The history of the Faculty of Distance Learning started in 1998, when the Centre of Distance Learning was created in accordance with the decision of the Academic Council of the Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics. In the first year of its existence the Centre worked out the strategy of distance learning, the curriculum, teaching methods and materials.
In 1999, the first students were admitted, to study at bachelor programmes in the area”Economics” and programmes of training economists with the specia1ity “Finance and credit”.
In 2000, the Centre signed a contract with Sberbank of the Russian Federation for training its employees on preferential terms as finance and credit economists, which increased the number of the Centre’s students tenfold.
The Centre’s intensive development, including the creation of new studying programmes and the opening of the laboratory of interactive teaching methods and of the academy’s first electronic deans office with a students database, resulted in the Centre being transformed, in 2002, into the Institute of Distance Learning.
In 2003, the Institute and its laboratory of interactive teaching methods created a unique software application for economic education, which was named “Virtual educational firm”. Recording and broadcasting video lectures was started.
In 2004, as a result of successful introduction of distance technologies into the process of studies and the permanently increasing number of students, the Institute was transformed into the Faculty of Distance Learning (FDL). The new stage in its development was marked by the opening of the laboratory of studying methods and materials, the working out of distance learning programs and software for the joint programme of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation and the Defence Ministry of the Russian Federation. The faculty also started a programme of professional retraining in accounting, analysis and audit, where distant learning technologies are used, and created the first interactive computer textbooks for economists.
In 2005-2007, the faculty retrained 6400 people within the framework of the city programme of preparing cadre for market economy in Moscow, carried out professional retraining of workers of the Federal Defence Order system, and educated 559 people according to the programme of development and support of small enterprise.
Plekhanov Academy represented by FDL became a member of the European Distance and E- Learning Network (EDEN) and received accreditation for certification of financial market specialists. A centre of network communication was opened at FDL. A database of electronic teaching materials was created. Distance learning programmes of higher professional education in the area “Management” and in the specialities “Accounting, analysis and audit” and “Law” were opened.
In the two following years workers of the faculty created and introduced into the academic process a new system of distance learning on the basis of the freely distributed Moodle software application, which was integrated with the system of guiding the studying process for group and individual forms of learning.
The Master of Business Administration programme in “Marketing and sales management” was opened, retraining of Microsoft Rus workers was carried out, and the programme of preparing financial specialists for all qualification exams was launched. In accordance with the contract with the Association of Moscow Educational Institutions, FDL started to provide educational services to Moscow population. Over this period the number of FDL students more than doubled.
In 2010, according to the Finance journal, Plekhanov Academy headed the Top 10 of the most popular distance learning institutions. Educated at FDL with the use of distant technologies were workers of the faculty’s corporate clients – the Finance Ministry of RF, the Federal Water Resources Agency, and the government of Kalmykia Republik. The faculty took part in the City programme of development and support of small and medium enterprise in Moscow in 2010-2012. 798 people were trained in programmes of supplementary professional training.
The faculty entered into contracts of cooperation with the Commercial Banking College №6, the Tsaruitsyno College of Hotel Management and Sberbank of RF.
The programme of Cambridge financial English was opened. Webinars started to be conducted. The new level of education reached by the faculty was marked by the start of Master’s degree programme in “Equity management”.
In 2012, FDL once again took first place by the results of its work among the faculties of Plekhanov University.
The dean of the faculty, the associate professor Dinara Rafailovna Tutaeva, PhD, was appointed to the position in January, 2013.