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ERIC Number: EJ792412
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 23
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0046-760X
Russian in the University Curriculum: A Case-Study of the Impact of the First World War on Language Study in Higher Education in Britain
Muckle, James
History of Education, v37 n3 p359-381 May 2008
The outbreak of the First World War and the emergence of Russia as Britain's "glorious ally" swiftly changed public attitudes in Britain, which had been largely, but not entirely, hostile to Russia. The sense that Britain needed to cure its 'abysmal ignorance' of Russia, coupled with the strong desire to replace Germany, the enemy, as a trading partner with Russia led to the initiation of the teaching of the language at eight or more university-standard establishments. The material and intellectual foundation of the nascent departments of Russian was a partnership between commercial-financial and academic interests. Money from business sources was crucial in the introduction of Russian teaching at several of them. It was, however, only at Nottingham that the commercial sector actively tried (unsuccessfully) to control the behaviour of the college by restricting promised funding. Meanwhile, partnership with technical schools in recruiting teachers was a significant feature of the introduction of Russian to the higher and further education sector. Staff recruited consisted of both British scholars and expatriate Russians (or other Slavs). Russian departments or divisions were often actively supported within the university by specialists in other fields, who were strongly of the opinion that any serious university system should accommodate the study of a society and culture as significant as that of Russia. When it became clear after the October Revolution that Russia would not continue to support Britain, France and America in the war against Germany, the withdrawal of interest external to the universities did not cause the immediate demise of Russian studies in higher education; they were by this time established firmly enough to survive for intellectual reasons alone, and indeed they survive to this day in most of the institutions discussed here. University College, Nottingham, later to become the University of Nottingham, exemplifies in microcosm the principal trends and features of the national situation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom