In 1926 43% of the USSR's population were illiteral. In 1927 there were 119,000 schools in the country, 1200 colleges, universities and technicums. In 1930 a target was put to carry out total compulsory primary education and illiteracy termination.
In industrial cities it was decided to fulfil total education in volume of the seven-year school. As a result according to the All-Union population enumeration on 17 January, 1939 percentage of literate inhabitants over 9 years of age came up to 81.2% (90.8% for men and 72.6% for women). 152 000 schools functioned in the country. In 1940 there functioned 4600 colleges, universities, academies of different sort and other higher educational institutions. By the end of the second five-year plan (practically by 1940) the Soviet Union won the first place in the world on the number of students.
Tangible results were achieved in natural and technical sciences. In 1928 S. Lebedev invented an original method of making synthetic caouthchouc out of ethyl spirit. Serious discoveries were made in the realm of nuclear physics: D. Scobeltsin invented method of cosmic rays detecting, A. Ioffey designed multy-wafer isolator, Semenov successfuly worked over the problem of chain reactions. In 1930 the first in the world jet engine was invented by F. Tsander, that worked on gasoline and pressed air.
In 1929 the All-Union Academy of Agricultural sciences (including 12 institutes) was set up; N. Vavilov was administered as its president. That very year Belorussian Academy of sciences was established.
In the years of the second five-year plan new physics-and-technical institutes were founded in the cities of Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Sverdlovsk, Tomsk. All-in-all in 1937 there functioned 867 scientific research institutes and their branch offices, where 37,600 scientists worked.
Achievements in the realm of humanities were more modest. Role of historical education and historical researches became more important. In 1934 teaching of history was restored in universities, History-and-Archeology Institute was founded, in 1933 - Institute of History. In the 30-s teaching of history starts in the secondary school.
Situation in Fiction literature and Art could be called a tragic one. In April of 1932 the Communist Party Central Committee accepted the "Decree on rebuilding fiction literature unions". Instead of numerous literature groups it was decided to set up one "Union of the USSR writers".
The process of victimisation touched a number of outstanding writers and poets: O. Mendelshtam, S. Tretyakov, I. Babel, L. Averbakh, V. Kirshon and others. Almost all of the "farming life writers" perished.
Still in those years noticeable works were written, famous "Tikhiy Don" by Michael Sholokhov, "Master and Margaret" by M. Bulgakov, poems by A. Akhmatov, N. Kluyev, M. Tsvetaev, novels by A. Gorky, A. Tolstoy, A. Fadeyev and others.
Outstanding works in cinema, sculpture, painting, music were created in those years also.