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Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv


Taras Shevchenko Universityor theTaras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv is located in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. It is the third oldest university in Ukraine after the University of Lviv and  Kharkiv University. Currently, its structure consists of fifteen  faculties (academic departments)and five institutes. It was founded in 1834 as the University of  Saint Vladimir, and since then it has changed its name several times. During the  Soviet Unionera, Taras Shevchenko University was one of the top-three universities in the  USSR, along with  Moscow State University  and  Leningrad State University. It is ranked as the best university in Ukraine in many rankings . Throughout history, the university has produced many famous alumni including Nikolay Bunge,Mykhailo Drahomanov,Mykhailo Hrushevskyi,Nikolai Berdyaev,Mikhail Bulgakov,Viacheslav Chornovil,Leonid Kravchuk, and many others.

Further names were changed as follows:

  • 1917-1919 : Kiev University 
  • 1920-1926 : Higher Institute of Education
  • 1926-1932 : Kiev Institute of National Education
  • 1933-1939 : Kiev State University
  • 1939-1994 : Kiev State University named after
  • from 1999  : Kiev National University named after Taras Shevchenko .



The University was founded in 1834, when the Emperor Nicholas I of Russia signed the Charter about the creation of the University named after Saint Vladimir, the ruler who Christianized the Kievan Rus'. This name was chosen by the authorities of the Russian Empire, where the role of Orthodox Christianity was immense, and may have reflected the ongoing importance of Kiev as the cradle of Eastern Christianity for the entire Empire.

The university benefited from assets transferred from Vilnius University, which was closed in the aftermath of the November Uprising of 1831. The first 62 students started their studies at the university in 1834, in its one faculty, the Faculty of Philosophy, which had two Departments: The Department of History and Philology and The Department of Physics and Mathematics. There were new additions to the original department in 1835 and 1847: the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Medicine. Later on, the original Faculty of Philosophy was divided into two separate units: the Faculty of History and Philology and the Faculty of Natural Sciences. There were no more additions to the number of departments until the 1920s.

The walls of the main building are painted in red while the tops and bottoms of its columns are painted black. Ukrainian composerMykola Leontovych's Shchedryk was premiered at the Kyiv University on December 26, 1916 by the university's choir directed by Oleksandr Koshyts.


Taras Shevchenko University

In 1939, Saint Vladimir University was renamed after Taras Shevchenko (upon graduation from the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg, then the capital of the Empire, Taras Shevchenko returned to Kiev, and between 1845–1846, was employed by the Archaeological and Ethnographic Commission at the University until his arrest in 1847). Since 1960, when the first international students were admitted, over 20,000 highly qualified specialists have been trained at Taras Shevchenko University for 120 countries. The first foreign students of the Taras Shevchenko University came from Cuba, Guinea, Indonesia, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Benin, Zanzibar, Yemen, Algeria, and Afghanistan. They continued on to became doctors, engineers, agriculturists, diplomats, economists, and statesmen in their respective countries.


During the Soviet period, the Taras Shevchenko University received one Order of Lenin (1959) and one Order of the October Revolution(1984). Additionally, in 2002 the asteroid 4868 Knushevia was named in honour of Kyiv Taras Shevchenko University.


The University Today


Taras Shevchenko University is named after Taras Shevchenko, a major figure in Ukrainian literature and art. It is an institution of higher education that trains specialists in many fields of knowledge and carries out research. It is considered the most prestigious university in Ukraine and a major centre of advanced learning and progressive thinking.It consists of more faculties and departments, and trains specialists in a greater number of academic fields, than any other Ukrainian educational institution.

Nowadays, as it has done throughout its history, the University retains its role of a major center of learning and research as well as an important cultural center. Its academics and students follow the long-standing traditions of the highest academic standards and democratic ideals. At present, the student body of Taras Shevchenko University totals about 20,000 students; this number includes almost 2,000 students at the Institute of International Relations which is attached to Taras Shevchenko University.

As training highly qualified specialists has always been the main goal, the faculties and departments constantly revise their curricula and introduce new programs. A number of faculties offer 4-year Bachelor’s and 2-year Master’s Degree programs, together with traditional 5-year Specialist Degree programs. Currently the stress is on student's ability to work independently and meet employer's requirements, thus practical experience in the field being of foremost importance. The curricula of all Taras Shevchenko University faculties are based on the combination of academic instruction with student's research work and the combination of thorough theoretical knowledge with specific skills. Having acquired theoretical knowledge in the first and the second year, in their third year undergraduates choose an area to specialize in. At the same time they choose a field for their independent study, joining elective special seminars; the results of research are usually presented at the meetings of students' scientific societies or at scientific conferences, the most interesting results are published.

Taras Shevchenko University graduates work in institutes of higher learning, research institutes, in industry, governmental agencies, public organizations and private companies.

Admission to Taras Shevchenko University is open to both Ukrainian and international applicants.

Taras Shevchenko University maintains contacts with many universities and research centres throughout the world.



·         Geographical

·         Geological

·         Economic

·         Historical

·         Cybernetics

·         Mechanics and Mathematics

·         Preparatory

·         Psychology

·         Radiophysics

·         Sociology

·         Physical

·         Philosophical

·         Chemical

·         Legal


Educational institutions 

·         Military;

·         Institute of High Technology;

·         Institute of Journalism;

·         Institute of International Relations (IIR);

·         Educational and Scientific Centre "Institute of Biology" ;

·         Postgraduate Education;

·         Philology.



The University has:

·         Astronomical Observatory

·         Data processing center

·         Scientific Library. M.Maksimovicha

·         Research Department

·         Management of international scientific and technological cooperation and innovation

·         Ukrainian Center

·         Botanic Gardens. A. Fomin

·         Ukrainian Physics and Mathematics Lyceum

·         Ukrainian Humanitarian Lyceum

·         Primary trade union organization

·         The primary trade union organization of students

·         Recreational and sports complex of Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko

·         Museum of History of the University of Kiev

·         Zoological Museum

·         Linguistic Museum

·         Underwater Archaeology Centre

·         Student Parliament

·         Department of Physical Education and Sports

·         Scientific Society of undergraduate and graduate students

·         Branch target preparation

·         Publishing center "Kyiv University"



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