History

Kharkiv Petro Vasylenko National Technical University of Agriculture is celebrating its 85th Anniversary. KhNTUA is a well-known and recognized higher education institution of the 4th accreditation level, which occupies a worthy place among the universities of Kharkiv higher education center and Ukraine.

Kharkiv Petro Vasylenko National Technical University of Agriculture

All this started in 1930. The reform of the higher and special education started in the country due to an acute shortage of highly qualified specialists.

On 12 July the Council of People’s Commissars of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic passed a resolution on the establishment of higher education and higher technical education institutions and their being transferred under the jurisdiction of appropriate people’s commissariats. The part “Agricultural branch” envisaged establishing the Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture in Kharkiv from mechanization departments of agricultural institutes in Kharkiv and Poltava.

Kharkiv Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture (KhIMEA) began training mechanical engineers specializing in repair and maintenance of tractors and farm machines.

The establishment of the Institute coincided with the beginning of scale projects of the country industrialization and the foundation of powerful mechanized production in agriculture. But the education reform was not provided with the necessary material and technical basis and finance. All these imperfections also affected KhIMEA. There was an acute shortage of classrooms, qualified staff, textbooks, and laboratory equipment. Living conditions for students were far from being excellent as well.

The so-called workers’ faculty – the party members dispatched to get higher education – formed the basis of the first year of study. A lot of them never got the graduation diploma because they were recalled ahead of schedule and sent to reinforce the army, machine and tractor stations, Soviet farms and various state institutions. Groups of the farm industrialization faculty of Poltava Agricultural Academy were transferred to the second and third years of study. Much work was done to determine the institute’s outline, to select the teaching staff, to organize the department, to devise the programs for students’ admission and accommodation. Lecturers from the agricultural, technological and other higher education institutions of Kharkiv came to work at the institute.

In autumn 1930 the Tractor Centre of the USSR accepted the new institute – Kharkiv Institute of Mechanization of Agriculture. I.L. Shaposhnikov was appointed the first rector of the institute. He was an economist, graduated from Stalin Commercial and Industrial Academy, a revolutionary in his past. He worked in bank structures of Donbass and Kharkiv in the twenties and was appointed to be a representative of the Tractor Centre in Ukraine in 1930.

The most difficult problem for the institute in the first years of its existence was the establishment of its own material and technical basis: academic buildings, laboratories, students’ hostels, and accommodation for the teaching staff.

In 1933 the building at 45, Staro-Moskovska Str. was turned over to KhIMEA. Today it is 45, Moskovskyi Prospect where the buildings of the Education and Research Institute of Mechatronics and Management Systems (ERI MMS) and Education and Research Institute of Technical Service (ERI TS) are located. That enabled the institute to start organizing a number of laboratories at the departments. In December 1933 Kharkiv machine tractor workshops with the repair plan of 250 tractors were turned over to the institute, as well as a small 1st May Soviet farm near the village of Komarivka with the area under crops of 462 ha which later on became the experimental training farm of the institute.

The students of the Institute also lived under difficult conditions. To improve them, a hostel in Pavlove Pole was built and two dwelling houses in Tolkachivka district were allocated.

Eminent scientists came to work at the Institute in the first years of its existence: professors O.O. Alov, L.P. Kramarenko, S.I. Muravlianskyi, V.O. Konstantynov, A.A. Vasylenko and others. Nevertheless, there was an acute shortage of teachers. In 1933, post-graduate courses were established at the departments of Tractors and Automobiles, Complex Farm Machinery, Repairs. Unfortunately, establishing the Institute was taking place under the conditions of Stalin repressions, the so-called “social class regulations”. First directors of the Institute I.L. Shaposhnikov, D.Ye. Kudria, A.Ya. Larov became their victims, as well as a number of teachers, employees, and students.

Only due to the extension of post-graduate courses it became possible to increase the number of departments in the second half of 1930s and to decrease the shortage of the teaching staff.

In spite of the difficulties, the growth and development of the Institute as a leading higher education institution of the branch went on. In 1933, the first 28 graduates left the institute ahead of schedule without defending their diploma projects. The first mechanical engineers were urgently sent to machine and tractor stations, institutions and organizations of Kharkiv and other regions of Ukraine. 500 combine operators, 900 tractor operators, 300 mechanics were trained the same year.

At that time the teaching staff did a lot of work to improve research and methods of teaching, to devise textbooks and teaching aids.

During the last pre-war years scientific projects of 40 KhIMEA teachers were presented at the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition. Professors L.P. Kramarenko, M.D. Kovaliov and engineer V.S. Sorko were awarded silver medals; many other scientific workers were rewarded with diplomas and other prizes.

From 1931 till 1941 more than 1,000 mechanical engineers and 168 teaching engineers graduated from the Institute (the pedagogical department was organized in 1938). The Institute trained and trained anew about 2,000 mechanics, tractor operators and combine operators. In 1939 the regional committee of the Council of higher education and scientific institutions declared KhIMEA one of the best higher education institutions in Kharkiv and rewarded it with the Diploma of Honour. The war destroyed all the plans and hampered the progress of the Institute. From autumn 1941 till November 1943 KhIMEA was in evacuation in Tashkent, where it became the Mechanization Faculty of Tashkent Hydromelioration Institute. After returning to Kharkiv in 1943 the Institute began training specialists for the country again. 68 students came into the lecture-halls, 26 lecturers were teaching them.

