Kharkiv colleges and universities are famous all over Ukraine and abroad. The city boasts 41 higher educational institutions, including Karazin National University and Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute, listed among the top global universities according to QS World University Rankings.

The full-scale Russian invasion changed the educational process in Ukraine and affected Kharkiv colleges, universities, and schools.

Here is how the leading Kharkiv universities survived in the city after the severe shelling.

Kharkiv Colleges and Universities: Karazin Kharkiv National University

On March 2, 2022, a cruise missile hit the University School of Economics building.

According to the university’s rector, Tetiana Kahanovska, after Feb. 24, the School of Physics and Technology, the library, the Museum of Nature, the sports complex, two dormitories, and the Chuhuiv astronomical observatory were also destroyed. The university restoration requires at least UAH 3,5 billion (~$95mln).

Kharkiv colleges and universities
The damaged School of Economics / Oleksandr Magula, Gwara Media

Last year, language ombudsman Taras Kremin found a violation of the first part of Article 21 of the Law on language in higher education. That is why the university introduced the position of state language commissioner, the office held by Mykola Filon.

“The first example in Ukraine of real protection of the students` rights to obtain an education in Ukrainian. Such an initiative is important both for Kharkiv and for all Ukrainian cities. We will be happy to welcome such defenders of the language in every university!” Taras Kremin emphasized.

The university resumed work remotely on March 28 in asynchronous mode, not according to the schedule. At the beginning of the full-scale invasion, a humanitarian headquarters was established based on Karazin Students Hall, a student space for implementing educational and cultural projects. Partners from Poland, Denmark, Great Britain, and Slovakia delivered aid there.

The university ranks third in the academic rating of higher education institutions in Ukraine.

Kharkiv Universities: Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National University of Economics

This Kharkiv university managed to resume teaching remotely on March 21, 2022. The first problem faced by the institution was the lack of working internet providers in the city. The Ministry of Education of Ukraine allocated a Starlink station for the university.

At the beginning of the full-scale invasion, 2,5000 students stayed in the dormitories. After a month, 40 of those with nowhere to go remained in the city. A humanitarian headquarters was set up at the university, assisting more than 500 people.

The university building

Even before the full-scale invasion, the university had established a personal learning system for students, PLS.

“We developed the so-called PLS, a personal learning system for students, many years ago,” says rector Volodymyr Ponomarenko. “A student can come home, open the platform, watch lectures, or reread educational materials.”

Kharkiv Colleges and Universities: О. М. Beketov National University of Urban Economy in Kharkiv

On Feb. 5, two enemy S-300 missiles hit Kharkiv city center. One of them damaged the main building of the Kharkiv National University of Urban Economy, named after O.M. Beketov. It was already the second time the building was affected since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.Sixteen out of 21 buildings and 10 dormitories of the institution were destroyed. According to the university’s rector Volodymyr Babaiev, the institution’s restoration requires more than UAH 55 million (~$1,5mln).

The university building on Feb. 5 / Oleksandr Magula, Gwara Media

“My impressions when I saw the extent of the destruction cannot be described in words,” said the director of the Housing and Communal Professional Kharkiv College named after Beketov Viktor Lukianov.

At the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the university transferred more than UAH 400,000 ($11000) for the needs of the Armed Forces.

H.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University

On July 6 last year, a Russian rocket destroyed one of the buildings of Kharkiv Skovoroda University.

“Everything inside was falling apart. We worked there for 20 years. We experienced a lot of emotions and events, pleasant and not so, in particular, related to the war. And when we saw those shots, the first thing that happened was tears,” says Natalia Shcherbakova, commissioner for the functioning of the state language.

The institution returned to the educational process on April 1, 2022.

Kharkiv universities
The university building on July 6. Photo from the video: Serhii Prokopenko, Gwara Media

The university became the second in Kharkiv to introduce the position of an authorized person on the state language functioning. An educational hub and Ukrainian language courses for students and employees were also presented here.

“The introduction of the position at our university was provoked by a combination of extra lingual factors not strictly related to language development: the introduction of a new spelling, the need to draw up documents, provide consultations, etc.,” says Natalia Shcherbakova.

Read how the Ukrainian girl presented the University with a Japanese book about war

Kharkiv Universities: The National Technical University “Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute”

The university resumed distance learning on March 26 last year, a month after the full-scale invasion began.

On August 19, 2022, a Russian missile hit the educational building of Kharkiv Polytechnic University. The watchwoman, who was in the university building at the time, died. About UAH 1,5 billion (~$40mln) are needed to restore the facility.

Kharkiv colleges and universities
The university on August 19, 2022 / Viacheslav Mavrychev, Suspilne Kharkiv

The university ranks fifth in the academic rating of higher education institutions in Ukraine.

Read about Ukrainian Speaking Club in Kharkiv: how citizens master their native language

by Vika Mankovska

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