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The University of Kharkiv or officially the Karazin Kharkiv National University is one of the major universities in Ukraine, and earlier in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. It was founded in 1804 through the efforts of Vasyl Karazin becoming the second oldest university in Ukraine after the University of Lviv. It has graduated about 150,000 students. Over history Karazin University has greatly contributed to developing Ukrainian education and science as well as Kharkiv becoming a million-plus city. Before 1993 it bears a different name: A. M. Gorkiy Kharkov State University.

Today Kharkiv National University has 21 Schools: the School of Biology, the School of Physics and Technology, the School of Radio Physics, the School of Physics, the School of Computer Sciences, the School of Philosophy, the School of Mechanical Engineering, the School of Geology and Geography, the School of Economics, the School of Foreign Languages, the School of History, the School of Philology, the School of Fundamental Medicine, the School of Chemistry, the School of Sociology, the School of Psychology, the School of Law, the School of International Economic Relations and Tourism, the School of Further Education and Retraining, and the School of Physics and Energy. The latter was organized together with the UNAS Institute of Mechanical Engineering.

The total University enrollment, including the students of the Center for Training International Students and the Center for Processional Education, amounts to about 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 400 postgraduate students. The University employs up to 1,500 faculty and research staff, including more than 200 doctors of sciences, full professors, and almost 800 PhDs, associate professors.


January 17, 1805: the Decree on Opening of the Imperial University in Kharkiv came into force. It was the second university in the South of the Russian Empire. It was founded on the initiative of the local community with Vasyl Karazin at the fore, whose idea was supported by the nobility and the local authorities. Count Severin Pototski was appointed the first supervisor of the university, the first rector becoming the philologist Ivan Ryzhski. 1820-1850: for a certain period of time, the University of Kharkiv was autonomous with the rector being elected, however, in this period all its activity was strictly controlled (rectors were appointed by the Minister of Education), scientific publications and the academic process were censored. 1863: according to the new Statute, the university became partly autonomous. In the 19th - beginning of the 20th century, the University of Kharkiv had 4 schools: School of Physics and Mathematics, School of History and Philology, School of Medicine, School of Law. 1839: A veterinary school, which later (1851) became an independent institute, was established within the university, At this time, the university structure also included laboratories, clinics, an astronomical observatory, a botanical garden, and a library. In 1811, the Philotechnical Society was founded; the Mathematical Society of Kharkiv, the Historical and Philological Society of Kharkiv, the Naturalists Society, Societies of Physics, Chemistry, Law, etc. were established in the second half of the 19th century.

1917-1920: There was a struggle between advocates of Russian statehood and the Ukrainian course. Some of the professors who opposed new political realities left the university. 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 7 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 1936, the KhDU was named after the late Russian writer Maxim Gorky (though the latter was not related to the university during his life). During the German-Soviet war the KhDU was evacuated to the city of Kizilord in Kazakhstan, where it merged with the Kiev University forming the United Ukrainian State University. In 1943-1944, the KhDU returned to Kharkiv (the first academic year after the liberation of the city started on November 1, 1943). 1951 800 university students suffered from persecution in 1951 after they refused to pass exams in Russian. Court trials were held behind closed doors. 1921: Kharkiv Medical Institute was founded based on the School of Medicine of the University of Kharkiv. 1936: the university was named after the late Russian writer Maxim Gorky. 1977: the following schools were operating within 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.


After Independent Ukraine

October 11, 1999: President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma 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 Nazarovych Karazin 2004: the University was given a twin building (former Govorov Academy), located opposite Svobody square.

Campuses And Buildings

  • Main building
  • Northern building
  • Central Scientific Library
  • Students' Campus

V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University is involved in extensive international cooperation and is an active member of the international community of the leading European and world universities. It cooperates with 61 partners in 25 countries of the world.


V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University has a very good hostel system with fully furnished rooms, quite study environment and surrounded with recreation center. Rooms on campus are available to students. All hostel rooms are furnished and vary in size and number of conveniences. Dormitory rooms at hostel can accommodate 2 or 3 students to a room.

All rooms are equipped with bed, mattress, pillow, blanket, desk, chair, heating, water system and suitable lighting for both study and relaxation. There are common areas where students can play and mingle. Upon the students arrival on campus, specific accommodations are assigned and after a satisfactory health report the student will be accommodated to the room which is allotted to him. Also all rooms in hostels are provided with internet facility.


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