Kazan (Volga region) Federal University

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Kazan (Volga region) Federal University
Казанский (Приволжский) федеральный университет
KGU logo.png
Logo of the university
Established 5 (new style: 17) November 1804
Type Public
Rector Il'shat Ghafurov
Administrative staff
Students ~50,000
Location Kazan, Russia Russia
55°47′27″N 49°07′19″E / 55.7907°N 49.1219°E / 55.7907; 49.1219Coordinates: 55°47′27″N 49°07′19″E / 55.7907°N 49.1219°E / 55.7907; 49.1219
Campus Both urban and suburban
Website eng.kpfu.ru; http://prologueindia.com/kazan-federal-university.php

Kazan (Volga region) Federal University (Russian: Казанский (Приволжский) федеральный университет; Tatar: Cyrillic Казан (Идел Буе) федераль университеты, Latin Qazan federal universitetı) is located in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia. Founded in 1804 as Kazan Imperial University, Kazan University received the federal status in 2010. Kazan University is the second oldest among the current Russian universities. The famous mathematician Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky was its rector from 1827 until 1846. In 1925, the university was renamed in honour of its most famous student, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin). Kazan University is known as "the birthplace of organic chemistry" due to works by Aleksandr Butlerov, Vladimir Markovnikov, Aleksandr Arbuzov, and the birthplace of Electron Spin Resonance due to work by Evgeny Zavoisky.

By President Boris Yeltsin’s Decree, in 1996, Kazan State University was added to the National Cultural Heritage Register of Russia.

KFU is one of just few educational institutions in Russia which offer modern comfortable housing for all non-resident students. KFU student campus is located in the Universiade Village built in Kazan to accommodate participants of the XXVII World Summer Universiade 2013. It is a residential micro-district with capacity of about 12,000 people. The Village has been declared a “Health territory”. All conditions for comfortable life are created in the campus. A medical center, drugstore, sports equipment rent station, copy center, laundry, beauty salon, cafeteria and other facilities are available here. The Village project was awarded a diploma “For a special contribution to a socially significant infrastructure creation for youth and sport development” at the world contest FIABCI Prix D’Excellence.


The Kazan State University is one of the oldest universities in Russia. It was founded the 5th (New Style 17) of November 1804, when the Emperor Alexander I signed the Affirmative Letter and the Charter about the creation of the Kazan Imperial University.

Already during the first decades of its existence, it became one of the major centers of education and science. This institution formed a number of big and famous scientific schools (mathematical, chemical, medical, linguistic, geological, geobotanical, etc.). Among subjects of special pride there are the creation of non-Euclidean geometry by Nikolai Lobachevsky, the discovery of the chemical element Ruthenium by Karl Klauss, the theory of chemical structure of organic compounds by Aleksandr Butlerov, the discovery of electron paramagnetic resonance by Yevgeny Zavoisky (and acoustic paramagnetic resonance by Semen Altshuler), chemistry of organophosphorus compounds by the Arbuzovs (Alexander and Boris) and many others.

In 1819-1821 the outstanding alumnus and scholar of Kazan University Ivan Simonov participated in the discovery of Antarctica during the first round-the-world expedition and pioneered Antarctic studies.

Since the first half of the 19th century Kazan University has been the largest center of Oriental Studies in Europe and the birthplace of the world famous Kazan Linguistic School founded by Baudouin de Courtney.

Since its inception, the university has prepared more than 70 thousand professionals. Among the university students and alumni there are such outstanding scholars and famous people as the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Ulianov-Lenin, writers Sergei Aksakov, Leo Tolstoy, Pavel Melnikov-Pechersky, Velimir Khlebnikov, composer Miliy Balakirev, painter Valery Yakobi and other world-known people.

In 1925 the Kazan State University was renamed to the V. I. Ulyanov-Lenin Kazan State University, by decision of Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee (VTsIK) dated by 25 June 1925.[1]

Panorama of Kazan State University's main building

Imperial period[edit]

Russian Emperor Alexander I is credited with the university's foundation.

On 5th (17th) November 1804 Emperor Alexander I signed a charter establishing a new university in the city of Kazan. The first students (of February 1805) became graduates of the First Kazan Gymnasium - an autonomous affiliate of the Moscow State University, under whose auspices the Kazan University first operated.

