Year of Graduation
History of Russian Universities in 1990s as a Research Problem
The paper analyzes the problem of studying the history of Russian universities in the 1990s. Dissertations, magazine and newspaper articles fix the crisis of the Russian universities. The repeated stereotype that everything was bad does not allow us to adequately understand how the higher school developed in those years. Existing approaches in historiography continue to use assessment and qualitative criteria for identifying various problems. Researchers draw conclusions based on statistical indicators that do not allow studying the ideas and feelings of the Russian academic community. Moreover, the current methodology does not use all the information potential of these sources. The present study is based on the interviews of professors. Interviews collected by volunteers of the Center of University Studies of the Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities (the National Research University Higher School of Economics) and on the statistical collections. The author shows information capacity of the interviews and statistical digests. The simultaneous appeal to the individual memories and the statistical collections has revealed the gaps between the "official version" of the memory and how it is described by the eyewitnesses. The study of interviews and statistics led to the conclusion that the contemporary historians make a point of reconstructing the many versions of the past. This allows the creation of the human-oriented narrative of the university past.