The Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv is one of the oldest and largest academic establishments in Ukraine. Founded in 1834, the Univesity has conquer a long and difficult way, making an immense contribution to the intellectual and spiritual development of Ukraine. For the 175 years of its existence it has become a cell where front-rank ideas are cherished and national intelligentsia are prepears? Where a freedom loving spirit and fight of the Ukranian people dominates on achievments of the predecessors, along with a free academic spirit and remarkable aspiration for high achievements in science. During its 175-year work, the University has trained more than 300 thousand professionals and overthan 25 thousand of candidates and doctors of sciences.
The opening of Kyiv University was preceded by the 200-year history of the Kyiv Mohyla Academy, founded in 1632. The Academy was the first ever higher educational institution in Ukraine, where the prominent figurs of Ukranian education where worked and studied Hryhoriy Skovoroda, Theofan Prokopovych, Meletiy Smotrytskiy and others. In 1833, the Russian Tzar Nicholas I has signed a decree on establishing the “Imperial St. Vladimir University” in Kiev. On the 15th of July, 1834, the University accepted the 62 of its first students. At that time, there was only one faculty – the Faculty of Philosophy, comprised of the department of History and Philology and the department of Physics and Mathematics. In 1835, the Faculty of Law was established, and 1841 saw the foundation of the Medical Faculty. The Faculty of Philosophy was later divided into two separate entities. This structure of the University persisted up until 1917.
Mykhailo Maksymovych, a professor of Moscow University and a prominent scholar of history, linguistics and folklore and a close friend of N. Gogol and T. Shevchenko, was the first Rector of Kyiv University. In 1837-1842, the principal building of the University was built by a renowned Russian architect, V. Beretti, in the style of Russian Classicism.
Taras Shevchenko, the famous Ukrainian poet and artist, has worked at the University as a teacher of painting in the 40s of the 19th century. However, he was arrested for participating in a secret anti-monarchist society.
In the autumn of 1918 the University has become the the center for the activity of Bolshevik students, who stood for the ideals of October proletarian revolution. Because of this, the University was temporary closed down.
The beginning of a new period in the University’s history was laid on the 23rd of April, 1919, when the Soviet authorities re-opened the St. Vladimir University, changing its official name to "Kyiv University".
In March 1939, when the country was celebrating the 125th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko’s birth, the Presidium of the the Supreme Council of the USSR has named Kyiv University after him. In 1941, Kyiv State Taras Shechenko Univestiy, as it was now called, has become third-largest university in the USSR.
With the involvement of the Soviet Union into World War II, the government of the Soviet Union has issued a decree to evacuate the University. First, it was moved to Kharkiv where it temporarily united with Kharkiv State University. Then, both universities were evacuated to Kzyl-Orda.
Despite the harsh post-war situation, the staff of Kyiv University has persisted in developing scientific and educational activity. For only 25 years (1959-1984), the number of the University graduates exceeded 70 thousand people.
Kyiv Taras Shevchenko University was given the status of a National University of Ukraine by a decree of the President of Ukraine. This status highlights the special role that Kyiv University plays in Ukrainian Education and provides it with administrative autonomy. Another decree crucial to the University’s development was the Presidential decree “About Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University” of November the 25th, 1999, which widened the University’s rights and independence.
Since 1985, the post of Rector of Kyiv University is occupied by Prof. Victor V. Skopenko, academician of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences and Education, Ph.D. in Chemistry, laureate of National Prizes for achievements in science and technology (1990, 1995), Honored Science and Technology Worker of Ukraine (1991). In 1999, Prof. Skopenko has been awarded the “Hero of Ukraine”, one of the highest awards of the Ukrainian state. In 2000, the Rector has become the Laureate of the National V. Vernadsky Intellectual Cooperation Award.
Today, the Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University is a diversified educational and scientific complex, comprising 14 faculties (Faculties of Biology, Geography, Geology, Economics, History, Cybernetics, Mechanics and Mathematics, Radiophysics, Social Sciences, Physics, Philosophy, Chemistry, Law, and the Preparatory Faculty), 5 institutes (Military, International Relations, Postgraduate Studies, Philology). The University is currently training about 20 thousand undergraduate students and 1600 graduate students in 73 professions and 157 specializations. The whole academic staff of the University makes up about 2000 persons.
Great attention in the Taras Shevchenko National university spared to the introduction and support of information technologies for staff and students to use. Today, all of the University is connected into a single network that helps solve scientific, eduactional and administrative tasks faster and more efficiently. The corporate network of Kyiv University is one of the largest in Ukraine, numbering approximately 3000 workstations. The University also possesses external channels which provide fast high-quality access to educational and scientific resources.
