The story of universities in Russia is inseparable from politics, as they had a fraught relationship with the state and generated the dissident intelligentsia. Western-style universities were founded only in 1803, on the German model, but had rooted themselves in Russian society by the 1860s, when they benefited from the relaxation of intellectual control under Alexander II. In the 1880s reaction returned, and was countered by the growth of populism and socialism among students, often turning to violence. Russification and stringent quotas on Jewish students were negative features of the Tsarist system. The 1905 revolution produced a brief flowering of freedom, but was again followed by repression which choked off evolution towards a common European pattern. On the other hand, the scientific achievements of Russian universities were considerable, and although women were not admitted to the universities themselves, the percentage attending female higher education institutions was remarkably high.
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