Bestuzhevsky courses - higher women’s courses in St. Petersburg (1878-1918). One of the first female higher education institutions in Russia . [one]
|Year of foundation|
The emergence of courses
In the 1870s, the Russian government realized that effective measures were needed to prevent Russian women from going abroad to study.
In 1870, public lectures were established in St. Petersburg (that is, for both men and women). They opened on January 2 ( 14 ), 1870 , took place first in the building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and then in the building of the Vladimir District School, and received the name " Vladimir Courses ". However, in 1875 the courses suspended their activities.
In 1873, a government commission was created under the chairmanship of State Secretary I. D. Delyanov , which developed a draft higher educational institution for women. April 9 ( 21 ), 1876 , was ordered to allow the minister to open higher women’s courses in university cities. Using this, the founders of the Vladimir women's courses ( N.V. Stasova , M.V. Trubnikova , A.P. Filosofov , V.P. Tarnovskaya) led by A.N. Beketov in 1878 obtained permission to open in St. Petersburg higher women's courses with a systematic, university-based teaching. Unofficially, the courses were called “Bestuzhev”, and their students were called “Bestuzhev”  - by the name of the founder and first director, Professor K. N. Bestuzhev-Ryumin .
The ceremonial opening of the courses took place on September 20 ( October 2 ), 1878 in the building of the Alexander Gymnasium on 20 Gorokhovaya Street .
At the opening of the courses, 468 regular students and 346 free-listeners entered them.
At first, women from 21 years of age with secondary education were admitted to the courses, later - graduated from the gymnasium without any age limit. Those who wanted to attend the courses had to submit an application, attaching a metric certificate, a certificate of complete secondary education and a certificate of political security (if the applicant entered the university not in the year of graduation). When the number of applications exceeded the number of vacancies, admission was made through a competition of certificates. Entrance exams are not passed.
Training was paid. The activities of the courses were supported by the Society for the Delivery of Funds to Higher Women's Courses, funds came from the Ministry of Education, the St. Petersburg City Council, as well as fees for listening to lectures, voluntary donations and membership fees. Many teachers worked for free.
In 1881, K. N. Bestuzhev-Ryumin was replaced by A. N. Beketov, who headed the committee of the Society for the Delivery of Funds from 1879 to 1885. The “general management of the courses” was entrusted to the pedagogical council, the closest observation of the students was on the “course manager” - N. V. Stasova and her assistants. The economic unit was managed by the committee of the Company for the Delivery of Funds, elected by the general meeting of the Company for three years.
The teaching course, originally designed for three years, was already made in four years in 1881. The courses had three departments: verbal-historical, physical-mathematical and special-mathematical (the last two initially differed only from the second year and subsequently were combined), and in 1906 the legal department was opened. Practical classes took place in almost all subjects and in all departments, especially in the natural sciences, for which the courses had richly furnished classrooms, a laboratory, a library, and subsequently classrooms specially adapted for experimental lectures. Attracting the best professors of the university and other higher educational institutions of St. Petersburg as teachers, the courses began to be prepared by independent teaching staff from among former students; nine of them were left at the courses as assistants or leaders of practical classes. Some of the students made independent works in various fields of science, with reports at congresses of natural scientists.
The history and history department taught theology, logic, psychology, the history of ancient and new philosophy, the history of pedagogy, the theory of empirical knowledge, the history of literature, Russian, Latin, French, German, English and one of the Slavic languages. Optional items included Latin and choral singing. Students of the physics and mathematics department gave lectures on mathematics, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, mineralogy, crystallography, physical geography. Students were allowed to move from one department of the faculty to another with the completion of the relevant courses.
In 1886, due to government concerns about the political unreliability of students, admission to courses was discontinued. A commission was created under the leadership of S.M. Volkonsky, which worked for three years, studying the composition of students and their political moods. Meanwhile, by the beginning of 1889, only the fourth (graduation) course, numbering 140 people, remained in the courses. Finally, on June 3 ( 15 ), 1889 , the “Provisional Regulation on the St. Petersburg Higher Women's Courses” was published, which sharply strengthened control over the activities of the educational institution, which operated until 1918. Courses were received by the appointed director and the Council of Professors, meetings of female students outside the courses were prohibited, the position of inspector was introduced. In addition, the number of students was reduced, the natural department was closed, and tuition fees were increased. Two branches were still preserved - historical-philological and physical-mathematical, but teaching the physiology of man and animals, natural history, and histology was forbidden. To enroll in courses now required the written permission of parents or guardians, and in addition, a certificate of the availability of funds for a comfortable existence. Tuition fees increased to 200 rubles per year. Female students could live only at home or with relatives - private apartments were excluded. Moreover, in each case, the reception depended on the personal discretion of the director. The permanent manager N.V. Stasova was removed from office. Other teachers were fired.
