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Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv is a Kyiv-based organization founded in 1833 by Nicholas I of Russia.

Kyiv University or Shevchenko University or officially the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, colloquially known as KNU, is located in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. The university is universally recognized as the most prestigious university of Ukraine, being the largest national higher education institution. KNU is ranked within top 650 universities in the world. It is the third oldest university in Ukraine after the University of Lviv and University of Kharkiv. Currently, its structure consists of fifteen faculties (academic departments) and five institutes. It was founded in 1834 by the Russian Tsar Nikolai I as the Kyiv Imperial University of Saint Volodymyr, and since then it has changed its name several times. During the Soviet Union era, Kiev State 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 (see below). Throughout history, the university has produced many famous alumni including Nikolay Bunge, Mykhailo Drahomanov, Mykhailo Hrushevskyi, Nikolai Berdyaev, Mikhail Bulgakov, Ivan Schmalhausen, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Viacheslav Chornovil, Leonid Kravchuk, and many others. Taras Shevchenko himself, banned from educational activities for political reasons, worked for the Kyiv University as a field researcher.

The university today

Taras Shevchenko University is renamed 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 <30,000 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.


Saint Vladimir Imperial University of Kiev

An early 20th-century Russian postcard picturing Saint Vladimir University in Kiev.

The university was founded in 1834, when the Emperor Nicholas I of Russia (r. 1825–1855) 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 Kyiv 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 composer Mykola Leontovych's Shchedryk was premiered at the Kyiv University on December 26, 1916 by the university's choir directed by Oleksandr Koshyts.

Mykhailo Drahomanov University (1920–1932)

In 1920, Saint Vladimir University was renamed as Mykhailo Drahomanov University.

Taras Shevchenko University (from 1939)

Taras Shevchenko

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 and 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 become 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.


February 12, 2022
11 лютого - Міжнародний день жінок і дівчат у науці
January 27, 2022
The project of the Faculty of Psychology is among the winners of the NFDU competition! 01/27/2022


Total: 1Photo: 1

The research project of the Faculty of Psychology of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv won the competition "Science for Security and Sustainable Development of Ukraine" of the National Research Foundation of Ukraine.

The ranking lists of projects applying for state funding were approved by the Scientific Council of the National Research Fund of Ukraine at the end of 2021. The number of applications submitted for participation in the competition exceeded 430, and only 57 selected participants managed to become winners.

Representatives of the Faculty of Psychology of Taras Shevchenko National University submitted to the organizing committee of the competition the project "Psychological factors of decision-making on vaccination: cross-cultural aspect . " The scientific management of the project was entrusted to the Dean of the Faculty of Psychology, Professor Ivan Danyliuk , and young project scientists (associate professors, assistants and graduate students) were included in the project group. The increase in the number of those who refuse to be vaccinated against coronavirus for irrational reasons has prompted university researchers to pursue this scientific topic. The project of the Faculty of Psychology of the Kyiv National University received a score from the authoritative jury with a total competition score of 95.3 and took the seventeenth ranking position among the winning projects.

The team that will work on the project expects :

identify differences in attitudes towards vaccination given the socio-cultural characteristics of respondents;

to study the key reasons for refusing to vaccinate respondents from different countries;

to develop a prognostic model of behavior of citizens of different countries in terms of decision-making on vaccination;

compile information materials that will reduce the level of distrust in vaccination in Ukrainian society.

The scientific and pedagogical team of Taras Shevchenko National University congratulates colleagues on an important scientific victory and wishes to implement the developed research project with dignity!

According to Anton Kurapov, Faculty of Psychology, Kyiv National University

Communication Center


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