Autonomic not-commercial educational organization of higher education of Tsentrosoyuz of the Russian Federation "Russian University of cooperation", which in 2012 celebrated its 100th anniversary, is a unique educational institution of consumer cooperatives. There is no another University for training cooperative cadres with such traditions, resources and potential in the world.
The process of creating a cooperative institute was implemented gradually.. The need for its creation was due to the fact that in the early twentieth century (after the first Russian revolution) the cooperative movement in the country started to develop rapidly and the need for training cooperative personnel of secondary and higher education was becoming increasingly important.
The establishment of cooperative University began with the cooperative school at the Moscow people's University named after A. L. Shanyavsky. Having all the attributes of a higher educational institution, the school dealt with training specialists for the commercial network of consumer cooperatives – shop managers, accountants, clerks. Mainly, the heads of the cooperatives with secondary school certificates were admitted.
Structure of independent higher educational institution – Russian co-operative Institute (VKI) was created in 1918.
The regular teaching staff of the Institute had the highest qualifications of that time. Not all universities of Moscow and Petrograd had such a constellation of famous names. Scientists-economists – M. I. Tugan-Baranovsky, V. N. Sellheim, V. F. Totolian, A. F. Fortunatov, S. N. Prokopovich, S. A. Kablukov, N. P. Makarov, well known in Russia and abroad were teaching at the institute.
The outstanding scientist, a classic of world Economics, leader of the cooperative movement in Russia, Alexander Vasilevich Chayanov made a significant contribution to the development of the institute.
In 1932, a small town of six five-story buildings was built for the institute on the Volokolamsk highway by its founder, the all Russian Central Union of consumer societies (Centrosouz).
In 1935, the University was renamed the Moscow Institute of Soviet cooperative trade (MICT).
During the great Patriotic war, the Moscow Institute of Soviet cooperative trade was evacuated to Kazakhstan. Many teachers, employees and students of MICT went to the front, student Vera Voloshina among them. In 1994 she was awarded the title of Hero of Russia posthumously.
In 1959, the University was located in Mytischi, Moscow region and became known as the Moscow cooperative Institute.
In 1987 by the decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, the school received the status of educational and scientific complex of consumer cooperatives - UNK PC "Moscow cooperative Institute" which comprised the University, all-Union scientific-research Institute of consumer cooperatives and the Training Institute.
In 1992, the Moscow cooperative Institute received University status and was renamed into the Moscow University of consumer cooperation, since 2006 – the Autonomous nonprofit organization of higher professional education of Centrosoyuz of the Russian Federation "Russian University of cooperation".
The fate of the cooperative higher education institutions and professional education of Russia, was not easy. But one thing is clear that throughout the time of existence of the Institute its significance for the development of the system of consumer cooperatives, the world co-operative movement, for the Russian economy cannot be overemphasized. The value and impact of higher education institution was manifested not only in training cadres but also in the creation on its bases of a coordinating and guiding center of scientific-methodical work of all cooperative institutions. Although the mere fact that during the time of its existence it prepared hundreds of thousands of graduates for the Russian consumer cooperative societies and more than five thousand cooperators for Asia, Africa, Latin America, Poland, Bulgaria, CIS and Baltic countries, puts the University among unique educational institutions.
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