It was not until 1814 that the university underwent its full opening, that is to say that it was restructured as a classical university comprising four departments: moral and political sciences, physical and mathematical sciences, medical sciences and philology. Before the founding of the University of Kazan, Tomsk was the easternmost university in the Russian Empire, it was thus responsible for the vast regions of the Volga, Kama, Ural, Siberia and the Caucasus - a responsibility ultimately ceded to the University of Kazan. It is interesting to note that in the first decades of its existence, the University of Kazan became Russia's leading centre for the study of Oriental languages .

The university's main building as it appeared in 1832.

In 1819, M. L. Magnitsky conducted a review of the university in which he reported on 'the spirit of dissent and irreligion' that he had found at the university. In his report to the emperor, he spoke of the public failure of the university and demanded it be closed, but Alexander I put the resolved 'why destroy what can be corrected'.[citation needed] Magnitsky was consequently appointed trustee of the Kazan school district, an action that negatively affected the university, with many professors being dismissed and 'harmful' books withdrawn from the library's collection. What is more, a strict barrack-style domestic regime was introduced for students of the university.

In 1825, the main building of the university was built and, in 1830, the main campus was completed. This included the library building, chemical laboratory, dissection facilities, astronomical observatory, clinics (in the organisation of the which contemporaries noted the leading role of Professor FO Yellachicha) and other such buildings. Resultantly the university became a leading centre of education and in the sciences. It was the scientific faculties that were, at this time, organised into a number of scientific areas and schools: mathematical, chemical, medical, geological, and other geobotanic. Just four years later, in 1834, the journal 'Proceedings of the University of Kazan' began to be published by academics at the university and in 1825 the charter of Nicholas I, established the university's three faculties: the philosophical faculty (which was further subdivided into verbal and physical-mathematical departments), legal faculty and medical faculty.

Lenin as he appeared in 1887.

In 1844, Karl Klaus, a professor at the university, discovered, and named in honour of Russia, Ruthenium, the only chemical element discovered in Tsarist Russia. Six years thereafter, and in connection with the establishment of the Eastern Department of the St. Petersburg University's Oriental Institute, all training materials and the collection of the University of Kazan in the field of Oriental Studies were transferred to the capital. Shortly after that, there was a further reform of the university's structure, when in 1863, by order of Alexander II, the university was reorganised into four departments: History and Philology, Physics and Mathematics, Law, and Medicine. A renowned linguistic school operated at the university in the years 1875-1883.

Notably, between August 1887 and his expulsion in December 1887 for 'student disturbances',[2] Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin), future leader of the Soviet Union, studied law at the university.

The university faced one of its greatest challenges yet during the Russian Civil War when in August–September 1918 the siege and ultimate capture of Kazan by the Red Army and Czechoslovak Corps led to a large exodus of both residents and students and faculty members from the city. Subsequently many of Kazan's escaping students and academics were enrolled in state universities in Siberia, where the help they provided proved instrumental in the foundation of universities in Tomsk and Irkutsk.

Soviet period[edit]

In accordance with the SovNarKom directive of 9 October 1918, the system of academic ranks was abolished and all university-level pedagogues with at least three years teaching experience were afforded the title of professor. This allowed the University of Kazan, which had lost the vast majority of its academic staff during the turmoil of the civil war, to restart operations.

The university's name appeared in Arabic-script Tatar on the main building before that script's abolition in 1928.

The university soon thereafter became the RSFSR's fifth university to open a 'workers' faculty - a change mandated by a government degree which aimed to provide for the education of peasants. It was thus that on 1 November 1919 peasant workers first took up places, provided to them without the requirement to pass an entrance exam, at the University of Kazan. What is more, in 1922 the university's institute of forestry merged with the agricultural faculty of the Kazan technical university to form the city's Institute of Agriculture and Forestry.

On 29 June 1925 the university was honoured by the presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, which bestowed the honorific 'V.I Ulyanov-Lenin' on the university as an appendage to its name. This was done it order to recognise the period of time Vladimir Lenin spent as a student at the University of Kazan.

In the 1930s the university continued to evolve, with a number of its faculties being separated from it in order to become independent institutions of higher education. Many of these survive, such as the Kazan State Medical University, survive to this day. Moreover, during the war years 1941-1943, a number of members of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, who had been evacuated from Moscow and Leningrad, were housed in the buildings of the university; this, in turn, led to the foundation of a Kazan department of the academy in 1945.

