Kyiv National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman - self-governing (autonomous) research university

KNEU History Milestones

Name Change History

1906: Kyiv Graduate Commercial Courses
1908: Kyiv Commercial Institute
1920: Kyiv National Economy Institute
1930: Kyiv Exchange and Distribution Institute, Kyiv Finance and Economics Institute
1934: Kharkiv Finance and Economics Institute
1944: Kyiv Finance and Economics Institute
1960: Kyiv National Economy Institute (named after D.S. Korotchenko in 1969)
1992: Kyiv State Economics University
1997: Kyiv National Economics University (named after Vadym Hetman since 2005).

In 2011, our University celebrates its 105th anniversary. The next year we will celebrate the 145th anniversary of our founder, a prominent historian Mytrofan Dovnar-Zapolsky (1867 - 1934). It was on his initiative that the Kyiv Graduate Commercial Courses were founded in Kyiv in 1906 as a private higher education establishment tasked with the training of human resources for the sectors of economy in the south of the Russian Empire. It became the second higher education establishment in the field of economics in the Empire and the first one within the territory of Ukraine. At that time, the Courses had 229 students and 22 teachers.

In 1908, Kyiv Graduate Commercial Courses were reorganised into Kyiv Commercial Institute and provided with own building in 22/24 Bibikovsky Bulvar (today this street is named Bulvar Shevchenko). Before that, the lessons took place in leased lecture halls of commercial schools of the city. In 1912, Kyiv Commercial Institute was granted equal rights on a par with state-owned higher education establishments.

A representative teaching team (the professors included prominent scientists, such as K.H. Vobly, D.O. Grave, M.B. Delone, P.V. Tikhomirov, Y.Y. Slutsky et al.) was created by the Institute's founder and first rector M.V. Dovnar-Zapolsky; the powerful educational methodology base was established (the Institute had offices of statistics, geology, railway transport, physics, chemistry, hygiene, mineralogy; technical and analytical chemistry laboratories; the Commodity Science museum; the scientific magazine was published by the institute since 1901; there was a library with more than 25,000 volumes as of 1914).

As a result of strengthening of the role of economy in the society, the demand for the education in economics was growing. Accordingly, the number of students in the Institute was going up as well: while there were 229 students and 22 teachers when the institute was opened, the Institute had about 1,000 students and 34 professors and teachers by 1908 (when Kyiv Commercial Graduate Courses were transformed into the Commercial Institute). By 1914, there were 4,200 students and more than 50 teachers. In 1914, the construction of the 4th floor of the Institute's building was completed. However, World War I started the same year and the hostilities lasted till 1921 in view of the struggle over the Ukrainian-populated lands of neighbouring states, which produced mainly negative impact on the education sector.

In 1915, a number of institutions (including educational establishments) were evacuated to the East due to the German offensive on the Southwest Front. Kyiv Commercial Institute was evacuated in autumn 1915 to Saratov. The premises of the Institute in Kyiv, which had accommodated military units and services, were damaged while the Institute was evacuated. The students got more involved into politics due to the deterioration of living conditions under difficult evacuation conditions.

The change in fortunes in the Southwest Front (due to the General Brusilov's offensive) urged the management of the Kyiv Commercial Institute to petition the commander of the Southwest Front in summer 1916 for the return to Kyiv. The petition was granted and the Institute resumed the teaching process in Kyiv in autumn 1916. New people joined the Institute. For instance, Oleksandr Dovzhenko was admitted to the Institute about this time: he applied for enrolment on 28 July 1917 and started his studies in autumn 1917. When M.V. Dovnar-Zapolsky resigned from the Rector's office in March 1917, the prominent agrarian scientist P.R. Sliozkin acted in his capacity till late year 1917. After that and till autumn 1919, the prominent economist and the founder of the domestic economic geography K.H. Vobly worked as a rector.

During the Freedom Movement in 1917 to 1921, the Institute was also involved into the revival of the Ukrainian state: one of its graduates (M.M. Kovalevsky) was a minister in the government of the Ukrainian People's Republic; one more graduate, S.S. Ostapenko, was the head of the Directorate Government of the Ukrainian People's Republic in early 1919. Teachers of the Institute were invited (firstly, by the Central Council; secondly, by the Hetman's Government) to develop components of the economic policy as the best specialists. The Institute shared some of its premises with other newly established educational establishments and even the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences founded in autumn 1918. The number of students kept growing. There were more than 5,000 students in early 1919.

