Donetsk National University

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Donetsk National University
Донецький національний університет
Донецкий национальный университет
Donetsk nu herb.gif
Established 1937
Type National university
Rector Roman Grynyuk (Professor; DonNU Rector since November 2012)
Location Vinnytsia,  Ukraine

Donetsk National University (DonNU) (Russian: Донецкий национальный университет Ukrainian: Донецький національний університет, Donets’kyi Natsional’nyi Universytet) is the leading higher educational institution in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. The University's history starts in 1937 from the moment of creation of a pedagogical institute in Donetsk (then Stalino). In 1965, the Institute was transformed into Donetsk State University. It was accorded the National status in 2000.


On July 15, 1937, a pedagogical institute was established in the city of Stalino (Donetsk) by decree from Ukrainian SSR as the Stalin State Pedagogical Institute. Its first director was Olekasandr Yevdokymenko, who was arrested in 1938 and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment during the Joseph Stalin's Great Purge. Originally the institute consisted of two departments, of History and of Philology, and five chairs.

From 1940 to 1961 the institute was led by Serhiy Ksenofotnov and from 1961 by Mykola Khoroshailov. Since 1941 the school also included the Physic-Mathematical Faculty. Due to the invasion of the Nazi Germany of the Soviet Union, in 1941 the institute was evacuated first to Kungur and soon thereafter Molotov where it was liquidated. With the liberation of Donetsk during the World War II, in 1943 the institute was reestablished on the decision of Council of People's Commissars of the Ukrainian SSR. In 1951 in school was established the Student Scientific Association that had two divisions historical-philological and physical-mathematical.

In 1961 the institute's name changed to Donetsk State Pedagogical Institute. In 1964 Institute was subordinated to Kharkiv State University and became a Donetsk branch of Kharkiv State University named after Maksim Gorky. On May 28, 1965 the Soviet of Ministers of the USSR enacted a Decree on organising Donetsk State University (DonSU) based on Donetsk branch of Kharkiv State University. Professor Leonid Lytvynenko became the first rector of the university (1965–1968). In 1965 post-graduate studies were launched at the University with only 16 students at first. This was the year when faculties of biology and physics as well as students' campus were built.

Appointed the second rector of the University, Professor Yuriy Shevlyakov managed the institution from 1968 to 1970, during which the main 12-storey building was constructed. Professor Hryhoriy Tymoshenko was the third University rector (1970–1975). In 1972, the University's history museum was opened in the main building. Professor Hryhoriy Ponomarenko became the rector in 1975, followed by Professor Volodymyr Shevchenko in 1986. On September 11, 2000 the university was accorded national status by decree of the President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma. As a result of the war in Donbass, during which pro-Russian gunmen began using the campus as one of their bases, the university relocated to Vinnytsia.[1]


Donetsk National University unites training, research and industrial centers forming a complex that includes: 12 Departments; 33 Specialties; Mariupol Humanitarian Institute; Donetsk Interior Institute; Donetsk Humanitarian Institute; 3 Technical Colleges; first in Ukraine Lyceum with Ukrainian as a training language; 6 regional Training and Retraining Centers; 3 Educational-Research-Industrial Complexes; 8 Training Complexes; 5 Departments and Advanced Training Centers; the UNESCO Department for Ecology in the Technogenous Region; Business Centre; Centre for Political Studies; Youth Centre for Legal Studies; the Laboratory for International Scientific and Technical Cooperation; Consulting Centres of the British, German and French Councils; Postgraduate Courses and Doctoral Studies.

Renaming disputes[edit]

In December 2008 a group of current and former students of the university published an appeal asking that the university be named after one of its graduates, Vasyl Stus. The letter to Minister of Education Ivan Vakarchuk[2] was signed by more than 500 people, including the poet’s son Dmytro Stus. The Minister supported the initiative and approached the Rector of the university with a request to discuss the issue among staff and at the academic council.[3] On 5 February 2009 National Deputy Olena Bondarenko presented a new initiative: to name the university after Volodomyr Degtyaryov, the First Secretary of the Donetsk Regional Party Committee from 1963 to 1976. The initiative was endorsed by some other National Deputies, including the leader of the Party of the Regions Viktor Yanukovych, Mykola Azarov and others.[3] On February 17, 2009 62 out of 63 members of the university's "Scientific council" voted against renaming the university to Vasyl Stus or Volodomyr Degtyaryov (61 voted against this), 63 voted for not changing the name of the institute. Earlier (February 13, 2009) representatives of the university's students voted in exact the same fashion.[4]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

This article incorporates text from "History of the University" at the Official Web Site of the University, whose republication is expressely allowed if referenced to