Founded in 1994 with the active support of the city of St. Petersburg, the European University began operating as an elite graduate school in the social sciences and humanities in 1996. From its inception, the mission of EUSP has been to meet the needs of Russian social development by training a new generation of teachers and scholars in the best Russian and Western traditions. The European University is one of only a few non-state universities fully qualified by the Ministry of Education to award advanced graduate degrees. Over some 20 years, EUSP has gained an international reputation for the superb scholarship of its faculty and the training of Russia’s best and brightest graduate students at the highest international levels.
Like the best private universities outside Russia, the EUSP’s independence is both intellectual and political. With a significant proportion of faculty with degrees from leading western institutions, and close relations with Stanford, Michigan, Cambridge University, Georgetown, Harvard, Helsinki University, and the University of California, Berkeley, of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Cambridge University (UK); Helsinki University (Finland), and the European University Institute in Florence, EUSP has a strong commitment to the integration of Russian scholarship with scholarship in Europe and America. With Russia’s historical distance from the West in intellectual and social terms, this has been a fundamentally important position, one that encourages mobility and encourages graduates to pursue their teaching and scholarly careers in at home. For non-Russians, the International MA in Russian Studies is the only permanent program at the graduate level in Russia that offers degrees in sociology, political science and cultural studies to students from the North America, Europe and Asia.
The University is an important agent of innovation and change in other ways as well. As the Russian government itself has recognized, its democratic governance system serves as a model for other Russian institutions striving for international recognition. EUSP was an initiator of private endowment funding that has now become a standard in other universities and cultural institutions. Although fully independent of state control, the University often hosts important government figures as well as Russian and international scholars for seminars and lectures on issues of social importance. EUSP faculty and staff are also regularly invited as expert consultants by the Russian Federation Public Chamber, the Ministry of Economic Development, and the Ministry of Education and Science.
The University is also actively involved with the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Petersburg Dialogue Forum, and the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum. Partly for this reason, partly because our graduates are among Russia’s best, many not only hold positions in leading universities, but occupy key posts in government and non-governmental organizations, as well as leading Russian and international companies. More than forty percent of those who have finished our core educational program have successfully defended their dissertations.
The mission of the University is to satisfy societal needs in raising and expanding professional qualification of specialists and in developing of their creative and scholarly potential on the basis of achievements of Russian and international experience and cooperation.