After the final imposition of the Soviet regime in Ukraine, the Institute was conveyed into the ownership of the state and changed its name. Between 1920 and 1930 it was named Kyiv National Economy Institute (named after Yevheniya Bosh since 1924).

In spite of all perturbations, the Institute managed to preserve the core of the teaching staff. D.O. Grave, K.H. Vobly, Y.O. Paton, O.N. Hiliarov, P.F. Yerchenko, M.M. Katkov, A.V. Korchak-Chepurkovsky, V.O. Kordt, S.A. Yehiazarov, P.R. Sliozkin and others continued working for the Institute. The number of students dropped due to frequent regime changes and "academic inspections" performed after the imposition of the Soviet regime. As of 1 January 1923, there were 1,878 students and 74 irregular students. The tuition was re-introduced.

On 1 October 1930, Kyiv National Economy Institute was transformed into two institutes: Kyiv Exchange and Distribution Institute and Kyiv Finance and Economics Institute. In 1931, Kyiv Exchange and Distribution Institute was liquidated. Kyiv Finance and Economics Institute was moved to Kharkiv in 1934 and stayed there till 1941 having changed its name to Kharkiv (Ukrainian) Finance and Economics Institute. During the Kharkiv period, there were about 700 students and 45 teachers in the Institute. Up to 400 students and teachers joined the Red Army, when the Great Patriotic War started. The rest of employees and students were evacuated to local finance and economics institutes in Irkutsk and Tashkent.

The liberation of Kharkiv on 23 August 1943 placed the restoration of the Finance and Economics Institute onto the agenda. V.Y. Vlasenko, Rector of the restored Institute, managed to organise the restoration of buildings. However, the premises of Kharkiv Finance and Economics Institute were conveyed to Kharkiv Pedagogical Institute in May 1944. The lack of proper premises in Kharkiv and the consistent willingness of the Institute's team to return to Kyiv determined the fortunes of the institute. Having obtained support from a number of the union and republican-level officials, the Institute was permitted to return to Kyiv and resumed working in its native city as Kyiv Finance and Economics Institute.

Structurally, the Institute consisted of two faculties after 1945: the Finance Faculty with the finance and credit departments and the Planning Faculty with departments of industrial economics and planning, and agricultural economics and planning. The duration of studies was 4 years. The professor and teaching staff was growing stronger and stronger. Prominent economists, such as V.Y. Vlasnko, V.F. Harbuzov, P.P. Nimchynov, Y.S. Paskhaver, P.I. Pustokhod, M.T. Stetsenko and others, started (or continued) working for the institute during the first post-war decade. V.F. Harbuzov was the Institute's Rector from 1944 till 1950 (and later became the Minister of Finance of the USSR). In 1946, the post-graduate school of the Institute was restored. The number of students kept growing. The main building of the Institute in Brest-Lytovsky Prospekt (currently 54/1 Prospekt Peremohy) was completed in 1958.  It permitted normalising the instructional process and increase the number of students (from 343 in 1945 to 5,000 in 1960).

Since the Institute has started training specialists in late 1950s in 12 specialities going beyond the finance and economics profile, the Ministry of Higher and Specialised Secondary Education of the Ukrainian RSR made a decision in 1960 to rename Kyiv Finance and Economics Institute into Kyiv National Economy Institute (named after D.S. Korotchenko since 1969), thus broadening the range of specialities, in which the Institute trained specialists. At that time, the Institute had 5 Faculties: Industrial Economics, Agricultural Economics, Finance and Economics, Accounting and Economics, and Economics and Statistics.

In 1960s-1970s, the management of the Institute was gradually decentralised by means of the delegation of organisational and executive functions from the Rector's Office to Faculties and departments. As a result, the operational efficiency of the Institute as a whole grew. The structure of the Institute was expanded by means of the establishment of new Faculties (Pre-university Training, Information Systems and Technologies, etc.), and departments. The publication of the own textbooks was started. In fact, Kyiv National Economy Institute co-ordinated the upgrades of the instructional process and the structure in economics institutes in the entire USSR.

Kyiv National Economy Institute trained specialists not only for Ukraine and other USSR republics, but also started training foreign students in 1960s. As of 1985, 51 countries of the world were represented among its students. Close contacts were established with a number of higher education establishments in Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland.

The teachers were trained by the Institute in house. As a result, the Institute managed to fill teaching vacancies with own graduates already in 1970s.

