This book provides a comprehensive survey of the successes and failures of education and training in the Khrushchev and Breshnev years. The author gives an objective assessment of the accessibility of the main types of institution, of the contents of courses and of Soviet attempts to marry the functioning of their education system to their perceived economic and social needs. In addition the book has many useful and original features: For ease of analysis it summarises in diagram form complex statistics which are not usually brought together for so long a time period. It provides a systematic account of educational legislation; Matthews' comparison of series of official decrees will allow subtle shifts in government policy to be accurately charted. Particular attention is also paid to a number of issues that are often neglected: the employment problems of school and college graduates; the role and professional status of teachers; political control and militarisation in schools; the close detail of higher education curricula; and the rate of student failure.
Of special value is the chapter on those educational institutions which are often omitted from Western studies and which are hardly recognised as such in most official Soviet sources.