Far Eastern National University History Department International Cooperation In The 1990-2000s


High school is forced to look for valid answers to the challenges of the time, for example, such as modern world realities, radical reforms in the socio-economic sphere, and demographic decline. If recently the Soviet higher school met the domestic needs of the country. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the historical formation of the Russian Federation faced complex challenges. These tasks are related to solving the problems of training specialists, providing the training process, material and technical base, literature, and a departure from the dogmatic interpretation of historical events. In the context of democratization of all aspects of public life, including education, the staff of the Department of History of the Far Eastern Federal University (Russia, Vladivostok) directed efforts to search for their applicants, modernize their curricula, and open new specialties and specializations. The analysis of the content and results of higher education reforms allows distinguishing three-time stages in its development: from 1991 to 2001 – the stage of “desovetization” of higher education and its “survival” in the context of a systemic socio-economic crisis; from 2002 to 2010 – the stage of relative stabilization of the economy and attempts to modernize higher education; from 2011 to the present – the stage of “inventory” of the higher education system and the creation of elite and innovative universities (national research institutes and federal universities). The authors in their article make the main emphasis on considering the forms of international cooperation at the Department of History of Far Eastern National University.



In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the historical formation of the Russian Federation faced the most difficult tasks associated with solving the problems of training specialists, providing the training process, the material, and technical base, literature, and moving away from the dogmatic interpretation of historical events. An essential role in solving these problems was played by the expansion of international cooperation between Far Eastern and foreign universities.

Problem Statement

Since the late 1950s, the Soviet Union has carried out extensive international cooperation in the fields of education, culture, and science. Measures to develop international relations in the field of higher education were carried out in various forms. Mostly it was training specialists for foreign countries in domestic universities. Besides, other forms of cooperation were practiced, such as assisting in the organization of training in the country's educational institutions, including their construction and equipment, participation in international symposia, conferences and congresses, and other forms of cooperation. A distinctive feature of this cooperation was the orientation toward the countries of the “socialist camp.” Contacts with capitalist countries were strictly limited and rare. By the 1980s, a robust education system was created in the USSR that maintained a high level of scientific and technical thought (Kulakova, 2019).

The challenge of higher education was the fall of the Iron Curtain. This event marked the beginning of the turbulent process of globalization, which allowed educational institutions reaching a new level of international relations and establishing ties with a wide range of universities and foundations that were not previously included in the sphere of international cooperation of the USSR (Pokholkov & Gromov, 2009).

The Far East of Russia, in this regard, was in a unique situation. On the one hand, the proximity of the largest educational centers of the Asia-Pacific countries and the USA, on the other hand, there is an almost complete lack of interest in the problems of the Far Eastern universities of the federal center. One of the points of contact in the scientific and educational activities of universities in the Far East of Russia and abroad was historical science.

Research Questions

The subject of this study is the study of international cooperation at the Department of History of Far Eastern National University.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the article is the identification of the primary forms of international cooperation of historians of the Far East.

Research Methods

The main research methods are comparative-historical, historical-genetic, and historical-systemic methods. These methods allow considering the process of international cooperation of the Department of History of Far Eastern National University in the study period to determine its forms and features. The article is based on the materials of the personal archive of Alexander Alexandrovich Krupyanko, who is a teacher, scientist, and a direct participant in the process of formation and development of international cooperation Far Eastern National University.


The traditions of historical education trace their history from the Oriental Institute, opened in 1899 in Vladivostok. The Eastern Institute, since its inception, has been positioned as focused on active international contacts. Numerous studies have been devoted to the history of the Oriental Institute, in which the authors reveal the international nature of student preparation (Ermakova, 2003; Khamatova, 1999; Karelova, 2019; Serov, 1994; Sokolovsky, 2007).

It was from the Eastern Institute that the only university in the region that grew up in the Soviet period – Far Eastern National University. In the structure of Far Eastern National University. Since its inception, a structure has been operating aimed at training historians: historical, historical, and philological, historical and legal faculties, Institute of history, and philosophy (Kurilov & Dikarev, 2004). In 2018, Far Eastern National University's History Department celebrated its centenary. In numerous publications devoted to this event, the authors, among others, highlighted the issues of international cooperation of the university (Dudarenok, 2018; Vashchuk & Dudarenok, 2018).

The traditions of the faculty, a reliable staff (in 1992 more than 78% of teachers had academic degrees and titles) allowed Far Eastern National University organizing international cooperation with the leading educational centers of the world, especially quickly and maintain leadership in this process, among other Far Eastern universities.

The main form of international cooperation at the Faculty of History until 1990 was international business trips to the countries of the socialist camp. For example, the senior lecturer of the Department of World History Khlebnikova passed a nine-month scientific internship in Yugoslavia in 1991, and also went on an internship to Bulgaria.

