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210 years of higher forest education in Russia

Russia is one of the richest forest countries in the world and forests are the key component of the regional ecosystems. Forest is one of the most needed renewable resources determining economic development of the whole country.

Russia tsar Peter the Great was an outstanding reformer and author of the first forest law in Russia. He was fully aware of the lack of experienced specialists in the “forest art” and had to invite experts from other countries.

In 1803, by a decree of Alexander I, the Forest Institute, the first forest higher school in Russia, was established in Saint Petersburg. Well-known Russian scientists worked there and made a great contribution into development of not only domestic, but also the world science and technology. There were foresters G.F. Morozov (1867–1920), M.M. Orlov (1867–1932), A.F. Rudzskiy (1838–1901), a chemist A.N. Engelgard (1832–1893), a zoologist N.A. Kholodkovskiy (1858–1921), a botanist and phenologist D.N. Kaygorodov (1846–1924) and many others.

In 1929, because of industrialization of forest science in the USSR, the Forest Institute was reorganized into Forest Technical Academy. It became a large polytechnic higher school training specialists for all branches of the forest industry: silviculture, forest protection, logging, transportation of wood, mechanical and chemical processing of wood, and others.

World famous scientists I.P. Borodin (1847–1930), L.A. Ivanov (1877–1962), M.N. Rimskiy-Korsakov (1873–1951), M.E. Tkachenko (1878–1950), V.N. Sukachev (1880–1967), N.N. Nepenin (1883–1967), N.I. Nikitin (1890–1975), S.I. Vanin (1891–1951), A.N. Pesotskiy (1896–1987), V.I. Sharkov (1907–1974), S.F. Orlov (1910–1979), A.E. Grube (1907–1974), A.M. Goldberg (1910–1980) multiplied scientific authority of the Forest Technical Academy, developed national system of forest education and trained talented successors.

At present, the Saint Petersburg State Forest Technical University (FTU), which in 2013 celebrates its 210th anniversary, is realizing educational programs of secondary, higher, post-graduate and continued professional education, advanced courses for qualified specialists in industrial, scientific and pedagogical activities in the spheres of forestry, woodworking, pulp and paper, hydrolytic industry, carrying out fundamental and applied research.

The FTU was the first university among forest technical ones in Russia to realize multi-level system of higher professional education. Today, more than 6000 students are studying here representing citizens of 42 countries of the world.

The University has a fundamental educational and research basis. Scientific and teaching staff of the FTU develops both traditional and new scientific and educational directions highly appreciated by professional community. Study process is provided by qualified teaching staff, 67% of which have PhD degrees.

The FTU has always been a leading scientific and methodical centre of forest-related higher education in Russia. It comprises Centre of Expertise, International Centre of Forestry and Forest Industry (ICFFI), Department of Forest and Forest Production Technology of the World Technological University.

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