In 1895, the courses resumed reading the course of botany, and in 1902, physiology.
In September 1901, on the proposal of the Minister of Education P.S. Vannovsky, Nicholas II approved decrees on the admission to teaching all subjects in high schools of female gymnasiums and gymnasiums of female students who completed Bestuzhev courses. Later, in 1906, they were allowed to teach in some classes of male gymnasiums.
In 1906, under the influence of the first Russian revolution , there was a change in the system of courses towards greater autonomy. The Council of Professors was allowed to choose a director from among themselves (the first elected director was Professor of Zoology V. A. Fausek , who was in this position until 1910). A new teaching system was introduced, called subject, which allowed students to choose lecture courses at will, and teachers to diversify and expand the system of practical classes and courses.
On May 13 ( 26 ), 1906 , a new law faculty was opened. His program included the encyclopedia of law, philosophy of law, state law, the history of Russian law, police law, statistics, the history of economic studies, financial law, Roman law, family and inheritance law, political economy. If desired, students of this faculty could also study theology, German, French, English and Italian.
The lack of the right to pass state exams meant that the courses did not legally belong to higher education institutions. This situation was changed only on May 30 ( June 12 ), 1910 , when the State Council recognized the Bestuzhev courses as a higher educational institution with a teaching volume equal to a university. Certificate of completion of the courses was equated with university diplomas.
With the outbreak of World War I, the financial situation of the Bestuzhev courses sharply worsened. They had significant property, which they were not able to maintain, so dormitory buildings were given over to apartment buildings.
In 1918, the Bestuzhev courses were transformed into the Third Petrograd University, which was included in September 1919 into the Petrograd State University .
In total for 32 issues (the first issue was in 1882, and the 32nd in 1916), about 7,000 people completed Bestuzhev courses, and the total number of students — including those who for various reasons could not finish their studies — exceeded 10 thousand. The number of graduates in different years varied greatly. In the spring of 1882, the first 176 students completed the full four-year training course. In 1913 there were 677 of them, in 1915 - 775. At the same time, there were years when only a few dozen people completed their studies. The smallest was graduation in 1905 (11 graduates). The issues of 1893 and 1894 were small - the first issues after the break in admission were 61 and 49 people. In addition, due to the lack of admission in 1887-1889, there was no release in 1890-1892. The largest number of graduates was at the Faculty of History and Philology - 4,311 out of 6,933, 2,385 graduated from the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics and 237 graduated from the Faculty of Law. Most of the graduates became teachers in high school. 
When enrolling in courses, the estate principle was respected. If in 1878 the daughters of military and civilian ranks made up more than 70%, in 1912 only 37% fell on their share. At the same time, among those classified as upper class, many belonged to this only by formal grounds. Already among the first boulevards there were about 20% of immigrants from the merchant and philistine rank and about 10% of the representatives of the religious community.
Location of courses
|Buildings in which from 1885-1918 Higher Women's (Bestuzhev) Courses|
|Date of Abolition|
|Status||An object of cultural heritage of the peoples of the Russian Federation of regional significance. Reg. No. 781620567990005 ( EGROKN ). (Wikigid database)|
During the year, the courses were located in the building of the Alexandrovskaya Gymnasium on Gorokhovaya Street , 20.
In 1879, Botkin’s private house was hired, house number 7. The building for the Bestuzhev courses on the 10th line of Vasilyevsky Island (houses 31-35) was built in 1885 according to the project of the academician of architecture A.F. Krasovsky with the participation of R. Kurzanova (from 1919 to 1980, the Faculty of Mathematics and Mechanics was located here at the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) State University and since 1981, the Faculty of Geography and Geoecology of St. Petersburg State University has been located here).