Since the beginning of 1990, international relations and forms of cooperation of the Department of History and Philosophy of Far Eastern National University have received significant development. This process is due to the appearance in 1994 of a new specialty at the Faculty of History – regional studies. Before this, there was only one specialty, "History," specializing in teaching and NGOs. Later, the specialty of regional studies was closed. However, the Department of General History continued its training in the specialty of "General History" (the latest history of the Asia-Pacific countries). The Department of World History remains the only unit in the Far East that provides training for specialists in this specialty.

Among the primary forms of international cooperation, we distinguish several types, a brief overview of which we provide.

Participation in international research projects.

Archaeologists become pioneers in this process, and the arrival of Far Eastern National University professor, doctor of historical sciences Shavkunov, served as a powerful impetus. In 1994, under his leadership, the university organized the department of archeology, ethnography, and the history of world culture. In the first half of 1990, joint archaeological field research was conducted with archaeologists from the Republic of Korea, Japan, the USA, and Germany. Long-term agreements are concluded with the Scientific and Educational Foundation of the Kokhap Corporation (1993) (Republic of Korea), with the Scientific Society of Northern Eurasia (1994) (Japan). Both on the territory of Primorye and beyond, international archaeological expeditions are held with the participation of students and university staff.

Researcher at the Laboratory of Archeology of the Research Department of Far Eastern National University, Krupyanko in 1993 – 1994 worked on a Russian-Japanese expedition in the Zerkalnaya River Valley (Primorye). Moreover, in 1995, he was invited by Tohoku University (Sendai, Japan) to participate in the excavations of the world-famous archaeological site Kamitokamorist.

In 1993, the Far Eastern National University archaeological team worked at the Boysman 2 archaeological site. University archaeologists make a successful attempt to integrate into the EarthWatch international scientific and tourist project. This project also attracted foreign volunteers, but, unfortunately, did not receive further development. In the second half of 1990, an international collaboration between university archaeologists gained momentum. In 1997 – 1998, cooperation agreements were signed with the universities of the state of Wyoming (Laramie, USA) and Colorado (Fort Collins, USA). These agreements were problems in 2001. In 1999, cooperation agreements were signed with the departments of the anthropology of the universities of Alaska and Arizona (USA). The concluded agreements provided for the exchange of teachers and students, the organization of joint archaeological expeditions, and the production of scientific products. At the same time, an archaeological field school operates based on a joint archaeological expedition of Far Eastern National University and the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the SB RAS. Over the years, prominent (Robert Ackerman, Peter Bleid) and beginners (Laura Niven, Craig Lee, Christopher Hall, Christopher Gillam) scientists from the USA have taken part in the work of this school. In 1997, a group of faculty and students from the Alaska University participated in an archaeological expedition to the bay Boysman (Khasansky district, Primorye).

In the same year, the assistant professor of the department, the head of the laboratory of the anthropology of the local history research institute Far Eastern National University, Krupyanko, seconded to the University of Wyoming to discuss prospects for collaboration in archaeological research. Krupyanko was sent on the initiative and support of the leadership of the Department of History and Philosophy of Far Eastern National University. As a result, an agreement on cooperation between universities is formulated and signed. In May 1998, Professor Marcel Kornfield, Director of the J. Freason Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Wyoming, visited Vladivostok. Moreover, a month later, based on the agreement, four regional students took part in the archaeological field school in Wyoming and Nebraska. Their leader was an assistant professor of the Department of Archaeology, Ethnography and the History of World Culture, candidate of historical sciences Krupyanko On January 29, 1991; a cooperation agreement was signed with the University of Maryland. Based on this agreement, a Russian-American faculty was created at Far Eastern National University. Since 1994, the specialization of students at Far Eastern National University in the USA and Canada has been carried out at the Institute of History, Philosophy, and Culture of Far Eastern National University.

The creation of the Far Eastern Center for the Study of Canada and the USA in 2004 was a new scientific and organizational direction in the work of the Department of History and the Department of General History. Director of the center was Associate Professor of the Department of General History Kazachun One of the forms of the center's work was the annual holding of regional Spring schools for schoolchildren and teachers. The center also conducted All-Russian summer schools for students, graduate students, and young scientists. The work of the center contributed to arousing interest in the problems of the countries of the Pacific basin, laying the foundations of Canadian science and American studies at Far Eastern National University. The implementation of the mechanism of new forms of communication was reflected in the publication of educational textbooks and manuals, training programs (Kuznetsov, 2018).

In the 1990s, Professor Kanevskaya has established ties with universities in Australia, China, actively addressing the problems of Russian emigration (Samigulin & Sidorenko, 2018).

Grant activity

The priority in the implementation of grant agreements among Far Eastern universities in the period under review also belongs to Far Eastern National University. So in 2002, the Open Society Institute. Assistance Fund" finances two projects prepared by the Department of Archaeology, Ethnography and the History of World Culture of Far Eastern National University:

  • "The development of the south of the Russian Far East by the Russians (mid-XIX – early XX centuries" (head was Ermak);

  • "Udege art (ornament, sculpture, plot drawing) in the ethnographic collection of the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography Far Eastern National University" (the head was Krupyanko ).

In 2003–2004 archaeologists of Far Eastern National University (heads were doctor of historical sciences Kuznetsov and candidate of historical sciences Krupyanko) organize and excavate archaeological sites Gorbatka-3, Osinovka-1, and Ustinovka-8 as part of a joint project to study new materials to solve problems of the genesis of the Neolithic of the Far East between Far Eastern National University and Kokugakuin University (Tokyo, Japan) (Kuznetsov et al., 2005).

In October 2005, the rector of Far Eastern National University Kurilov and the Cooperation Agreement is signed by the Chairman of the Korean Cultural and Educational Foundation, Chang Chi-heck (Seoul, Republic of Korea). This agreement marked the beginning of many years of fruitful activity. Russian – Korean scientific research center of archaeological research "Bohai" under the leadership of Krupyanko. The appearance of this center opened a qualitatively new page in the university's international cooperation in the study of the ancient past of the Asia-Pacific Region (Krupyanko, 2015). A current position in this process is also taken by archaeologists of the Far Eastern National University Scientific and Educational Museum.

Exchange of students and teachers

In 1992, the Department of History of Far Eastern National University signed a Protocol of Intent with the Department of History of California State University (Sacramento). According to this protocol, an exchange of students and teachers was provided. Under the agreement, students were trained (Kuznetsov, 2018). Since 1994, faculty members of U.S. universities have been regularly speaking to faculty students, invited by the USIA department at the U.S. Consulate in Vladivostok.

Another new form of international integration was the invitation of foreign teachers to give lectures (foreign specialists for teaching). On September 21–24, 1999, a lecture course on contemporary international relations was delivered by Professor Edelman of the University of Denver. In March 2000, Professor of the Department of World History Sovasteev was invited by the leadership of the faculty of the Russian language and culture of the University of Osaka (Japan). Sovasteev read a course of lectures there. For the period from 1992–1997, 3 monographs were published abroad. Between 1993–1998, nine teachers improved their qualifications abroad (Great Britain, Australia, USA, China, Republic of Korea) (Kuznetsov, 2018).

Participation in international conferences, symposia, round tables.

The most crucial factor that contributed to the growing interest of Far Eastern scholars in joint international historical research was the periodically held scientific events – conferences, round tables, and seminars.

The first in the Far East, the international scientific-practical seminar on American studies "American studies" in May 1997. The US Consulate General held this seminar in Vladivostok. The main topic of discussion of Russian and American experts was the problem of studying the history and culture of the United States in universities of the Far East, the expansion of cultural and educational programs between the two countries.

In 2002, Far Eastern National University, with the support of the US Consulate General in Vladivostok, held the first in the Far East international scientific conference "American Studies in the Pacific". The conference was attended by researchers from Moscow, Vladivostok, Ussuriysk, Khabarovsk, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Blagoveshchensk, and other cities. As a result, the conference became a major scientific forum bringing together scholars of humanities: historians, philologists, linguists, cultural scientists, political scientists specializing in the study of various aspects of US history and culture. This event was a new stage in the coordination of the forces of specialists in the field of American studies.

One of the significant events was the international educational research project "USA: the experience of the interaction of the individual, society and the state." This project is dedicated to the 230th anniversary of the United States Declaration of Independence and Education. This project was carried out by the Far Eastern Center for the Study of Canada and the USA with the support of the US Consulate General in Vladivostok in 2005–2006. The final stage of this project was an international scientific conference, which was held at Far Eastern National University on June 19–20, 2006. More than 60 students, graduate students, young scientists from Vladivostok, Ussuriysk, Khabarovsk, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Blagoveshchensk, became participants in the conference.

Subsequently, during the reorganization, the result of which was the formation of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), the activities of the Far Eastern Center for the Study of the USA and Canada practically ceased (Kuznetsov, 2018).

In the early 2000s, under the leadership of Professor Dudarenok, many international conferences on freedom of conscience were organized and held with the participation of Brigham Young University (USA). These conferences, organized based on Far Eastern National University, attracted the attention of scientists, government officials, and representatives of religious associations throughout the Far East (Society and Power…, 2016).


An analysis of the activities of the historical faculty of Far Eastern National University in the period from 1991 to 2013 showed that international activity did not become fundamentally new for the faculty. At this time, the model of international cooperation acquired utterly different directions. For example, in addition to the internships of teachers in the countries of the “socialist camp” (as it was in the Soviet period), since 1991, educational programs have begun to be developed with the involvement of foreign specialists. The Department of Archeology and World History is particularly active in this process. Many scientific projects have been implemented. Grant activity began to develop – student exchange.

Thus, these processes make it possible to assert about the polarization of the regional development of higher professional schools, about the diversity of structurally-meaningful transformations in higher educational institutions. In particular, these processes indicate the use of a variety of methods, resources, and strategies for their implementation. A long-term orientation often predetermines this choice. Moreover, in the Far Eastern region – this is primarily the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. This targeting vector allows talking about the importance of developing innovative educational technologies that incorporate the experience in pedagogical science and practice in implementing the basic principles of international cooperation.


The reported study was funded by RFBR, project number 19-39-90056.


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