22 October 2015

Exporting Soviet Ideas Through Education

Our most recent edition of European Education: Issues and Studies was a special, guest-edited issue titled "Governing Educational Spaces: Historical Perspectives." In this issue, Tom G. Griffiths and Euridice Charon Cardona of the University of Newcastle in Australia have provided a helpful historical look at the Soviet university aid program during the Cold War. The paper explores the topic from a world-systems perspective. Griffiths and Cardona highlight the intended catch-up style modernization and national economic development for countries through their participation in the Soviet university aid program as well as the intended development of the human capital of participant countries. The Soviet university aid program was in place from 1956 to 1991 and it was one of history’s largest and most ambitious attempts to achieve global influence and to reshape the world through university education. Their look at Soviet soft power draws on existing research and Soviet archival materials. Specifically, they explore the program's focus on students from “developing” and newly-independent countries, and its ambition to form graduates who would return home to become national leaders sympathetic to Soviet socialism. If you would like to read this entire paper, "Education for Social Transformation: Soviet University Education Aid in the Cold War Capitalist World-System," or any other content from our journal, you can find out more about subscriptions at this page.

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