The restoration of the democratic processes in the society and the milder government policy in late 1980s permitted liberating the educational system from the single-party dictate and the strict adherence to the party line. The need for radical changes in the economy became evident. It contributed to the intensification of the development of the economic education and science and provided a new impetus for Kyiv National Economy Institute.

Upon restoration of Ukraine's independence, Kyiv National Economy Institute made a lot to upgrade the system and the contents of the economic education, to improve the training of specialists for various sectors of the national economy of our country, and to develop appropriate scientific and educational literature. In addition to well-established international relations with ex-Communist countries, close relations were set up with economics higher education institutions of Austria, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, France and other leading countries of the world.

Achievements of the Institute in the development of Ukraine's economy were recognised at the state level. Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of 25 August 1992 transformed Kyiv National Economy Institute into Kyiv State Economics University. On 27 February 1997, the President of Ukraine granted Kyiv State Economics University the status of a national university in recognition of its thorough work focused on training highly qualified specialists for various branches of economy of our state and the development of the domestic economic science.

In 2005, Kyiv National Economics University was named after V.P. Hetman, a prominent Ukrainian economist and the founder of the domestic currency of Ukraine, the builder of its banking sector. He obtained education in Economics in our Institute. The 100th anniversary of the University was celebrated in November 2006 at the national level.

Currently, Vadym Hetman Kyiv National Economics University consists of nine Faculties: Economics and Management (with its dean A.P. Nalyvayko), International Economy and Management (with its dean D.H. Lukyanenko), Law (with its dean V.F. Opryshko), Human Resources Management and Marketing (with its dean O.K. Shafaliuk), Accounting and Economics (with its dean V.I. Yefimenko), Agroindustrial Sector Economics (with its dean M.M. Kotsupatry), Finance and Economics (with its dean V.K. Khlivny), Credit and Economics (with its dean M.I. Dyba), and Information Systems and Technologies (with its dean O.D. Sharapov). The University also includes the Post-graduate Education Centre, the Master Training Centre, the Pre-university Training Department, the Instruction Centre, the Instruction Methodology Unit, the post-graduate and doctoral schools, Kryvyi Rih and Crimean Institutes of Economics, target-oriented lyceums and colleges, library and computer centres, a museum, a publishing office, etc. There are more than 38,000 students.

INSTITUTE'S HISTORY IN BUILDINGS

Usually, we believe that history is, first of all, events. There are important, heroic and tragic, bright and significant events that can change the pace of times. Sometimes, the history is about personalities — prominent and charismatic personalities, whose biographies paint a picture of life in an organisation or a country. However, the history is also about buildings. Let us have a look at the buildings occupied by our Economics University during its more than one hundred years of existence.

24 Vulytsia Vorovskoho (former Vulytsia Bulvarno-Kudriavska).
Built in 1897 (Architect Engineer G.P. Schleifer, superstructure built in 1920-1923).
Ex 1st Commercial School; this building was leased in 1906-1908
by the Graduate Commercial Courses (the first name of our university).
Later on, a Book and Magazine Factory was accommodated here.

The Graduate Commercial Courses (with 229 students) established by Mytrofan Dovnar-Zapolsky on permission of the Ministry of Trade and Industry were opened in September 1906 in the leased space in 24 Vulytsia Bulvarno-Kudriavska.

At that time, it was a three-storied building of the existing 1st Commercial School.  Somewhat earlier, the lectures of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute named after Emperor Alexander II also took place in the same building during evening hours, while its own buildings were built in Shuliavka district.

Since the "novel" schools (this was a reference to graduate commercial schools used in Germany) grew in popularity and the students were admitted twice a year, the demand for a larger building (preferably, owned by the institute) came into existence quite soon.

Having obtained support from the Merchant Assembly, M. Dovnar-Zapolsky obtained a building permit for a land plot in Vulytsia Gogolivska from the municipality. However, it was unrealistic to build rapidly a building with special laboratories needed for the teaching of practical skills required by the curriculum of a "novel" school. For this reason, the Institute bought a finished three-storeyed building designed for an education establishment, built of brick with the total area of almost 2,000 square metres and conveniently located in the centre of the city with some land around making it possible to expand, if necessary. By spring 2008, the Institute moved to 24 Bibikovsky Bulvar.

1908р. Photo made by:  Dovnar-Zapolsky (from his book "Notes about Kyiv Commercial Institute")
Premises of Kyiv Commercial Institute in 22/24 Bibikovsky Bulvar, where our Institute was accommodated till 1934 (currently, this is Taras Shevchenko Bulvar; the building is used by M.P. Drahomanov Kyiv National Pedagogical University).

