This article analyzes the changes that have taken place in Russian institutes of culture in more than half a century since its inception. There are three historical periods in the development of institutions of this type: 1) create a network of institutes of culture throughout the country (1964-1989). 2) mass renaming of institutes of culture and expansion of the range of educational programs implemented (1990s – 2012).; 3) the period of changes in Russian higher education and the state cultural policy (since 2013).
The author concludes that the return of institutes of culture to the historical names for 2014-15 did not result in their return to the role originally allocated to such institutions in the structure of the higher education sphere of culture. If in 1960-70-ies institutes of culture is strictly reserved place in the Soviet system of training, without interfering in their content with other educational institutions of the sphere of culture (conservatories, theater, dance, art institute’s), today their mission has changed significantly.
Currently, Russian institute of culture – is a dynamic multi-sectoral educational institution of higher education. Depending on the capacity of its scientific and pedagogical staff, staffing needs of the region, and other factors, an educational institution may carry out educational activities in the framework of any of the six aggregated groups of professions and areas relating to culture and art: “Theory of Art”, “Socio-cultural projects”, “Theatre, choreography and literary creation”, “Musical art”, “Fine art, design”, “Movies and television”. In addition, the institute is to train such specialists as: “Tourism”, “Documentation and archival science”, “Applied Ethics”, “Religion”. High the scientific potential of professors of institutes of culture (compared with one-profile institutes, focused largely on the arts) allows today to actively participate in the development and implementation of initiatives related to the strategic state cultural policy.