According to history, it was in 3RD century B.C.E that the first known societies developed in and around the territory of Ukraine. They had developed agriculture. First state unions were established in about 1st century B. C.E. Tribal unions of slaves of forest-steppe area started to cultivate lands in Dnieper riverbed, one of the longest rivers of Eastern Europe, in the 1ST century C.E.
It was during the end of the 9th century that the rulers of Rurikovitch dynasty established the medieval Russ state with their capital at Kyiv (Kiev).
During the 10th and 11th century there was a great progress in the Russ state in culture, art and written language.
But by the end of the 12th century the Russ state declined forming a number of smaller states. As a natural result the progress and the process of development of education and culture witnessed a setback.
Development and enrichment of culture and society in Ukraine once again started and slowly but steadily marched forward through the passing of time. Influences of other neighboring European nations and their culture nurtured the pace of development. The first High school was opened at Kiev in 1632. Then the Collegiums and Lvov University was founded in 1661. Kyiv professors were among the most respected and honored educators. Many of them were invited to Moscow and Zagorsk and other scientific centre’s of the Russian empire for giving lectures.
In the 19th century a number of universities were established in Ukraine. In 1805 the University of Kharkov was founded in Eastern Ukraine while in 1834 and 1865 the universities at Kyiv and Odessa were established respectively. Today Ukraine takes pride for these world reputed universities.
Development of higher education in Ukraine was marked by rapid development of industry, agriculture and trade. A number of technical and agricultural universities also started to appear. Scientific researches became top priority. The language of education in these universities was Russian.
Getting education in Ukrainian language became possible only in the twenties of the 20th century. The literacy programs that took place during the period made education more democratic and accessible.
While Ukraine was a part of the erstwhile Soviet Union, from that time it was one of the most developed regions. The tremendous growth of its economy demanded a large number of highly qualified specialists for implementation of scientific researches. The Universities made available highly qualified research scholars and experts to meet the demand of the growing economy. Ukrainian scientists became pioneer in Information Technology, air-space technologies, welding, etc.
Overwhelming success record of the Ukrainian universities and the quality education attracted foreign students. Since 1940 hundreds of foreign students are coming to Ukraine for higher studies. Today, Ukrainian graduates are at leading positions in Multinational companies spanning Asia, Africa and Latin America. You will find see among them doctors, engineers, high state officials etc.
After the break up of the Soviet Union, Ukraine evolved as an independent nation. Soon was opened new perspectives for Ukrainian education. Ukraine became one of the top most destinations for higher study in Europe.
In the decade of 1990s there were major changes in the national system of education. The changes in structure and content of education became inevitable as the result of the development of new marketing thoughts. The Labor market also demanded new skill standards. Management, marketing, law, financing and computer engineering were among top priorities. During the same time with the state sector private institutions also started to develop. Foreign languages such as English, German, French, and Spanish became main part of the curriculum. It created favorable conditions for successful preparation for International Language exams.
Today the Ukrainian universities take an active part in the work of European educational bodies as well as European Association of International Education. In Lisbon, 1997 Ukraine was one of the main nations to sign the convention on the Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education in Europe. In 1999 the Ukrainian Parliament ratified the convention. Bilateral cooperation between Ukrainian and foreign universities has intensively developed. Ukrainian universities are active participants of the European Union Program TEMPUS.
Everyday the popularity of Ukrainian higher education is growing.