Photo made in 1912. Premises of Kyiv Commercial Institute (with the additional 4th floor) in 22/24 Bibikovsky Bulvar, where our Institute was accommodated till 1934 (currently, this is Taras Shevchenko Bulvar; the building is used by M.P. Drahomanov Kyiv National Pedagogical University).

Photo made in 1926.
Kyiv National Economy Institute (named after Y. Bosh since 1924) in 22/24 Bulvar Tarasa Shevchenka, where our Institute was accommodated till 1934. (the building is currently used by M.P. Drahomanov Kyiv National Pedagogical University).

By that time, the graduate 4-year courses, whose curriculum exceeded that of the university in some areas (with better professors teaching the disciplines), were reorganised into Kyiv Commercial Institute on the basis of the decision of the ministry, under which the courses operated. However, the Institute remained private for some time, because not all authorities have approved the Charter by that time. However, at least some of the numerous issues managed by the founder on a full liability basis could be handed over to the Board of the Institute. First of all, this included the management of funds.

Today's view of the building in 22/24 Bulvar Taras Shevchenka.

The amount required for the expansion was accumulated in the Institute's safe from the tuition fees paid by students and the charitable contributions from wealthy parents and sponsors. Thus, the construction of the 4th floor started in one year after the purchase of the building. The shortage of premises both for lectures and for auxiliary instruction purposes was becoming more and more acute. The number of students grew to 991 at the beginning of academic year 1908/1909; in 1909, only 920 enrolment applications out of 1,400 applications submitted were satisfied in autumn 1909 with the risk of working in overcrowded lecture halls (there were just 7 of them). The lessons for senior students with specialised disciplines required new laboratories and rooms. It was necessary to expand the Commodity Science Museum with its exhibits required for the practical mastering of the equipment. New books were arriving at the library and it was necessary to open additional reading halls. Thus, the additional floor was a trinket. The Institute required large additional space.

However, the Institute did not have the legal entity status and was unable to purchase real estate without a properly approved Charter. A way out was to subordinate the Institute to a civil-society organisation, which, firstly, had the relevant legal rights; secondly, brought together teachers with merchants and industrialists for the purposes of the expansion of the economic knowledge and the training of specialists required by the economy following the example of the German graduate commercial schools. The Society of Trustees for the Higher Commercial Education in the City of Kyiv was founded on 12 April 1909. It was founded by private individuals and institutions capable of making a substantial contribution to the development of the higher commercial education. Depending on the amount of contributions, there were four membership categories in the Society.

All members of the Council of Kyiv Commercial Institute (exempted from membership fees) had the status of permanent members: Privy Councillor V.I. Kovalevsky, who resided in Saint Petersburg, Privy Councillor K. Nemeshayev, Professors M. Dovnar-Zapolsky, V. Bazhayev, M. Delone, I. Yegorov, P. Yerchenko, A. Mitiukov, P. Sliozkin, P. Chekhovich, O. Eichelmann, Privat Docents: K. Vobly, M. Samofalov, Hydraulic Engineer Y. Kobetsky, Teacher O. Rusov. The Society was headed by Mytrofan Dovnar-Zapolsky.

The status of a honourable member was conferred upon individuals making once-off contributions of 5,000 roubles or paying 1,000 roubles per year; acting members were paying 1,000 roubles at once or 100 roubles a year, while candidate members had to cough up 100 roubles once off or 25 roubles a year. There were also institutional members of the Society: branches of Moscow Merchant, Petersburg Accounting and Petersburg International Banks, Kyiv City Public Administration, Kyiv Merchant Society and representatives of the business elite of the old Russia: L. Brodsky, D. Margolin and B. Khanenko.

Let me digress a bit. It is worthwhile to state all the status details of the above persons in order to be able to imagine their status and financial capacity.

