Kabarda and Balkaria, as they were called before the October Revolution, lie in the centre of the Caucasus. At that time only one or two in every 100 residents of these regions could read or write; there was only one secondary school and no opportunity at all for higher education.
Under the new regime and with a new name - the Kabardino-Balkarian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic - things are different. Universal compulsory seven-year education has been introduced and a written language created. The republic now has its own teachers, agronomists, physicians, engineers and scientists. The Pedagological Institute alone has trained 3,600 teachers in diverse fields in the 25 years of its existence.
With the development of the republic's industry and agriculture, with its rapid cultural expansion, the need for specialists with the highest qualifications has also increased. To meet the need, the Kabardino-Balkarian State University was established in Nalchik in 1957. It has four departments: history and philosophy, physics and mathematics, agriculture, and building engineering. The number of students exceeds 3,000.