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Moscow State University, Russia

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M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University (Московский Государственный Университет имени М.В.Ломоносова, often abbreviated МГУ, MSU, MGU) is considered the oldest university in Russia, founded in 1755. As of 2004, the university has some 4,000 staff teaching 31,000 students and 7,000 postgraduates.

The university was established on January 25 (January 12 old style), 1755 by a decree of Russian Empress Elizabeth. The actual studies began on April 26. January 25 is still celebrated as the Students' Day in Russia.

Originally allocated in the Principal Medicine Store on the Red Square, the university was transferred by Catherine the Great to the present Neoclassical building on the other side of the Mokhovaya Street.

In 1905 a social-democratic organization was created at the university, calling for the tsar to be overthrown and for Russia to be turned into a republic. The Tsarist government repeatedly began closing the university. In 1911, in a protest of the introduction of troops onto the campus and mistreatment of certain professors, 130 scientists and professors resigned en masse, including prominent ones such as Nikolay Dimitrievich Zelinskiy, Pyotr Nikolaevich Lebedev and Sergei Alekseevich Chaplygin. Thousands of students were expelled in 1911 as well.

After the Great October Socialist Revolution in 1917, the school opened up to allow the children of the proletariat and peasants, not just those of the more well-to-do petit bourgeois. In 1919, tuition fees were done away with, and a preparatory facility was created for children of the working class so that they would be able to pass the admission examinations. The university was renamed in 1940 in honor of its founder Mikhail Lomonosov.

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