The period of 1985-1991 in the realm of education, science and culture is hard for a simple, one-term characteristic. In education changes began to occur since 1988. Before that time things developed in traditions of the "age of come-down and stagnation". Bright, talented teachers different from the grey majority, weren't able to avert the fall of educational level. School and higher educational institutions produced fewer and fewer specialist really prepared for work in the country's national economy.
In attempt to correct the current situation, the country's administration acted in two main directions: gradually weakened its petty, fussy custody over the education system and raised salary for teachers. But educational process didn't improve as a result of those steps, since the teachers were the same, and the main bulk of them couldn't readjust themselves quickly and effectively. Deficiency of teachers sharpened, as they began to leave school for commerce businesses of different kind, where income was very much higher. Again, youth's interest to acquiring education seriously decreased.
Top-qualification specialist outflow from the USSR became a serious problem. Overseas they got a far and away better conditions for life and work. Attempts to soften the situation were undertaken by means of introducing an alternative educational system. Gymnasiums, lyceums, colleges and even universities of new type began to appear. But they were set up as a rule on the base of former schools, technicums and institutes and universities, so often they didn't give anything new except the new name.
The same processes took place in science. While applied sciences developed in some way or other, fundamental ones, which had always been pride of the country, happened to be on the jejune diet. During the second half of the 80-s there were practically no serious discoveries, and the leading branches like space research area, nuclear physics, molecular biology and others, hardly maintained the achieved in previous period level.
Noticeable changes began to occur in Fiction literature and Art. It was a good event, that works of writers, who had left the country a number of years before, began to be published and were available on the book shop shelves. Among them N.Berdayev, V.Solovyev, historians D.Merezhkovsky and M.Aldanov, writers I.Bunin and V.Nabokov and others could be mentioned. In the second half of the 80-s there appeared an entire galaxy of rather interesting artists in different branches of Art.
In many cities number of theatrical ateliers increased greatly. Movie films were for the first time on, in which not only typical drawbacks of Socialism were openly criticised, but also spiritual content of historical and ethic processes were thought over. First of all T. Abduladze's films should be mentioned here in this context. It became much easier for overseas products of culture, especially video films, to penetrate into the USSR. But on the whole cultural "index" of the population went down. Professional level of many plays, films, entertaining programmes, fiction, poetry and Art began to fall down also.
By the late 80-s pornography, sex, violence had become the most profitable, and that means, the most wide-spread so to speak "culture" products. Culture products of very low quality began to arrive; very rare outstanding works hardly ever came to the Soviet Union.
A significant phenomenon of that time: an incredible strengthening of the East and West religions and churches. Mass devotion to astrology, magic, enchantment began. This led to sometimes rather serious negative effects.