Tomsk State Pedagogical University

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About the University


The city of Tomsk, with more than four centuries of history, could be called the “Siberian Athens”. The city began to develop a special spiritual atmosphere early in the 19th century. Tomsk became the site of the first higher educational and cultural establishments east of the Urals: the City Theater (1850), the Public Library (1871), the Book Shop (1873), the Imperial University (1888), the Technological Institute (1900), the Commercial College (1901), and the Teachers’ Institute (1902). Almost all Siberian institutes of higher learning and academic trends found their origins in Tomsk. The city of Tomsk acknowledged as the center of culture, education, and science in Siberia

The fates of Tomsk’s institutes of higher education are closely interconnected, with the separate schools uniting to form a scientific-educational complex. Tomsk State Pedagogical University has a special place in the structure of Tomsk’s higher learning institutes. As the historical successor to the Teachers’ Institute, the Pedagogical University combines the best professional traditions with modern and innovative educational methodologies.


Tomsk State Pedagogical University (TSPU) was founded at the Royal Command of His Majesty Emperor Nicholas II as the “Teachers’ Institute” on July 1, 1902. It was the first institute of the pedagogical type in the Asian part of Russia. At first, it was situated in a small wooden house, but by the summer of 1905 a special building for Tomsk Teachers’ Institute was built. The building is constructed in a modern style and is one of the finest designs of the famous Siberian architects, F.F. Gut.

The Tomsk Teachers’ Institute was famous in Russia for its progressive pedagogical ideas and creative traditions. At first, the Teachers’ Institute was an all-male educational institution for whose students were trained in all subjects. After the February Revolution of 1917 in Russia, 13 women were accepted to the Institute for the first time, and the Institute was pided into three departments: historical and philological, physical and mathematical, natural and geographical.

The revolutionary civil war and the introduction of Soviet Power brought changes to the entire structure of Russian education. The operation of the Tomsk Teachers’ Institute was temporarily suspended in 1920 and resumed only a decade later in the year 1930. In August 1931, the Institute was re-established as “Tomsk State Pedagogical Institute”.

On the eve of World War II the Institute had respectable pedagogical personnel as staff members and more than 30 professors working on a part-time basis. The Institute was expanded in the 1940s with the creation of the School of Scientific Linguistics, and again in the 1970s with the School of Theoretical Physics. Since the 1990s, the School of Methods of Teaching Mathematics has been continually developing. The Institute’s reputation as an international authority in the field of pedagogy has been bolstered by the active academic research of its employees and its foreign contacts with academic institutions in the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, France, Hungary, Poland, Japan and other countries.

On June 26, 1995 the Tomsk State Pedagogical Institute receives the status of University.


In the 100-year history of TSPU, it has trained over 40,000 highly qualified specialists for the public educational system. Currently, more than 11,000 students are enrolled in the university’s graduate courses, and over 200 postgraduate students are preparing their thesis here at Siberia’s oldest pedagogical university.

The University provides all necessary logistical resources for the students and post-graduates. There are three dormitories for two thousand students. The Faculty of Foreign Languages is equipped with modern technical language-instruction facilities. For the students of the Physical Training Faculty there is a sport complex that includes two sports practice halls and a stadium. The workshops of the Institute of Sociology and Economics are equipped with modern equipment. The students of Bio-Chemical and Historical Faculties conduct field practical work in the Altai Region at Gornaja Shoria and educational practice at the TSPU agro-biostation.

The Pedagogical University is also equipped with modern audio and video facilities. The development of inpidual student physical and creative potential are emphasized, and the University features numerous sporting events, vocal and musical groups, dance and theater studios, and a student theater.

TSPU has wide international relations. Partner relationship is established with prominent international organizations such as Department of Education of Council of Europe, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), DAAD, Goethe Institute, IREX, Alliance Francaise, British Council, Fulbright, American Councils for International Education, the Netherlands Institute, Carnegie Foundation and more then 20 universities all over the globe. One of the primary international activity of the University is an academic exchange of students and faculty with foreign universities. Graduate and postgraduate students of TSPU study for one or two semesters in universities of Austria, Poland, Japan, Norway, the USA, German, Spain, Italy and Turkey.

For students who need intensive Russian language preparation in order to be admitted, TSPU offers preparatory courses of various duration and content.

Training is provided by highly qualified professors, researchers and teachers. The academic staff of TSPU counts about 400 faculty members, 300 of them have a scientific degree and/or academic title. TSPU employs 63 professors, two members of the Russian Academy of Science, five members of the Russian Academy of Education and one member of the Russian Academy of Agriculture. TSPU offers 35 postgraduate and advanced scientific degrees in 34 programmes. There are two doctoral councils and one joint doctoral council licensed to award Ph. D. and D. Sc degrees.

According to Russian and international university rankings TSPU is one of the top universities in Russia.


Subject of ranking

Ranking institution

2 Pedagogical and linguistics universities of Russia (2010)

“Interfax” Group

12 Scientific activity of Russian universities: h-index (2009)

Independent Agency “ReitOR”

13 Scientific and publication activity of Russian universities (2010)

Higher School of Economics, Moscow

26 Webometrics Ranking of World's Universities, country rank (2011)

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cient?ficas (CSIC), Spain