  • Leo Brodsky was a hereditary honorary citizen, counsellor of commerce, deputy chairman of the Russian Society of Sugar Plant Owners, member of the Saint Petersburg International Bank and member of the council of the Russian Foreign Trade Bank. He chaired the management board of: Oleksandriya Sugar Plant Society, Korkzhovsky Sugar Refinery and Suprunivka Sugar Beet Plant; he was a director of Tamashpol, Novo-Bykovsky and Krasnoselkovsky Sugar Beet Plants and the Society of Kyiv Steam Flour Mill. Member of the management board of Karvytse-Ozeriansky Sugar Refinery;
  • David Margolin was a hereditary honorary citizen, counsellor of commerce, the Chairman of the Management Board of Kyiv Private Bank; he chaired management board of: Kyiv Gas Society, Kyiv Water Supply Society, Kyiv Railroad Society. He was the managing director of the Novo-Bykovsky Sugar Beet Plant and a member of management boards of: First and Second Dnieper Steamship Companies, Perm Forestry and Trade Society;
  • Borys Khanenko was a noble, a state counsellor, a honorary member of the Academy of Arts, a member of the Russian Society of Sugar Plant Owners and Kyiv Exchange Committee. He chaired Kyiv Trade and Manufacturing Committee. He was a member of the management board of the Russian Trade and Industry Bank. He was elected to the State Council on the list of industrialists.

In addition to all these titles, it would make sense to remind about their generosity. They were generous not only toward Kyiv Commercial Institute, whose management was most grateful for the generous book donations for the library and the support to the development of the Commodity Science Museum by means of the donation of own collections and other precious exhibits, but also contributed a lot to the development of the city. Brodsky brothers built shelters and hospitals. They sponsored the construction of buildings of the Commercial School and a building of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.  D. Margolin built both schools and temples, managed urban transportation and lighting. The arts collection of B. Khanenko donated to the city can still be viewed in Borys and Varvara Khanenko's Museum of Arts.

Some interesting things can be told about the member of the Society of Trustees Klavdy Nemeshayev, the ex-minister of communications, member of the State Council and the chief manager of the Southwest Railroad. Stations of Klavdiyeve and Nemishayeve were named after him. This brilliantly smart person with an extreme organisational capacity initiated the technology upgrades on the railroads. He designed and built railroads, such as the one from Kyiv to Kovel. He appreciated the importance of the higher education. His numerous awards included the "Emperor's Gratitude for the Construction of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute". His attention paid to the Commercial Institute was understandable. The Institute supplied specialists to his agency. In addition, he looked for specialist teachers in the Institute capable of teaching the following subjects at the 2-year specialised courses he has organised for railroad employees: Commercial Geography, Accounting, Political Economy, Railroad Law, Railroad Technical Operation.

Let us come back to the story of the Society of Trustees for the Higher Commercial Education in the City of Kyiv. The Society was managed by the General Meeting convened twice a year. The day-to-day affairs were managed by the Committee consisting of the chairman, the secretary, the treasurer and three elected representatives.  The Society was subordinated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Society took part in meetings of the Council of Kyiv Commercial Institute via its representative, arranged dedicated lectures, seminars and workshops in subjects related to commerce, established libraries and commodity specimen museums. In order to increase the funding base of the Society, the Committee had the right to submit petitions and requests to various public and private sector institutions, arrange public lectures and exhibitions, and seek sponsors among private individuals. The Committee had to meet at least once a month.  The management of financial affairs of the commercial institute and, first of all, the purchase of the real estate was the main task of the Society.

Since the building at the corner of Vulytsia Pyrogovska and Bibikovsky Bulvar could not keep all students of Kyiv Commercial Institute, the meeting of 30 November 1910 decided to buy the neighbouring building. On 4 December 1910 Professors P. Yerchenko and M. Katkov (who acted on behalf of the Society on the basis of the power of attorney issued by M. Dovnar-Zapolsky), Teacher O. Rusov and Professor V. Bazhayev complied with notarial requirements and purchased real estate in Kyiv at the corner of Bibikovsky Bulvar and Nesterovska Vulytsia 22/46 from its owner Volodymyr Bilohorodsky.

The Society did not have enough funds for the purchase. For this reason, Poltava Land Bank provided a loan on the pledge of the purchased building on the basis of a petition of the Society. According to the available information, it was a three-storeyed brick building with a zinc-plated iron roof. It was immediately conveyed to Kyiv Commercial Institute for study purposes. The chancery of the institute was accommodated on the first floor. Large 500 to 600 people lecture halls were set up on the second and third floors.

In April 1911, the Society decided to build two more annexes to merge the two buildings into a single four-storeyed building. The project was commenced on 7 June 1911 in the presence of F. Trepov, Ruler of the Southwest Region, A. Hyrs, Kyiv Governor, and B. Aglayimov, representative of the education unit of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

In case of the termination of the Society for any reason, the Charter provided for the conveyance of its entire property to Kyiv Commercial Institute. This event took place on 15 February 1913 when the Charter of the Institute was eventually approved and the institute was vested with the status of a state-owned higher education establishment with all legal-entity rights. The status came with much-needed preferences: the exemption of students from the military service, the permission to undergo internship not only in Russia, but also abroad (in Germany, other European countries, including Portugal, the USA, Japan, Turkey, Persia, Syria, Palestine, Mongolia and China). The graduates were granted the right to be employed at the public service.