In the postwar years the University of Kazan underwent a period of rapid expansion and development of its academic base. In recognition of its hard work in providing education to the peoples of the Soviet Union the university was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour in 1953 and later, in 1979, the Order of Lenin. It was also in the 1970s that the university's two distinctive high-rise academic buildings were built - the Department of Physics in 1973 and Faculty of Mathematics in 1978. The final major Soviet-era change to the university came with the opening of a university sports and cultural centre in 1989.


The main building of Kazan University designed by architect Petr Pyatnitsky was built in the 1820s.The oldest part of the university building still contains three classical portals along its white foreside of the original 1822 construction. Included with this building is the First Gymnasium for boys and the private residence of Prince Tenichev that was given to the university at the time of its founding. From 1832 to 1841, architect M. Korinfsky constructed the rest of the buildings. These included the Anatomy Theatre, the Library, the Chemistry and Physics Laboratories and the Observatory, completed the University complex and gave it the neo-classical look. The building of the Chemistry Faculty was constructed in 1954 with active participation of the university students. In 1960-70-ies, two high-rise academic corps were constructed - to the north and to the west of main building. The university sport center UNICS, raised in 1989, was coupled by the BUSTAN sport center opened in May, 2010 with participation of the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Construction of the east wing to the main university building in 2003, in the period of preparation to the 200 anniversary of Kazan university, gave it a completeness in accordance with the project by architect Mufke.

Global cooperation[edit]

The very foundation of Kazan University was directly linked to international academia. Some of the University's first teachers were German professors such as Johann Bartels, Franz Erdman and Christian Fren. The famous German professor Karl Fuchs, who was both the founder of Kazan Medical School and the first European researcher of Tatar history and culture, became the University's rector in the 1820s and was awarded the title of Honourable Citizen of Kazan.

Today the University continues enlarging its international dimensions and enhancing its globally renowned academic reputation. In 2014 KFU ranks:

  • 551 in QS World University Ranking[3]
  • 69 in QS BRICS ranking[4]
  • 1468 in Webometrics ranking[5]

KFU strives for attaining globally recognised results within its priority areas through developing Centres of Excellence and world-class unique laboratories (open-labs); inviting world-known scholars, as well as сollaborating with large companies[6] and leading academic centres.

KFU has partner agreements[7] with approximately 190 universities and research centres from more than 53 countries all over the world. Thanks to its fruitful cooperation with the long-term partners such as Justus-Liebig University of Giessen (Germany), the Superior Institute of Materials and Advance Mechanics (ISMANS, France), Research Institute RIKEN (Japan) and many others, KFU has taken advantage of participating in various research programmes and implementing double diploma programs and cotutelle agreements.

Currently (2014-2015 academic year), about 2000 international students[8] are studying in KFU on different academic programmes.[9]

Each year, more than 900 students and faculty members of KFU visit foreign universities and research centres for various purposes, including international conferences. About 1500 specialists from abroad are involved in various scientific events, development and introduction of new courses, research collaboration and other international activity[10] at KFU. Many native speaking specialists teach Chinese, Korean, Farsi, German, Spanish, English and other foreign languages on a regular basis at KFU. Among the honorary doctors and professors of KFU[11] there are Vladimir Minkin, Alexei Starobinsky, Ichak Kalderon Adizes, Rashid Sunyaev, Anatole Abragam, Karl Alexander Müller, Brebis Bleaney, Ryoji Noyori, Mikhail Piotrovsky, Vitaly Ginzburg, Marat Yusupov[12] and other famous scientists and Nobel prizers.

Every year KFU academic staff carry out on average 40 joint international projects and get individual support for research and study from DAAD, DFG, Volkswagen Foundation, NSF, European Commission (Tempus, FP7, Marie-Curie Actions, Erasmus-Mundus, etc.) and other grant making organizations.