One of the most important objectives of the University is to provide the necessary conditions for study in the student dormitories. One of the major steps of achieving was the development of the University Billing system (http://bill.univ.kiev.ua), which allows students to access the informational resources of the World Wide Web right form their place of residence.
Another technological achievement is creating a server dedicated to distance learning and a web video broadcasting server (http://www.electure.kiev.ua). The distance learnig server facilitates the remote access of academic resources, while video server provides both live broadcasts and the possibility to view past lectures from the archive.
This year, the Academy of Introducing Information Technology into Education was founded, while the Reional CISCO Network academy is continuing to work, currently training more than 100 students. The CISCO Academy has passed the international CCNP (Cisco certified network professional) certification and now it is one of the prominent networking academies in the countries of the CIS.
Last year, two automated administration systems were introduced: the “Student” and the “University Entrant” systems, allowing high-quality automatized control over the entry and educational processes in the University and making the work of the metodological staff more efficient.
The University makes a significant effort to promote international contacts and relations. Last year, Kyiv National Univesity had international agreements on academic and cultural cooperation with 77 higher education establishments from 39 countries of the world. In 2004, the following bilateral agreements on scientific and cultural cooperation were concluded: Nairobi University (Kenya), St.Petersburg State University (Russian Federation), Ghazi Ankara University (Turkey), Samarkand State University (Republic of Uzbekistan), Lyon National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) (France), Elves Lorand University (Hungary).
The award of the “Honorary Doctor of Kyiv University” was appropriated to more than 53 prominent scientists and politicians. Dmytro Mendeleev, Mykhailo Grushevsky, Mykhailo Dargomanov, Indira Ghandi, Tur Hayerdahl, William Clinton, Borys Paton, Victor Sadovnychiy, Helmut Koll, Yuriy Mytropolskiy and others.
Last year, the academic departments and institutes were working using updated syllabi, according to which the student classroom hours do not exceed 30 per week and large attention is paid to out-of-class work under the supervision of academic advisors. The amount of the out-of-class hours has increased to 24 hours for undergraduate students and 30 hours for masters program students.
It is known that the the trend to decrease classroom hours and increase extracurricular load is a prerequisite of our joining the Bologna Process, and therefore it will be continued. Another requirement for entering the European educational system is the obligation for colleges and universities to start preparing professionals according to state standards, wich colleges and universities themselves develop. This is a brand new level in training professionals.
In Institute of journalism in 2003-2004 has started an all-new studies for persons which over 10 years worked in mass media, but does not have the spacial degree in media and journalistics.
Today, the total holdings of the University’s library numbers 3.5 million copies. It has, however, a very diversified consistency: 1.7M copies scientific, 1.09M copies educational publications, 437K copies fiction and 349K copies foreign fiction. There is also an effort to transfer books into electronic storage. During this academic year, the library managed to process 513 books (with only 24 last year). Among the other innovative technologies used at the library, it is our pride to remark the introduction of the new plastic card reader ID’s which help the both students and librarians to conserve time and efforts, as well as the all-new barcode-based book identification system.
The efforts of the University's scientists are directed to satisfy the requirements of the Strategy of economic and social development, the "European Integration Roadmap" for years 2004 to 2015. Research is carried out in 13 compound scientific programs.
Considering the current situation in the development of science and industry across the world, Kyiv National University has started to train personnel in many foremost professions, for instance: “educational management”, “higher education”, “applied economics”, “archival science”, “archaeology”, “international business”, “folklore studies”, “tourism”, “land surveying”, “photogrammetry”, “land tenure and cadastre”, “geoinformational systems and technologies”, etc. Besides, the students of Nuclear Physics, for instance, have received a chance to intern at the nuclear power stations of Ukraine.
The high appraisal of Kyiv National University is certified by a succession of awards, namely "Golden Trademark 2003", the National “Business Olympus” and “Social Recognition” awards, an Honorary Diploma of the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers, the St.Stanislav Order and countless others.
Lately, Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University is one of the highest-performing organizations in Ukraine in terms of stability, transparency and punctuality in paying wages to its staff, as well as student allowances and covering all sorts of educational expenses. Our University is proud to have a multitude of social programs for those whom it employs, lasting for decades now. The Rector’s Office, the Academic Senate, the Primary Trade Union Organization of the University and those of the departments are taking constant care about social protection of the University’s employees.
Today, the University keeps living its life as a vibrant academic community of professors who are constantly improving their knowledge and educational skills and the country’s most gifted students. The environment at Kyiv National University is encouraging for the students not only to look into the past, but to analyze the present and look far into the future with high aspirations to contribute to the Ukrainian nation.
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