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History of the University

The university has a rich history and glorious traditions, which date back to 1939, when Pyatigorsk State Teachers’ Training Institute was founded on the basis of Pyatigorsk Teachers’ Training School. Vasiliy Tikhonovich Chekanov headed the institute, and Vsevolod Aleksandrovich Vasilyev became his deputy. Several departments were established – the department of Russian Language and Literature, the Department of Physics and Mathematics, and the History Department.

In 1941 institute received two buildings: Palace of the Pioneers in 70 Sovetskiy ave (now 68 Kirov ave.) and in 38 Oktyabrskaya, with classrooms, library, laboratory, offices, and institute administration.

1941 came… More than 107 students, 18 tutors and 18 workers of the Institute joined the Red Army. Later, 60 workers of the Institute were decorated with medals and orders for the displayed heroism during the Great Patriotic War. The main campus of the Institute was re-equipped into the hospital on the first day of the war.

On 11th January, 1943 Pyatigorsk was liberated fr om the Nazi occupants. The reconstruction of the Institute began. During the occupation laboratories, cabinets and the library had been severely destroyed. There were no visual aids, practically no equipment. In March 1943, the newspapers reported that the Institute had resumed the lessons.

From August 1943 to January 1967 the Institute was headed by Rachia Grigorievich Sarents. During that time campus at corner Kirov and Kalinin Avenue had been restored, assembly hall and gym had been built. He managed to expand the auditorium fund of the Institute, to build rooms for the library, to open and equip a showing room.

New departments were opened: Natural and Geographical Department (October 1943), Foreign Languages department (August 1944) with subdepartments of English, German and French languages.


On R.G. Sarents initiative, the Institute hosted a Club of Interesting Meetings. These were the meetings with famous scientists like A.M.Prokhorov, the inventor of quantum oscillator, a Noble Prize winner. Meeting of students and tutors of the Institute with outstanding Soviet and foreign writers, composers and cosmonauts had become a tradition. All these involved students in the event in and outside the country, made their life richer and more interesting.

The Institute carried out active sport and scientific work. Students and tutors of the Institute took part in various sports contest, tourist trips, occupied first positions, wh ere decorated with medals.

On February 12, 1946 an order about Student Club restoration and Council of Arts was issued. Choir, drama club, dance group, concert team were created to develop amateur talent groups. The institute creative groups were famous not only in Pyatigorsk but in Stavropol as well. Academic choir under direction of L.A. Yaresko, and then A.I. Cherednichenko was especially famous

Students and tutors were active participants of public and labor life of Pyatigorsk. The city’s improvement, reservoirs building, suburban farms help in harvesting.

In 1957 institute started five years educational program. New programs for future teachers were determined: teacher of two foreign languages, teacher of Russian language, literature, and foreign language. In 1958 new departments were opened – the Department of German and French Languages, Philological Department, English Language Department. Under government decision all non-linguistic subjects were moved to other institutions of the region, including Stavropol. In 1961 Spanish language Department and German Languege Department were opened.

In June 1961 Paytigorsk State Teachers’ Training Institute got the status of the State Teachers’ Training Institute of Foreign Languages.

In 1967 Sergey Andreevich Chekmenev, the graduate of the history department was appointed as the Rector. For 20 years under his leadership the Institute had renewed its resource base, new educational and administrative campuses, canteen, student dormitories no. 2-4, apartment houses for tutors and workers of the Institute had been built. In 1967, sports and fitness camp “Damkhurts” and in 1973 sanatorium-preventorium “Orekhovaya Rosha” were built. The construction of student hospital and swimming pool had begun.

On 1st of July, 1980, the Institute opened a new sub-department “Russian as Foreign Language” (with English, French and Spanish languages).


The Institute hosted all-Soviet and all-Russian meetings of tutors on theory, practice and methodology of teaching social, philology sciences, pedagogic, psychology, scientific organization of pedagogic work I schools and institutes. The Institute became the center of South Russia on the training of foreign languages tutors.


In December 1986 Candidate of Philological Sciences Aleksey Ivanovich Yeschenko, who graduated from Spanish Language Department became the Rector of the institute. Under his direction, dormitory no.5 was constructed. Up to January 2002 he headed the Center of Linguistic Researches of the University.


In 1989, the department of the English language was divided in two departments – the department of English and German languages and the department of the English language.

On 13th November, 1990, Yuri Stepanovich Davidov, the Doctor of economic, the graduate of Lomonosov Moscow State University, professor was elected to a post of the Rector of the Institute. The Academic Senate supported his offer to switch to new educational and professional programs. The Institute was one of the first Institutes in Russia that began to train bachelors and masters of linguistics.

In 1995 the Russian Federation Ministry of Education transformed the Institute into the Linguistic University due to the qualitative changes in its work.

In 1992 the University switched to the multilevel training of specialists. Since that time linguistics and intercultural communication have become the major area of training. In 1990 PSLU launched new educational programs, apart from already operating teachers and tutors qualifications. These were: translator/interpreter of two foreign languages, manager in the state and municipal management system, enterprise manager. In 1996 the University graduated first bachelors of linguistics, in 1999, first masters from the French language department, in 2000 first masters from the English and German languages department.

On 20th of April, the Rector of PSLU was elected as a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. On 23d of April, 2004, he was elected as its full member.

In 1990s PSLU hosted regional and all-Russian conferences on hermeneutics, Russian philosophy, lexicology and educational lexicography, pragmalinguistics, language teaching methods, practical psychology, economic disciplines, pedagogic, culturology, text linguistics, translation etc.