Under difficult conditions the Institute managed to restore its material and technical basis to reinforce its staff with qualified teachers and scientists, to considerably extend training engineers for agriculture.

At that time the staff of the Institute were reinforced by new candidates of sciences: H.P. Dvorovenko, V.O. Shpak, M.I. Tverskyi, Kh.I. Klafas, I.Ya. Iokheles, M.Yu. Zaliskyi. Post-graduate courses were opened at the departments of Machinery Repairs and Electrical Engineering. At the same time a number of prominent scientists specializing in agricultural engineering came to the Institute: Yu.S. Shokhin, T.I. Kuznietsova, P.O. Osietrov, V.K. Pliuhachev, M.H. Sandomirskyi, Ya.M. Krupotkin and others.

In 1947 the Correspondence Faculty for the specialty of Farm Mechanization was established, and the Faculty of Farm Electrification was opened in 1948, admitting 75 first-year students.

In 1953 a special faculty for training mechanical engineers and the institute of advanced training of leading employees and specialists for machine and tractor stations were opened by the government decision.

In the late forties training specialists for foreign countries began. In the fifties and sixties the progress of the Institute as a leading higher education establishment of the branch went on. A computer center, a sports and health camp in the village of Utkivka were founded. The 1 May experimental training farm worked successfully, with its own farm breeding 500 cows and its own fleet of farm machinery and equipment. New highly qualified teachers came to the Institute, which made it possible not only to considerably increase the standard of education and teaching methods, but also ensure the development of new research directions. In the middle of the fifties a regular edition of special collections of scientific articles began.

From the sixties to the eighties a number of buildings were constructed including buildings for the Farm Machinery Department and Military Training Department, sheds for vehicles, farm machinery and equipment, a sports complex. Hostels for students and teachers were also built there.

In 1978 a number of buildings of Kharkiv V.V. Dokuchaiev Agricultural Institute were turned over to KhIMEA. They had been designed by the famous architect O.M. Beketov (44, Artema Str. and 92, Myronosytska Str., - the former Dzerzhynskoho Street). New hostels were built. All this made it possible to considerably extend the training and laboratory basis of the Institute and provide all students with accommodation in the hostels.

From 1978 to 1990 KhIMEA had the Faculty of Architecture and Construction at which students were taught full-time and by correspondence in 2 specialities: Architecture and Planning of Country Settlements and Farm Construction. Every year 730 students were trained at the faculty. The training course was fulfilled by 4 departments, namely: Construction of Farm Building; Architecture of Rural Settlements; Planning of Rural Settlements; Technology, Organization and Economics of Farm Construction. Professor L.A. Melnikova was the dean of the faculty.

More than 1,500 construction engineers, 700 architects were trained during that period of time. The graduates work as district architects, heads and leaders of local design and building offices of the region.

In those years the institute extended the career guidance work with young people from the countryside. In the early eighties about 60% of the first year students were admitted to the Institute on account of warrants from the farms of Kharkiv and other regions.

KhIMEA was also working on improving the quality of training: new textbooks and manuals, all-round programs for training specialist, educational systematic complexes of courses were devised. Active forms of training such as methods of problem teaching, business games, and technical aids were introduced.

In the early eighties special groups were formed to train leaders for agricultural production. Creative links with farm production were extended. The Institute became a powerful scientific center in the field of mechanization, electrification and construction in agriculture. In the seventies and eighties hundreds of agreements were concluded on the creative cooperation of the Institute’s scientists with enterprises and organizations of Kharkiv and other regions of Ukraine. The work for the special purpose complex scientific technological program “Increase in the technical standard of safety and long life for T-150 tractor” was an example of such kind of cooperation. It was carried out by the scientists of the departments of Tractor and Automobiles, Safety and Strength of Materials (directed by Professor A.T. Lebediev, Professor V.Ya. Anilovych, Associate Professor M.H. Sandomyrskyi) in cooperation with specialists of Kharkiv tractor plant. Just then the Institute initiated the graduated system for specialists’ training.

Great assistance was rendered by the scientists of the Institute in the sphere of providing new technologies that were introduced into farm production. Scientific and research students’ work was also in good progress. The students were rewarded with diplomas and certificates at the city’s, republican and all-union contests. Scientific production students’ teams became new forms of uniting academic, scientific and practical training.

In 1980 the Institute celebrated its 50th Anniversary. About 1,000 employees worked there, including 380 teachers, among them 9 professors and doctors of sciences, 150 candidates of sciences and associate professors. The total number of students exceeded 5,000. About 15,000 graduates left the Institute and were sent to work to the regional farm administration forming the foundation of rural engineering enterprises. Hundreds of specialists were trained to work in Bulgaria, Hungary, German Democratic Republic, Mongolia, China, Poland, Cuba, Congo, Ethiopia and other countries.

On 20 April, 1994 Kharkiv State Technical University of Agriculture was established by Resolution №244 of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. It became the only leading higher agricultural education establishment of engineering and technical outline of the 4th accreditation level in Ukraine. Ten years later, on 12 May, 2004 the University was given the name of the prominent scientist in the field of farm mechanics – Petro Vasylenko by Resolution № 991-p of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

In 2004 due to Ukrainian and international recognition of the University’s gains and its valid contribution to the development of national education and science Kharkiv State Technical University of Agriculture was granted the status of National University by the President of Ukraine.
 

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