KFU carry out several big projects on Mega-grants received from the Russian Government in the framework of Resolution No.220 of the Government of the Russian Federation “On measures designed to attract the world’s leading scientists to Russian institutions of higher learning, research organizations of the governmental academies of sciences, and governmental research centers of the Russian Federation” and Resolution No 218 of the Government of the Russian Federation “On promoting cooperation between higher educational institutions and organizations implementing comprehensive high-technology production”:

  • International research laboratory “Neurobiology. Early activity in the developing brain"[13] supervised by prof. Rustem Khazipov. The project is implemented jointly with the Institut national de la sante et de la recherche medicale (INSERM)[14] (France);
  • Joint project of KFU and «Nizhnekamskneftekhim»:[15] “Increasing effectiveness for obtaining monomers of synthetic rubber by development and distribution of advanced catalysts of isoamylene dehydration”.
  • Joint project of KFU and TNG Group:[16] «Development of innovative technologies and industrial management of equipment and software for effective investigation of resources for the purpose of identification of hydrocarbon deposits and supervision of their development».
  • Joint project of KFU and "Tasma" Co.:[17] "Development and Production of competitive photorecording materials".

Starting from 2011 Kazan University implements a large scale project «Pharma 2020» financed within Federal Target Program of Russian Federation “Development of pharmaceutical and medical industry till 2020 and following perspectives” (Pharma-2020). Research and Education Center of Pharmaceutics was established providing interdisciplinary research for development and production of innovative drugs.

On October 21, 2009, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a presidential decree that would establish a new Volga Federal University on the basis of Kazan State University.[18][19] The federal university project is realized on the basis of Kazan State University, with the accession of the Tatar State University of Humanities and Education (TGGPU), Kazan State Finance and Economics Institute (KGFEI),[20] Elabuga State Pedagogical University and Naberezhnye Chelny Academy of Engineering and Economy. The university's first rector is Ilshat Rafkatovich Gafurov, formerly the mayor of Elabuga.[21][22] The current president is Myakzyum Salakhov.

In 2013 Kazan Federal University launched the Programme for enhancing its competitive ranking among leading world centres of higher education and research (2013-2020) in the framework of implementation of the Government Resolution № 211 «On measures of federal support for the leading universities of the Russian Federation in order to enhance their competitiveness among the leading world scientific and educational centers» (signed on 16 March 2013).

The University administration and faculty have paid special attention to the European Tempus and Erasmus scheme for cooperation, with over a dozen large-scale projects which have been successfully implemented during the last 20 years. Today KFU students and academic staff enjoy wonderful opportunities of training at best European universities as part of both “Integration, Interaction and Institutions (Triple I)”[23] and “Aurora”[24] projects (Erasmus Mundus program[25]). These projects often reach beyond the University, making it a centre of entirely new regional research and educational networks involved in international collaboration.


Kazan University Library has one of the world's most important bibliographical collections, including 15,000 manuscripts and 3,000 rare books. Opened in 1809, it first contained Count G. Potemkin's books that were brought to Kazan in 1799 mixed with collections of the earliest bibliophiles V. Polyansky and N. Bulich. Subsequently, the Solovetsky Monastery collections were added to the library.

These original books remain and are kept in the special depository of the library. In this special collection are Arabic manuscripts of philosophers and scholars Mansur Al-Hallaj and Avicenna (11-th century) and Ashshakhrestani (12-th century), a manuscript copy of the Pentateuch, the first Russian printed book "The Apostle" (1564), the "Books of Kingdoms" by Francisco Skorin (1518) and the "Code of Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich" (1649). The Library has first editions of the 18th-century books by Pushkin, Griboyedov, Gogol, Nasíri and Tuqay.

The library contains many 19th century periodicals, and literature about Kazan and the surrounding region. The library boasts itself as "the pride of the University and an invaluable source of information for any researcher." The original library building was built between 1825 and 1833 by Rector N. Lobachevsky, who was at the same time the Chief Librarian of the University. The Library, which now bears his name, is still growing, and even its new building cannot house all the collections. Kazan University also has many museums.

Famous faculty and alumni[edit]

Annual celebration of the birthday of Nikolay Lobachevsky by participants of Volga's Mathematical Olympiad of students

Politics: Sergey Aksakov, Vladmir Ulyanov (Vladimir Lenin) (expelled), Alexei Rykov, Xösäyen Yamaşev, Sergei Bakinsky, Vasili Osipanov, Nikolai Semashko, Dmitry Karakozov, Nikolay Fyodorov.