In 1995-1996, on the initiative of the University scientists, PSLU launched a large-scale complex scientific and research, humanitarian and educational program “Peace in the North Caucasus through languages, education, and culture”. Since 2006 the organizational work on the program has been led by the Rector of the University, Alexander Gorbunov. PSLU held several international congresses on the given topic, a number of scientific works were published. This program attracts a large number of participants from the North Caucasus; large university centers of Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and other cities as well as representatives from universities of Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Poland, Finland, the Netherlands and other countries.

Since 1960s the University has applied the practice of the international collaboration and training of specialists for foreign countries. PSLU students undergo language practice in foreign countries. Best students demonstrated a high level of a professional linguistic training abroad as they worked as interpreters in different countries. In 1968 the University opened a department on work with foreign students. The education represented four areas: qualification “Foreign and Russian languages”, educational training, post-graduate courses, short-term courses. First students of this department were Vietnamese citizens. Within next years more than 400 students from 50 countries (Vietnam, Cuba, Nicaragua, Mexico, Peru, Algeria, Togo, Ethiopia, Laos, Syria etc) have been studying at this department. In general, during all the time of its work, the department prepared about 1500 specialists for 61 countries of South-Eastern Asia, Africa and Latin America. The graduates of the department work in different universities, establishments, scientific and cultural centers and state institutions.

Since 1983 the University introduced a position of a vice-rector on international relations. The international life of the University was not limited by the operation of the foreign students’ department.

In 1990s the international collaboration of the University led to the changes of the coordination system of this sphere. In 1993 the University creates a Department on international relations. Due to the expansion of PSLU international contacts and its collaboration with international educational organizations and funds, the University introduces a position of a director of international programs, that since that time has been held by V.E. Mishin, an experienced specialist in international relations. In 2007 this unit was transformed into the Department of International Relations and educational programs.

Together with the versatile work of the Department of International Relations and Educational Programs on the collaboration with foreign partners, the traditions of foreign students trainings gained a new impulse within the scope of the national program “The Russian language”. Recently students, post-graduates and trainees from Germany, Austria, France, the USA, South Korea, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, Sudan, Belgium, Poland, Slovakia, Iran, Mexico, Greece and other countries have been or are still trained in PSLU.

It is impossible to imagine cultural life of the University as well as Pyatigorsk without a creative contribution of foreign students of PSLU. Festivals of national cultures and languages, national costumes and cuisines contest, celebration of the New Year – all these helps to improve mutual understanding and friendly relations between Russian and foreign students, to form a kind of a World Culture in PSLU.

In 1994 the University launched the Center of computer technologies under direction of Tatyana Petrovna Sarana. In 1991 two first IBM computers were put into work. In 1999 they amounted to 140, and 5 computer classes were formed, two of which were connected to the Internet. Creation of the Center of Informational and Educational Technologies was a new stage of education computerization and development of publishing activity. Nowadays all subdivisions of the university have computers and copying equipment. Students and tutors used contemporary lingaphone offices. There is constantly developing audio- and video funds with educational programs, texts, movies. Computerization of administrative activity, library, and accounting and control improvement is another important direction of the Center’s work. Since 2007 The Center of Informational and Educational Technologies has been headed by Aleksandr Ivanovich Sarana.

The university library’s history starts in 1939. From the foundation of the institute 3 people worked there, and the stock amounted to 43,670 books. During the fascist occupation Pyatigorsk library was completely destroyed. After the liberation of the city, it was reconstructed. Students, tutors, institute officers donated their own books. Nowadays PSLU library is one of the largest libraries in the Northern Caucasus. Its unique collection was formed in accordance with the university direction, which is Russian and foreign languages book.


In 2004, according to the International Academy of Quality and Marketing, PSLU was reckoned among 100 best universities of Russia and got an honorable reward – a Golden medal “European quality”. In 2005 PSLU was awarded with a Honorary diploma of the State Duma of Russia.

In 2005, Yuri Stepanovich Davidov, an academician of the Russian Academy of Education, who had been working as a Rector for 15 years, was elected to a post of the President of the University. Professor Alexander Pavlovich Gorbunov was unanimously appointed to a post of the Rector by means of a secret ballot at the conference of scientific, pedagogic and other categories of PSLU workers. Professor Gorbunov has held this position since 28th of December, 2005.

On his initiative, the University started its transition from the traditional to the creative innovative university. Since that time the University has been considered as a model of polycultural civil and professional community; the University continues to develop as a center of multiple languages and cultures, as the University that “opens and transforms the world”.

In 2006 the university was ranked as third in the rating list of the best Russia’s pedagogical and liberal arts universities monitored by national Ministry of Education and Science. According to Vladimir Potanin Charity Fund’s independent research it was nominated as one of the country’s best universities for the 15th time.

As per results of the prestigious All-Russia Contest “Russian Organization of High Social Efficiency” sponsored by the Government of Russia in 2007 the University won a prize in the nomination “Education and Science”.

In May 2016 a new era of the university development as a multidisciplinary institution started.
Following the order no. 566 of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation from May 13, 2016 “Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University” was renamed into “Pyatigorsk State University”. This decision came into force after the registration of Unified State Register of Legal Entities on May 27, 2016.

Pyatigorsk State University has glorious past and even more perspective future. Scientific and pedagogic personnel of the University that provides the link between generations and trains future professionals of the 21st century is a guarantee of our success.