The first universities in Ukraine

The first universities in Ukraine

1. What role in the 19th century? played Kharkov University in the development of Ukrainian culture?

In the early 19th century. in the part of Ukraine that was part of the Russian Empire, there were no higher educational institutions. In 1805, through the efforts of Vasily Karazin and other public figures, a university was founded in Kharkov. The training was carried out at four faculties: history and philology, physics and mathematics, law and medicine. Currently, the university bears the name of its founder – educator, scientist, inventor V. Karazin.

The new educational institution became the center of Ukrainian culture. It rallied around itself the figures of Ukrainian literature, history and ethnology. It was in Kharkov that the first circle of scientists and artists

arose that purposefully began to study the culture and history of the Ukrainian people. A printing house and a bookshop operated at the university, newspapers and magazines were published. So, from 1816 to 1819, the first in Ukraine literary and art journal “Ukrainian Herald” was published.

The rector, that is, the head of the university, for a long time was the famous poet Peter Gulak-Artemovsky. With Kharkiv University, fate linked him in 1821. A young teacher of history, geography and statistics was a brilliant orator, an improviser, amazed listeners with imaginative and witty statements. He was able to interest students, so his lectures always had many listeners, even from other faculties. Gulak-Artemovsky began his fables and romantic ballads in the Ukrainian literature to the appropriate genres.

2. What is the role of Nikolai Kostomarov in the development of historical science?

Nikolai Kostomarov, one of the most outstanding historians of Ukraine, began his career in Kharkov. He was an extremely gifted man. Possessed a phenomenal memory: he could not only quote individual places from the annals, but also entire documents. From memory he recited large passages of poems by Shevchenko and other poets. And most of all he liked Ukrainian thoughts: the poet-scientist remembered not only the texts of

almost all thoughts, but all their known variants.

In an autobiography, Nikolai Kostomarov described himself: “Wherever I have met at least with more or less familiar Ukrainians, without a ceremony I have covered them with questions that indicate such or such a word or such a turn of speech.” In a short time, I read everything, I only wanted to get acquainted with the people themselves not from books but from a living language and live communication with him. To this end I began to make ethnographic excursions from Kharkov to neighboring villages, on taverns, which at the time were real odnymi clubs. I was listening to the language and conversations recorded words and turns of phrase, get involved in the conversation, asking about people’s life and times, and recorded information which I was informed, and forced to sing songs for himself.

… Love for the Ukrainian word more and more captured me; I was annoyed that such a wonderful language is left without any kind of literary processing and, moreover, is experiencing quite undeserved neglect. “

3. What significance for the establishment of Ukrainian science was the foundation of Kiev University?

In 1834 the Kiev University of St. Vladimir was founded. His first rector was an outstanding scientist Mikhail Maksimovich. While still working at Moscow University, he became interested in Ukrainian history and prepared a collection of Ukrainian folk songs for print. The book was printed in 1827, confirming the fashion for the Ukrainian song in the enlightened circles of St. Petersburg and Moscow.

The fate of Vladimir Antonovich, a well-known expert on written historical sources, is connected with Kiev University. This is not surprising. After all, he personally collected nine volumes of documents on the history of Ukraine. Teaching for 30 years at the University of Kiev, Antonovich attracted the most capable students to study the past of Ukraine. He directed the research of his students so that none of the periods of Ukrainian history was out of sight. So, a huge amount of documentary material was accumulated, sufficient to create a coherent common history of Ukraine. This task was carried out at the beginning of the 20th century. Mikhail Grushevsky is also a student of Vladimir Antonovich.

4. Lviv National University named after Ivan Franko

One of the oldest universities in Ukraine is Lviv National University named after Ivan Franko. His story begins in 1661, however, then the university’s development plan could not be fully implemented. Of the four faculties, traditional for all European universities, only two operated in Lviv.

In 1784 a new university was unveiled, modeled on Vienna. This educational institution consisted of four faculties: philosophical, legal, theological and medical. You already know that the Department of History of Ukraine – the first in our history – was headed by Mikhail Grushevsky.


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The first universities in Ukraine