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National University of Kharkiv

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Karazin University
V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University
Харківський національний університет імені В. Н. Каразіна
Latin: Universitas Charkoviensis
MottoCognoscere, Docere, Erudire (Latin)
Motto in English
To learn, To Educate, To Enlighten
TypeNational university
Established29 January 1804; 220 years ago (1804-01-29)
RectorTatyana Kaganovska
Academic staff
Location, ,
ColorsBlue & White    
AffiliationsIAU, EUA, WHO
Building details
Головний корпус Харківського університету
General information
LocationKharkiv, Ukraine

Kharkiv University or Karazin University[1] (Ukrainian: Каразінський університет), officially V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (Ukrainian: Харківський національний університет імені В. Н. Каразіна), is a public university in Kharkiv, Ukraine. It was founded in 1804 through the efforts of Vasily Karazin becoming the second oldest university in modern-day Ukraine.


Russian Empire[edit]

On 29 January [O.S. 17 January] 1805, the Decree on the Opening of the Imperial University in Kharkiv came into force. The university became the second university in the south of the Russian Empire. It was founded on the initiative of the local community with Vasily Karazin at the fore, whose idea was supported by the nobility and the local authorities. Count Seweryn Potocki was appointed the first supervisor of the university, the first rector being the philologist and philosopher Ivan Rizhsky.

In 1811, the Philotechnical Society was founded, while the Mathematical Society of Kharkiv, the Historical and Philological Society of Kharkiv, the Naturalists Society, Societies of Physics, Chemistry, Law, among others, were established in the second half of the 19th century. The first periodicals in Slobozhanshchyna appear in the university around this time, including Kharkovski Ezhenedelnik (1812), Ukrainski Vestnik (1816–1819), Ukrainski Zhurnal (1824–1825), etc.

In 1839, a veterinary school, which in 1851 became an independent institute, was established at the university. By this time, the campus included laboratories, clinics, an astronomical observatory, a botanical garden and a library.

Previously, the university was autonomous with rectors being elected. However, from 1820 to 1850, all its activity was strictly controlled. Rectors were appointed by the Minister of Education, while scientific publications, and academic processes were censored.

In 1863, under a new Statute,[which?] the university became partly autonomous.

The university has been publishing Scientific Notes since 1874.

From the 19th century up to the early 20th century, the University of Kharkiv had four schools: School of Physics and Mathematics, School of History and Philology, School of Medicine, School of Law.

The university exerted great influence on school-life in Slobozhanshchyna in the first period of its existence, largely from 1805 to 1835.[citation needed]

Ukrainian SSR[edit]

Student card of Boris Chichibabin, 1940

From 1917 to 1920, there was a struggle between advocates of the Ukrainian statehood and Russian course. Some of the professors who opposed new political realities left. 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 seven 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 1921, Kharkiv Medical Institute was founded based on the School of Medicine of the University of Kharkiv.[citation needed]

In 1936, the university was named after the late Russian writer Maxim Gorky (though he was not related to the university during his life). During the German-Soviet war, it was evacuated to the city of Kizilord in Kazakhstan, where it merged with the Kyiv University to form the United Ukrainian State University.[2] In 1943/44, the university returned to Kharkiv (the first academic year after the liberation of the city on November 1, 1943). In 1951, 800 university students suffered from persecution after they refused to pass exams in Russian. Court trials were held behind closed doors.[citation needed]

In 1977, the following schools were operating in 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.[citation needed]

Independent Ukraine[edit]

Vasily Karazin

On 11 October 1999, Leonid Kuchma, the President of Ukraine 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 Karazin.[citation needed]

The Faculty of Economics building after a Russian missile strike on 2 March 2022

In 2004, the university was given a twin building (the former Govorov Academy), opposite Svobody Square.[citation needed]

In 2022, the university was severely damaged by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. On March 2, the Russian shelling hit the building of the Faculty of Economics[3] and was subsequently destroyed by Russian shelling.[4] On March 5 the university sports complex was partially destroyed. On March 11 — the building of the Faculty of Physics and Technology was partially destroyed and on March 18 — the Institute of Public Administration was partially ruined. As of March 22, according to the university's press service, the University had no intact buildings left.

Campuses and buildings[edit]

The main academic building
  • Main building
  • Northern building
  • Central Scientific Library
  • Students’ Campus


University rankings
Global – Overall
THE World[5]477 (2021)

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.[citation needed]

University rankings
Regional – Overall
QS Emerging Europe and Central Asia[6]23 (2024)

Kharkiv National University holds the second place in Ukraine in volume of publications and citations in scientific database Scopus and the Hirsch index, with the best academic results in the School of Medicine and School of Biology.

In 2021, according to QS World University Rankings,[7] it is the best university in Ukraine and ranks 477th university in the world.


The northern academic building
Greatcoat of a student at the Kharkov Imperial University (1900s)


Institute of High Technologies[edit]

Scientific institutions[edit]


The first rector of the Imperial Kharkov University Ivan Rizhsky
Governor's Palace, late 19th century. Old university building

Notable alumni and professors[edit]

Monument to Élie Metchnikoff, Lev Landau, Simon Kuznets

Nobel prize winners[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Modern university". Karazin University. Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  2. ^ "KNU-history - Open University of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv". knu.edu.eu. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  3. ^ Sistek, Scott (2022-03-25). "Massive icicles hang from destroyed Ukrainian school amid nearly week-long freeze". FOX Weather. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  4. ^ McCann, Allison; Gamio, Lazaro; Lu, Denise; Robles, Pablo (2022-03-17). "Russia Is Destroying Kharkiv". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  5. ^ "World University Rankings". 20 August 2019.
  6. ^ "V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University". Top Universities. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  7. ^ "World University Rankings 2021". Retrieved 2021-06-12.
  8. ^ 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. doi:10.1017/S0022050700045630. JSTOR 2121281.
  9. ^ 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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-17. Retrieved 2012-02-04.
  10. ^ University of Kharkiv. "Historical background". Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  11. ^ Perlman, Mark (2001). "Schumpeter and Schools of Economic Thoughts". In Chaloupek, Günther; Guger, Alois; Nowotny, Ewald; Schwödiauer, Gerhard (eds.). Ökonomie in Theorie und Praxis: Festschrift für Helmut Frisch (in German and English) (German ed.). Springer. p. 286. ISBN 3540422404.
  12. ^ Pressman, Steven (2006). Fifty Major Economists. Routledge. p. 181. ISBN 0415366488. Simon Kuznets university Kharkov.
  13. ^ Simon, Kuznetz (2011). Weyl, E. Glen; Lo, Stephanie H. (eds.). Jewish Economies: Development and Migration in America and Beyond. Vol. I. Transaction Publishers. p. xix. ISBN 978-1412842112.

External links[edit]