So, what was the reason for the lengthy process of the endorsement and approval of the Charter drawn up back in spring 1907? The Institute was located in Kyiv. The ministry and other state authorities were located in Saint Petersburg. The distance. The transportation. The communication. No e-mail at that time. The regular mail took a lot of time. The courier mail hardly took less time. In addition, the bureaucratic millstones sometimes destroyed documents altogether in the olden Russia. Various transformations, replacements, corrections, additions and amendments could be considered for years. In addition, if one remembers a popular saying: "Jews are guilty of everything", we can say that they were in fact implicated into this procedure.

The point is that there has long been a "percentage" allowance restricting the number of Jews in education establishments. Within the permitted residence the allowance was higher, but the larger the city, the lower the allowance. It dropped to three per cent in the capitals of Moscow and Saint Petersburg. However, the 1903 Russian Congress of Professors condemned this situation and resolved to admit everyone into universities and elect as professors without limitation of the gender, the nationality and the confession. However, the state authorities were not supportive, especially in the state-owned higher education establishments. The Charter approved by the Council of Ministers on 16 September 1908 suggested not exceeding 15 per cent.

Kyiv Graduate Commercial Courses opened with the financial support from the Merchant Assembly (where rich Jews were represented quite well) did not restrict the admission of Jewish students and did not set any allowance in the Charter. It must be told that not only children of Kyiv merchants studied in Kyiv Commercial Institute. Students came from various cities of Russia, including Isaak Bobel from Odesa (the future prominent writer I. Babel), Shlomo Vovsi from Riga (the future actor and director, founder of the Jewish Theatre Solomon Mikhoels), Wolf Vysotsky from Brest (the grandfather of the famous singer Vladimir Vysotsky), David Hofstein from Korostyshev (a prominent Jewish poet, editor and translator), Solomon Katzenbogen from Minsk (later he became a rector of Saratov University), Isaak Tiomkin (director of Moscow Land Survey Institute), Leo Minz (one of Top 100 international scientists who determined the current condition of the domestic and foreign economic science). Thus, there were 1,014 Jewish students as of the beginning of academic year 1911-1912 (of the total 1,931 students), i.e., 55 per cent. Thus, the authorities did not approve the Charter of the Commercial Institute, until the allowance for Jewish students was added in 1912. However, they were not prohibited from converting to another religion or studying as a non-enrolled student. By the way, the percentage allowance for Jews was officially lifted after the first Russian revolution in February 1917, but the tacit "regulation" remained even in Soviet times.

So, let us continue talking about the buildings of the new state-owned higher education establishment. Kyiv Commercial Institute had the address in 22-24 Bibikovsky Bulvar. It should be mentioned that the boulevard was Kyiv's trademark site at the time due to its Lombardy poplars, high-rise buildings, palaces of industrial tycoons and sugar plant owners. St. Volodymyr's Cathedral was located on the left near the institute's building, while St. Volodymyr's University with Mykolayivsky Park and the Botanical Gardens was located almost across the road.

Not only students were aware of the Commodity Science Museum of Kyiv Commercial Institute accommodated in 17 rooms of the first floor. On Sundays it was open to the general public and was treated as an important site for visits by delegations during the 1913 Russian Industrial Exhibition. The Institute had 3,942 students at that time. In addition to lectures and workshops, there were study groups (statistics, philosophy, tourism, Esperanto language), interest groups (a large choir, a theatre troupe, a group for lovers of ethnic cultures), as well as students' countrymen communities (up to 40 of them).

The newspapers of that time often contain information about public events held in the premises of Kyiv Commercial Institute. These were events of the city importance or, sometimes, of national or even international importance. For example:

  • The ceremonial opening of the 3rd Congress of the Union of Czechoslovak Societies of Russia was held in the large assembly hall of the Commercial Institute on 6 May 1917
  • the Ukrainian Congress of Economists and Statistics Specialists took place on 13 October 1918 in the assembly hall of Kyiv Commercial Institute on the initiative of Professor Vobly (who by that time replaced M. Dovnar-Zapolsky at the post of the Institute director).

