University of Kharkiv

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Vasily Karazin Kharkov National University
Харківський національний університет імені В. Н. Каразіна
Latin: Universitas Charkoviensis
Motto Cognoscere, Docere, Erudire
Motto in English
To learn, to educate, to enlighten
Established 1804
Type Public university
President Vil S. Bakirov
Academic staff
Students 15,000
Postgraduates 500
Location Kharkiv, Ukraine
Colors Blue and White         
Affiliations IAU, EUA

The University of Kharkov (Ukrainian: Харківський університет, Russian: Харьковский университет) or officially the Vasily Karazin Kharkov National University (Ukrainian: Харківський національний університет імені В. Н. Каразіна, Russian: Харьковский национальный университет имени В. Н. Каразина) is one of the major universities in Ukraine, and earlier in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. It was founded in 1804 through the efforts of Vasily Karazin becoming the second oldest university in Ukraine after the University of Lvov (which was a Polish university until 1945).


Russian Empire[edit]

January 17 (January 29 according to the Gregorian calendar) 1805: the Decree on Opening of the Imperial University in Kharkov came into force. It was the second university in the South of the Russian Empire. It was founded on the initiative of the local community with Vasyly Karazin at the fore, whose idea was supported by the nobility and the local authorities. Count Severin Pototski was appointed the first supervisor of the university, the first rector becoming the philologist Ivan Ryzhski. 1820—1850: for a certain period of time, the University of Kharkov was autonomous with the rector being elected, however, in this period all its activity was strictly controlled (rectors were appointed by the Minister of Education), scientific publications and the academic process were censored. 1863: according to the new Statute, the university became partly autonomous. In the 19th — beginning of the 20th century, the University of Kharkov had 4 schools: School of Physics and Mathematics, School of History and Philology, School of Medicine, School of Law. 1839: A veterinary school, which later (1851) became an independent institute, was established within the university, At this time, the university structure also included laboratories, clinics, an astronomical observatory, a botanical garden, and a library. In 1811, the Philotechnical Society was founded, the Mathematical Society of Kharkov, the Historical and Philological Society of Kharkiv, the Naturalists Society, Societies of Physics, Chemistry, Law, etc. were established in the second half of the 19th century. The first periodicals in Slobozhanshchyna appear in the university around this time: «Kharkovski Ezhenedelnik» (1812), «Ukrainski Vestnik» (1816—1819), «Ukrainski Zhurnal» (1824—1825), etc. The university exerted great influence on school-life in Slobozhanshchyna in the first period of its existence (1805—1835). The university has been publishing “Scientific Notes” since 1874.


1917—1920: There was a struggle between advocates of Russian statehood and the Ukrainian course. Some of the professors who opposed new political realities left the university. Most of the Ukrainian professors remained in Kharkiv. They continued working in the institutions founded by the Soviet government: the Academy of Theoretical Knowledge (1920—1921), Kharkiv Institute of Public Education (KhIPE, 1921—1930), Kharkiv Institute of National Economy, Institute of Physics and Chemistry, and Institute of Law. Kharkiv State University, consisting of 7 schools: School of Physics and Mathematics, School of Chemistry, School of Biology, School of Geology and Geography, School of Literature and Linguistics (with Department of Philosophy), and School of Economy (with Department of Economic Geography) was restored on their basis in 1932—1933. In 1936, the KhDU was named after the late Russian writer Maxim Gorky (though the latter was not related to the university during his life). During the German-Soviet war the KhDU was evacuated to the city of Kizilord in Kazakhstan, where it merged with the Kiev University forming the United Ukrainian State University. In 1943—1944, the KhDU returned to Kharkiv (the first academic year after the liberation of the city started on November 1, 1943). 1951 800 university students suffered from persecution in 1951 after they refused to pass exams in Russian. Court trials were held behind closed doors. 1921: Kharkiv Medical Institute was founded based on the School of Medicine of the University of Kharkov. 1936: the university was named after the late Russian writer Maxim Gorky. 1977: the following schools were operating within the University: School of Mechanics and Mathematics, School of Physics, School of Geology and Geography, School of Economy, School of History, School of Philology, School of Foreign Languages, School of General Sciences, School of Correspondence Learning, and Night School.

Independent Ukraine[edit]

October 11, 1999: President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma issued a decree, in which he, “taking into consideration considerable contribution that Kharkiv State University made to training qualified specialists and to development of science” granted the status of a national university and named it after its founder – Vasyl Nazarovych Karazin 2004: the University was given a twin building (former Govorov Academy), located opposite Svobody square.

Campuses and buildings[edit]

  • Main building
  • Northern building
  • Central Scientific Library
  • Students’ Campus


Under the Soviet Union, the University of Kharkiv was decorated the Order of the Red Banner of Labour, the Order of the October Revolution and the Order of Peoples' Friendship. According to the estimation of teaching quality, the university ranked seventh (Compass, in 2009) and fourth (Mirror Weekly, in 2007) in Ukraine. According to one of the world leading university rankings (Webometrics, in 2013), Kharkiv National University holds the fourth position among Ukrainian universities and the 1138th position in the world. In the field of management and economics the university took the eighth place, in the field of law - the ninth, in the field of engineering - the tenth, in information technology – the eighth place in Ukraine according to the rating of "Compass" in 2009. Kharkiv National University holds the second place in Ukraine in terms of volume of publications and citations in scientific database Scopus and the Hirsch index.

In 2013, according to University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP),[1] it is the best university in Ukraine and 1373rd university in the world.


The University of Kharkiv main academic building
The northern academic building


Institute of High Technologies[edit]

  • Department of Physics and Technology
  • Department of Computer Science
  • Department of Energy Physics

Notable alumni and professors[edit]

Nobel prize winners


See also[edit]


  1. ^ University Ranking by Academic Performance (2013). "Rank by Country. Ukraine". Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  2. ^ Goldthwaite, Richard; Abramovitz M. (1986). "Association Notes: In Memoriam: Frederic C. Lane 1900-1984, Simon Kuznets 1901-1985". The Journal of Economic History 46 (1): 239–246. JSTOR 2121281. 
  3. ^ Weyl, E. Glen (2007). "Simon Kuznets: Cautious Empiricist of the Eastern European Jewish Diaspora" (PDF). Harvard University Society of Fellows; Toulouse School of Economics. p. 8. Retrieved 2012-02-04. 
  4. ^ University of Kharkiv. "Historical background". Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Perlman, Mark (2001). "Schumpeter and Schools of Economic Thoughts". In Chaloupek, Günther; Guger, Alois; Nowotny, Ewald. Ökonomie in Theorie und Praxis: Festschrift für Helmut Frisch (in German and English) (German ed.). Springer. p. 286. ISBN 3540422404.  |first4= missing |last4= in Editors list (help)
  6. ^ Pressman, Steven (2006). Fifty Major Economists. Routledge. p. 181. ISBN 0415366488. 
  7. ^ Simon, Kuznetz (2011). Weyl, E. Glen; Lo, Stephanie H., eds. Jewish Economies: Development and Migration in America and Beyond I. Transaction Publishers. p. xix. ISBN 1412842115. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°00′16″N 36°13′42″E / 50.00444°N 36.22833°E / 50.00444; 36.22833