Mathematics and sciences: Aleksandr Arbuzov, Nikolai Chebotaryov, Aleksandr Butlerov, Naum Meiman, Kimal Akishev, Nikolay Lobachevski, Ivan Simonov, Vladimir Markovnikov, Konstantin Mereschkowski, Nikolay Beketov, Nikolay Zinin, Alexander Zaytsev, Sergey Reformatsky, Alexander Vishnevsky, Liverij Darkshevich, Platon Poretsky, Nikolai Brashman, Karl Ernst Claus, Joseph Johann Littrow, Johann Bartels, Adolph Theodor Kupffer, Marian Kowalski, Aleksandr Kotelnikov, Mikhail Lavrentyev, Yevgeny Zavoisky, Roald Sagdeev, Vladimir Engelgardt, Alexander Luria, Dmitry Dubyago, Alexander Dubyago, Georgii Frederiks, Semen Altshuler, Mikhail Lyapunov, Dmitrii Sintsov, Oskar Anderson, Wilhelm Anderson, Vladimir Galkin, Kadir Timergazin.

Humanities: music and art: Mily Balakirev, Stanislav Govorukhin, Ilya Ulyanov, Stepan Smolensky, Karl Fuchs, Michael Minsky (Spirin), Yuliya Zaripova, Oleg Saitov.

Literatury: Pavel Melnikov-Pechersky, Velimir Khlebnikov, Pyotr Boborykin, Eugenia Ginzburg, Leo Tolstoy, Daniil Mordovtsev, Alexander Tarasov-Rodionov.

Education: Jan Niecisław Baudouin de Courtenay, Vladimir Bekhterev, Mikołaj Kruszewski, Ivan Yakovlev, Vladimir Burtsev, Peter Lesgaft, Sergey Malov, Nikolay Ilminsky, Afanasy Shchapov, Christian Martin Frähn, Alexander Kazembek, Nicolai A. Vasiliev, Vasily Vasilyev, Józef Kowalewski, Nikolay Likhachyov, Nikolay Neprimerov, Vasili Razumovsky, Walter Anderson (folklorist), Valentin A. Bazhanov.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Regulations of the Kazan State University «Устав государственного образовательного учреждения высшего профессионального образования "Казанский государственный университет им. В.И.Ульянова-Ленина»
  2. ^ Lenin.'An Unfinished Autobiography,' 1917. Collected Works, Vol. 41. (Moscow: Progress, 1977.p 430)
  3. ^ Worldwide university rankings, guides & events
  4. ^ Kazan (Volga region) Federal University Rankings
  5. ^ Ranking Web of Universities
  6. ^ Innovation Centers // Official site of Kazan (Volga region) Federal University
  7. ^ Kazan University at a Glance // Official site of Kazan (Volga region) Federal University
  8. ^ International students in KFU
  9. ^ Academic programmes // Official site of Kazan (Volga region) Federal University
  10. ^ Kazan University at a Glance // Official site of Kazan (Volga region) Federal University
  11. ^ KFU Honorary Doctors and Professors // Official site of Kazan (Volga region) Federal University
  12. ^ Integrated structural Biology
  13. ^ International research laboratory // Official site of Kazan (Volga region) Federal University
  14. ^ Inserm - French National Institute of Health and Medical Research
  15. ^ Joint project of KFU and «Nizhnekamskneftekhim» // Official site of Kazan (Volga region) Federal University
  16. ^ Joint project of KFU and TNG Group // Official site of Kazan (Volga region) Federal University
  17. ^ Joint project of KFU and "Tasma" Co. // Official site of Kazan (Volga region) Federal University
  18. ^ Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signs a series of executive orders granting federal state autonomous university status to several Russian universities
  19. ^ Президент подписал Указ «О создании федеральных университетов в Северо-Западном, Приволжском, Уральском и Дальневосточном федеральных округах»
  20. ^ Volga Federal University can join KSU, KGFEI, TGGPU and KGASU
  21. ^ Распоряжение от 9 апреля 2010 г. №513-р
  22. ^ TatCenter.ru. (April 8, 2010) У Казанского (Приволжского) федерального университета новый ректор
  23. ^ “Integration, Interaction and Institutions (Triple I)” // Official site of Turun yliopisto University of Turku
  24. ^ Aurora Project // Official site of Turun yliopisto University of Turku
  25. ^ Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency

External links[edit]