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Demidov Yaroslavl State University

Vasily Grigoriyevich Bashkov. View of Yaroslavl in 1856. On the left – Demidov Lyceum.On August 14, 1833, Nicholas I by his Decree transformed Yaroslavl School of Higher Sciences to the Demidov Lyceum on January 13, 1834. The transformation was done within the reform of the Russian education system at the beginning of the reign of Nicholas I. The goal of the reforms was to provide stability in the country through a political education of young people. The main directions of the reforms were: national principles of education, eradication of liberal principles, introduction of a uniform curriculum, social class education and limitation of access to universities.

The Lyceum lost its autonomous status and was taken under the authority of Moscow University. The Lyceum’s staff included 12 people: the principal, a religious teacher, eight professors and two lecturers. The principal’s position was still elective — he was elected at Moscow University, and confirmed by the Minister of Public Education. Professors were elected by Moscow University, which also appointed lecturers and a religious teacher by approbation of the warden. Professors, chaired by the principal, formed the Council, which managed the Lyceum.

According to the Statute the following subjects were taught at the Lyceum: Scripture, mathematics, physics, chemistry and technology, Russian and Latin, philosophy, natural history, Russian public, civil and criminal law, finances and political economy, general and Russian history and statistics, German and French. The Lyceum was enjoined to pay special attention to law and cameralistics, and to consider the other subjects as minor ones. A three-year education was introduced. Successful gymnasium graduates could enter the Lyceum, and those who were educated at home had to take entrance examinations in the gymnasium programme. The Lyceum could keep 40 students on the founder’s money. Students who took a complete course of the Lyceum were still employed with the 14th grade, and while enlisting in the army, they had the rights of university graduates. At the opening of the Demidov Lyceum, which took place on January 27, 1834, the Lyceum’s Principal Alexey Fomich Klimenko spoke and read a new Statute. At the time of transformation of the Lyceum, 114 students were being educated there.

The new Statute of the Demidov Lyceum was approved on December 4, 1845 and put into effect on January 13, 1847. The Lyceum’s stated main purpose was “to share fundamental information on cameral sciences in respect to Russian Law”. The Demidov Lyceum was placed under the authority of Moscow Education District Warden. The number of professors was reduced to six. New subjects were added: political arithmetic and bookkeeping, zoology, botany and mineralogy, rural economy, silviculture and agriculture, laws of state improvement. Philosophy and natural history were excluded from the curriculum. The number of students that could be kept by the Lyceum was reduced to twenty. A graduate could be employed with the 12th grade. The Lyceum was allowed to keep its own printing office.

The professors of the Demidov Lyceum were: Konstantin Dmitriyevich Ushinsky, Alexey Zinoviyevich Zinoviyev, Nikolai Alexandrovich Gladkov, Vladimir Nikolayevich Nikolsky, Lev Semyonovich Tsenkovsky. The Lyceum’s Principals were Nikolai Mikhailovich Konshin, Mikhail Vasiliyevich Liapounoff.

The Lyceum, getting further and further from the idea of Pavel Grigoriyevich Demidov about “the school having the same level as the university”, in the middle of the nineteenth century, was surviving rather than living a full life. Professors, having a rather scant salary, strived to leave the Lyceum, move to universities as soon as possible, having achieved a certain status. The Moscow Education District administration considered different variants of transforming the Lyceum, and probably of its closing.

The Minister of Public Education Dmitry Andreyevich Tolstoy, who visited Yaroslavl in 1866, found one professor, four acting professors, one lecturer and 39 students at the Lyceum. In the same year of 1866 the transformation project of the Lyceum with jurisprudence as its special subject was prepared on his initiative. This project was adopted and on July 15, 1868 Alexander II signed an interim Statute of the Demidov Juridical Lyceum.