In the future, the building of the courses began to grow due to the attachment of wings and buildings to the main building: in 1895-1897 a dormitory and educational buildings were added on the right side of the facade; in 1900 - an outbuilding with an assembly hall and a library; in 1903 and 1909 - buildings on the northern and eastern parts of the site, connecting all the buildings into a single complex. Architects A.F. Krasovsky , V.N. Pyasetskiy , V.R. Kurzanov , S.V. Pokrovsky and D.D. Ustrugov took part in the design of these buildings. In 1914, a building was built about the project of the architect V.P. Zeidler , facing the Sredny Prospect (d. 41) and connected to the main coursework by a passage inside the block. It was supposed to accommodate the Faculty of Physics ("V.P. Tarnovskaya Physical-Chemical Institute"), but in connection with the outbreak of World War I, the building was given over to the hospital.
Currently, the complex of buildings of the Bestuzhev courses on the 10th line of Vasilyevsky Island is an object of cultural heritage of regional significance.
- I.F. Annensky
- I. A. Baudouin de Courtenay
- A.P. Borodin
- A. M. Butlerov
- A.M. Vinaver
- K. D. Glinka
- A. G. Goihbarg
- D.I. Mendeleev
- L. A. Orbeli
- V.V. Sokolsky
- V. A. Fausek - Director of courses from 1905 to 1910
- L.V. Shcherba
See also: Teachers of Bestuzhev courses
- E.V. Balobanova
- L. D. Block
- N.K. Krupskaya
- M.A. Lokhvitskaya-Skalon
- V. Miller-Lebedeva
- Z. Praussova
- A. D. Radlova
- N. S. Samoilova-Yakhontova
- O. I. Ulyanova
- Yu. I. Fausek
- O. D. Forsh
- A. A. Yakubova
See also: Students of Bestuzhev courses
- In the explanatory dictionary of the beginning of the XX century, two meanings of the word “bestuzhevka” are indicated: 1) a student of courses opened by Bestuzhev; 2) idealist. 
- Bestuzhev courses are the first higher educational institution for women in Russia, if you include in their history the Vladimir courses preceding them, opened in 1870 and closed a few years later. Another candidate for this title is Moscow Higher Women's Courses , which opened in 1872, closed in 1888 and reopened 12 years later.
- Michelson’s Big Dictionary of Interpretations
- Women of St. Petersburg. Bestuzhev courses.
- Bestuzhevki in the ranks of the builders of socialism. - M., 1969.
- Bestuzhev courses // Stays R. Women's Liberation Movement in Russia. Feminism, nihilism and Bolshevism. 1860-1930. - M., 2004 .-- S. 128.129, 237-240, 243, 245, 246, 248, 249, 286, 331, 340, 373, 400, 411.
- Female Education // Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary. - SPb., 1894. - T. 22, p. 864-873.
- Female education until 1917. The history of female education in Russia // Galenin B.G. Royal school. Sovereign Nicholas II and imperial Russian education. - M., 2014 .-- S. 303.
- Zinchenko N. Female education in Russia: Historical outline. - SPb., 1901. - p. 26-30.
- Kursistsky // Pervushina E.V. Petersburg women of the XIX century. - M.-SPb., 2013 .-- p. 605-615.
- Opening of a new building for higher women’s courses in Moscow // Sparks. - 1908. - No. 45. - S. 360 (photo).
- St. Petersburg Higher Women's Courses for 25 Years, 1878–1903: Essays and Materials. СПб., 1903
- Санкт-Петербургские высшие женские (Бестужевские) курсы, 1878—1918: Сб. Art. 2-е изд., испр. and add. Л., 1973
- Триумвират. Открытие Бестужевских курсов //Перова Н. И. Смолянки, мариинки, павлушки...бестужевки...- СПб., 2007. - С. 238-280.
- Федосова Э. П. Бестужевские курсы — первый женский университет в России (1878—1918 гг.). M., 1980.
- Женское образование // Энциклопедический словарь Брокгауза и Ефрона : в 86 т. (82 т. и 4 доп.). - SPb. , 1890-1907.
- Бестужевские курсы.
- Юридический факультет Высших Женских (Бестужевских) курсов — виртуальная выставка библиотеки по направлению юриспруденция СПбГУ
- Библиотека Бестужевских курсов (недоступная ссылка)
- Список окончивших курс на С.-Петербургских высших женских курсах…
- База данных выпускниц Бестужевских курсов