russia's integration into the international education system is linked to Russia's place in the international market of educational services. The share of the US in the international education market is 37 %, the UK-28 %, and domestic universities - only 3.2 %. In fact, Russian universities are practically not represented in this market. If world-famous universities (MSU, SPBSU, etc.) have occupied a niche of prestigious universities for the CIS countries, the far East has entered the sphere of international cooperation late, even by Russian standards. This happened for a number of reasons. First, the status of a closed, border region for the South and the inaccessibility of the North of the Far East; second, the low level of settlement of the teaching staff and poor language training, and third, the high mobility of the population of the Far East. In addition, in the early 1990s, Russian and European universities cooperated actively, but it was not enough for the Far East. The exception was the Magadan pedagogical Institute, which began its formation at the end of perestroika and aimed at broad cooperation. The article discusses the formation and development of IPU.

Keywords: Far easthigher educationhistory of higher educationinternational pedagogical universitympupedagogical institute


The formation of the new educational space in Russia in the 1990s was characterized by the tendency of regional universities to reach the international level, improve the quality of students' training and attract additional funding. However, especially the Far Eastern universities had practically no experience in international educational activities. Thus, regional educational institutions have passed their thorny path of trial and error.

Problem Statement

The Far East was included in the sphere of international educational cooperation quite late by all-Russian standards. This can be explained by a number of reasons: firstly, due to the status of a closed, border region for the south and difficult access to the north of the Far East; secondly, due to the low level of academic stability of university professors and their weak language training. In addition, in the early 1990s, cooperation between Russian and European universities and research centers was most actively developing, which was not typical for the Far East. However, gradually, "a policy aimed at internationalization and development of Russian education exports is becoming an important tool for implementing the main goals of the policy, namely, for promoting Russia's foreign policy in different directions". (Danilkina, 2015). By the mid-1990s, Far Eastern regional higher education institutions began mastering this instrument, establishing educational and scientific ties with US, Northeast and Southeast Asian higher education institutions.

Research Questions

The subject of this study is the establishment of one of the country's first International Pedagogical University in Magadan;

Purpose of the Study

The research aims to identify the main stages of establishment and development of the International Pedagogical University, to analyze its main directions.

Research Methods

The main research methods were comparative historical and historical-systemic ones, which allowed to examine the process of the International Pedagogical University establishment. In connection with the specificity of the sources used, the authors used content analysis, the subject of which was a text array of periodical press.


The organization of the Pedagogical Institute in Magadan in 1960 was of strategic importance: the settlement of youth in the North, overcoming the sense of temporary residence, and thus ensuring the stability and success of the region' development (Stefanenko, 2018).

In the 1980s, the limitations of an extensive approach to the development of education began to manifest themselves: the system was failing where it was necessary to quickly master new professions, <...> to train specialized, but highly qualified specialists, to respond flexibly to consumer demand (IAE FEB RAS, 2016). In order to solve these problems, the Far East began to restructure its higher education system and intensified international contacts.

In 1993, a new university appeared in handbooks for applicants. Despite the fact that it was located in the Magadan Region, the university had a peculiarity still unusual for new Russia. It hosted three universities, two of which were outside the Russian Federation.

The idea of transforming the Magadan Pedagogical Institute first appeared in the mid-1980s. The exhausted potential and non-competitiveness of the Magadan Pedagogical Institute due to Perestroika and its further collapse made it necessary to establish the University step by step. Perestroika was not only an opportunity to sustain\ the Institute, but also an opportunity to form internal and external (including international) viability of the region (Leonova, 1999).

Initially, the transformation did not imply international cooperation, but only getting the status of a university by a pedagogical institute, but the policy of publicity and cultural exchanges between Alaska and Magadan raised the question of creating not just a university, but an international university (Fedorchenko, 1991).

Initially, it was planned to create an international university association that would unite Magadan Pedagogical Institute, Khabarovsk Polytechnic Institute, the All-USSR correspondence institute of law and academic institutes of Magadan region. But due to the different subordination of universities and institutes, it was decided to create a university on the basis of only Magadan Pedagogical Institute (Fedorchenko, 1991).

The objective of the creation of the international university was to improve the quality of training of specialists and the possibility of obtaining a convertible diploma. To achieve this goal it was planned to establish international cooperation with universities of the USA and Japan, to increase the number of teachers from 1 teacher to 8 students, to 1 teacher to 4 students (Kokorev, 1993). Construction of university campus and house for teachers, reading of courses by foreign teachers, opening new faculties, to existing Philology and foreign languages faculty, it was planned to open the department of Eastern languages. It was also planned to open the faculty of Geology and Geography and the faculty of Biology (Nasonova, 1991).

The university was to be funded at the expenses of: Government of Russia, ministries, international funds of the USA and Japan.

Rector of the Pedagogical Institute Kokorev believed that the most important goal of creating an international university is the process of globalization and the opportunity for Magadanese to have a broader worldview (Fedorchenko, 1991).

Negotiations with stakeholders began a few years before the university opened. Since 1989, the Magadan Pedagogical Institute and the State University of Alaska have conducted ongoing consultations and student and staff exchanges that have helped strengthen ties between universities. The University of Alaska also acquired training courses developed at MIPI (Russian language, primary and pre-school education, etc.), but the partners' plans were even more serious - the establishment of a joint higher education institution. But for several years the joint project did not succeed, because of MIPI insufficient material and technical base.

In 1990, a delegation of the Council of Alaska State University Regents arrived in Magadan to discuss university cooperation directions. Also the delegation of the University of Alaska presented MGI with the equipment for the organization of direct communication Magadan Anchorage via the Internet (Communication with Alaska, 1990).

In January 1991, a bilateral agreement was signed between MIPI and the University of Alaska on the establishment of the International Pedagogical University, where a student could consistently get a convertible diploma for 6 years (Nasonova, 1991).

When the founding treaty was signed on 11 June 1992, two more states joined it: Japan (Hokkaido Pedagogical University) and China (Heilongjiang and Girin Provinces University). The foreign founders pledged to assist the university both financially and by exchanging teaching staff.

By the end of 1992, the Institute was training specialists at five faculties in 13 fields. In some specialties a postgraduate course was opened (Internet resource). About 2 thousand people studied at the Institute.

January 1993 was decisive for the Institute, Government signed a decree № 1061 on the establishment of the International Pedagogical University (IPU) in Magadan on the basis of MSPI (1993).

The change plan was extensive. Firstly, it was planned to create new departments in the structure of the University, some of them were created almost immediately in 1993: the Faculty of Humanities appeared, as well as the Russian Linguistic Centre, the Department of Japanese Language and the Centre for Environmental Education and Interdisciplinary Research (Kokorev, 1993).

It was also planned to reorganize the faculties into American-style colleges, to introduce bachelor's and master's degree programs, to introduce a system of credit hours to maintain the integrity of education at LSPU and foreign universities. Another factor for the introduction of credit hours was the simplification of accreditation in the Northwestern Association of Universities and Colleges, and the convertibility of diplomas (Kokorev, 1993). The University was managed by the Board of Trustees, which included 13 representatives from all founders of the University.

The first International Board of Trustees began its work on October 9, 1992. (Zueva, 1992). The Council approved the development program and recommended the candidacy of Kokarev University President (Lidova, 1999).

The universities of China, Mongolia, Singapore and Canada also expressed interest in cooperation.

In 1994, the university entered students without having been assigned to the specialty. Such a step was made so that students first received general education disciplines, and then chose a specialty from the existing quotas, but in 1995 it turned out that the quotas do not meet the interests of students. The most popular course was economics, and the most popular course was history (Pozarkova, 1995).

Unfortunately, as stated by Rector Kokorenian, the university development plan was not fully implemented. Despite the university' special status, the university has repeatedly faced financial problems. The delay in salaries and scholarships led to students and teachers leaving for meetings (Sharova, 1994). The lack of funds for the construction of the campus undermined the original plans of the university administration. Other capital investments required by the university were also not allocated, which led to a decline in the quality of education. The minus was also the fact that foreign teachers worked through interpreters who often did not understand the meaning of the lecture (Kabanov, 1990). Economic subjects in the first years of the university's existence were often run by teachers with no economic education, and they lacked motivation.

It is also worth noting that the transition to a market economy has affected the number of teachers graduated from the university. If before the collapse of the USSR the university was a training school for teachers of Magadan region, then since 1991 the emphasis was placed on professions popular on the education market, and the training of teachers has moved into the background (Tsubylsky, 1994).The strong point was that during the decline of education in the Magadan region it was possible to preserve the university, including thanks to international support.

By early 1997, 2,500 students were studying at the University. The university consisted of five faculties with multilevel system of education, which graduated specialists in 15 different training profiles. A department of additional pedagogical professions and a department of primary education were opened. Preparations for the transformation into a classical university were in progress (Biryukova, 1996).

On December 8, 1997 the resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation on the establishment of the Northern International University (2006) № 1573 was issued. The new status was connected with the merger of the International Pedagogical University and Magadan branch of the Khabarovsk State Technical University, as well as obtaining the status of a classic university. The state status of the university was preserved and its organizational form as an interstate educational institution was found (Biryukova & Penevskaya, 2002).


In the course of our research the main stages of establishment and development of the International Pedagogical University were identified: the first stage of preparatory from the mid 1980s to the end of 1992 and the second stage from 1993 to 1997.

The main directions of its activity in the market economy conditions, necessary for the preservation of the University in the North-East of Russia, were identified in the course of our work.


The reported study was funded by RFBR, project number 19-39-90055.


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27 February 2021

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National interest, national identity, national security, public organizations, linguocultural identity, linguistic worldview

Cite this article as:

Zaitcev, R. M., & Fedirko, O. P. (2021). International Teacher Training University Establishment Experience. In & I. Savchenko (Ed.), National Interest, National Identity and National Security, vol 102. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1180-1185). European Publisher.