Further historical events in the country influenced the history of the Institute. In 1919 the address changed, because the boulevard was renamed. This was not the first time. It started in 1830s as Vulytsia Bulvarna later renamed into Shoseyny Bulvar and Universitetsky Bulvar. For 50 years it was named after the Governor of Kyiv, Podillia and Volyn in years 1837-1852 Dmitriy Bibikov (1792-1870), who took part in the Battle of Borodino, and was a strict and consistent politician, who later took the post of the minister of internal affairs. He was one of those people, who destroyed the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood (Taras Shevchenko referred to him in his Yurodivy poem as a "drunken satrap"). From that time the boulevard was renamed after Taras Shevchenko, and has been bearing this name ever since.

In 1920, the People's Commissary of Ukraine changed the name of the institute to Kyiv National Economy Institute. Later on, it was named after Yevheniya Bosh (a prominent revolutionary, the first head of government of the Soviet Ukraine).

The 1930 publication of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences informed the reader that Kyiv National Economy Institute named after Ye. Bosh was reorganised and three higher education institutions operated on its basis in 22-24 Bulvar Shevchenka: Institute of Exchange and Distribution, Institute of Industry and Economics, Industry of Finance and Banking.

A part of our institute was accommodated here as a part of the Ukrainian Finance and Economics Institute from 1934 till 1941.

Starting from 1934 and for about a decade, there was no mention of Kyiv in the address of our Institute and even no own building. New reforms and reorganisations followed. It was the year, when the capital of the Soviet Ukraine was moved from Kharkiv to Kyiv and Petr Postyshev promised to "…create an exemplary socialist capital in the historical city… Whatever is not worthy its existence in such a city should be either destroyed or moved elsewhere". The educational establishment tainted by being implicated into the "Case of Statisticians" and 5 or 6 politically unreliable rectors was moved to Kharkiv in 7 Pletniovsky Provulok. From now on, the institute (or, rather, a part thereof) merged with Kharkiv Institute of Finance was renamed to Ukrainian Finance and Economics Institute.

Academic year 1941/1942 did not start. Volunteers joined the Army and a party of 400 teachers and students commanded by V.F. Harbuzov (an associate professor at that time) started building defence fortifications around Kharkiv.

During the Great Patriotic War, the Institute was evacuated and worked in the premises of Tashkent Finance and Economics Institute. It provided education to students not eligible for the conscription and students who could not be sent to the front line after wounds and hospitals.

When Kharkiv was liberated from fascists, there was no building to return to, because the lecture, laboratory, library and dormitory buildings were reduced to the rubble. V.Y. Vlasenko, then Rector, obtained permission to return the Institute back to the capital as Kyiv Finance and Economics Institute. There were 103 students in academic year 1944-1945.

Olena Malinina, who worked as the director of instruction, in both Kharkiv, and Tashkent and Kyiv till 1971 remembered that year as follows: "There were lots of people in our shared apartment in 2 Vulytsia Andriyivska in Podil. (The building of the former Finance College accommodated both dormitory, and library and service premises). The rector and the young teachers were working there together. People with families managed to separate something like rooms with folding screens. Others had a couch, a chest of drawers and a nail for clothing on the corridor. There was a shared kitchen with kerosene stoves and one oven. We even managed to bake a goose for the New Year feast. Vlasenko was soon appointed Deputy Minister of Finance of the Ukrainian RSR; Harbuzov, our graduate and post-graduate student and teacher from Kharkiv times, was appointed rector. Later on, he was appointed as the Minister of Finance for the entire Soviet Union…"

The lessons took place in semi-restored premises of two schools in two or even three shifts. The number of students kept growing. By 1955 there were 1,082 full-time students and 2,092 extramural students.

However, it was only on 1 January 1959 that the Institute obtained its first own building in 116 Brest-Lytovske Shosse, currently our main building. It is not necessary to search in archives information about our Rector Pavlo Kryven's getting a permit for the construction of a huge building on the basis of an individual design, and the leisure time spent by students and teachers for more than six years at the construction site and on landscaping and greenery planting of the campus area, as long as witnesses of these events are still alive. I would like to listen to their stories. I can continue with descriptions of later events, when I worked here. By that time, the institute was again renamed to Kyiv National Economy Institute.

54/1 Prospekt Peremohy (ex 116 Brest-Lytovske Shosse). Built in 1952-1958. Architect L.M. Tishkina, Kyiv Finance and Economics Institute renamed in 1960 into Kyiv National Economy Institute (KINH). Currently, the main building of Vadym Hetman KNEU.

Year 1958. Brest-Lytovske Shosse (currently Prospekt Peremohy). The new building of Kyiv Finance and Economics Institute (Kyiv National Economy Institute since 1960; currently Vadym Hetman Kyiv National Economics University), 116 Brest-Lytovske Shosse. The current address is 54/1 Prospekt Peremohy.

Brest-Lytovske Shosse in 1960s.

The computer centre started its history in 1970 with Dnipro-21 computer lab on the first floor of the annex to the main building. It preceded our current Main Computer Centre with computer classes in all buildings.

A sports centre with a swimming pool, a huge gym and training areas was opened in 1971. Sportsmen students from Kyiv National Economy Institute were famous even outside Kyiv and Ukraine.

KNEU has had its own stadium since March 2003.

A sports centre with a swimming pool, a huge gym and training areas was opened in 1971. Sportsmen students from Kyiv National Economy Institute were famous even outside Kyiv and Ukraine.

In 1984, the Second Building was built in Vulytsia Parkhomenka. In 1992, this street named after the Soviet military commander was given its old name in honour of Mykhailo Dehteriov, merchant, entrepreneur, sponsor, honorary citizen of Kyiv, who paid for the maintenance of a shelter for 500 old and ill people, and an orphanage for 160 people, built a large widow house, hospitals with churches, provided aid to schools, and even a grant of 30,000 for scholarships to be paid to students of the Polytechnic and Commercial Institutes. The 3rd Building with its large and capacious assembly hall was opened just before the street was renamed. It was used for meetings with favourite actors, concerts of the famous EKO group, free press conferences, shows of amateur actors from faculties and many other events organised for students. By that time, the institute became Kyiv State Economics University. Anatoly Pavlenko became its first elected rector.

Photo made in 1991. Vulytsia Dehterivska (former Vulytsia Parkhomenka) 49g — 2nd Building (built in 1985) and 3rd Building (built in 1991) of Vadym Hetman KNEU.

Photo made in 2004.

Extra buildings were added, once the university had been vested with the National status. In 1999 we got the 5th Building in Vulytsia Melnikova (the ex-building of the KVIRTU Military School) used for first-year students and the 6th Building used for master students in the same Vulytsia Velyka Dorohozhytska renamed after the revolution in the honour of Yuvenaly Melnikov, one of the first Social Democrats in the old Russia.

81 Vulytsia Melnikova (former Vulytsia Velyka Dorohozhytska). Built in 1912 by I. Kitner (he also built buildings of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute). The building was designed as a boarding school for children of poor officers and orphans of killed soldiers. The 6th Gymnasium was accommodated here after 1916. During World War I, it was the hospital of the Russian Red Cross Society. Later on, social services for military servicemen worked in this building. Today, this is 6th Building of Vadym Hetman KNEU.

79-81 Vulytsia Melnikova (built in 1972, ex-building of the KVIRTU Military School). Currently, this is the 5th Building of Vadym Hetman KNEU.

The purchase of the 7th Building in 2003 permitted moving the Information Technologies and Systems Faculty There, and accommodate the publishing house better. This building is also a prominent monument of architecture of early 20th century with very interesting history.

Lvivska Ploshcha in 1960s.

14 Lvivska (Sinna) Ploshcha. Monument of architecture built in 1913-1914, by Architect O.V. Kobelev. The building was designed for the accommodation of the Kyiv Governorate Treasury. It was used as a hospital in 1915-1916, later on it accommodated a financial inspectorate and a printer's house; in 1934-1941 - the State Political Literature Publishing House; since 1949 — the Mining College; since 1957 — the Construction College and later on the Electromechanical College; in 1962 it was renamed as Radioelectronics College later reorganised into Information Systems and Technologies College. Starting from 2003, the building is used as the 7th Building of Vadym Hetman KNEU.

In 2006 (by that time, we had our current name), the library building was built.

The Library Building in the course of construction in 2004.

Today's appearance of KNEU's Library.

The total area of the university's premises (rooms, offices, halls and gyms, dormitories, canteens and all the necessary ancillary buildings) are measured not in hundreds of the old Russian fathoms, but in thousands of square meters.

Internationally important events are taking place again in the premises of the oldest (and the most prestigious) higher economic education institutions of independent Ukraine. However, these are current times, which are slowly turning into recent history.

Liudmila Ringis
Chairman of the Board of Dorohamy do prekrasnoho (Roads to the Beauty) Club
Member of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine

Last redaction: 20.11.14