The history of the University goes back to the 17th century.
In the 16th – 17th centuries, religious fraternities were the cultural centres on Ukrainian lands. With the support of burgers and the clergy, they helped spread the ideas of humanism and science and also financed a net of schools. The oldest fraternity in Ukraine was the Stauropegic fraternity in Lviv, which became a prominent Ukrainian cultural centre. A fraternity school was opened in Lviv in 1586. The Church Slavonic, Greek, Latin and Polish languages as well as mathematics, grammar, rhetoric, astronomy, philosophy and other disciplines were taught here. Lviv fraternity members were even planning to turn the “himnasion” (as they called this school) into a university. Such outstanding figures of Ukrainian culture of the late 16th to early 17th century as Lavrentiy Zyzaniy (Kukil) and his brother Stepan, Kyrylo Stavrovetskyi, Ivan Boretskyi and others worked and got a degree in Lviv fraternity school.
By the mid-seventeenth century there was no higher education in Ukraine. Polish gentry opposed the creation of high school, which could become a dangerous political and cultural centre. Ukrainian young people had to receive higher education at Krakow and other European universities.
Under the Treaty of Hadiach (1658) between Ukraine and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, two universities were to be opened on Ukrainian lands: one in Kyiv and the other in any appropriate place for it. The two universities were promised the same rights that Cracow University had. Influential circles of the Commonwealth assumed that under the pressure of certain political circumstances the two national universities could be formed in Ukraine. At the same time, the Jesuit Order in the defense of Catholicism in Ukraine pinned great hopes on their centre in Lviv. The Jesuits appeared in Lviv in the late 17th century. In 1608, they opened their own school here. By the mid-seventeenth century this school declined, but it was saved from destruction since it was supported by Polish magnates. The Jesuits understood the possibility of establishing a university based on their school in Lviv. So they constantly demanded to convert their school into an academy. After repeated requests, on January 20, 1661, King Jan II Kazimierz signed a charter granting the school under the auspices of Lviv Jesuit Collegium, “the honour of the Academy and the title of the University” with the right to teach all university subjects and to confer degrees of bachelor, licentiate, master and doctorate. However, immediately after signing the charter, the creation of the Academy was strongly opposed by Cracow University and some influential officials. Despite the obstacles, the studies in Lviv University were conducted on the model of other European academies. Later in 1758, Polish King Augustus III approved the charter issued by Jan II Kazimierz on January 20, 1661. From its founding until 1773, Lviv University was completely under the control of the Jesuit Order and it was subordinated to the Jesuit General in Rome. The University was headed by the rector. The main building of the academy was near the Cracow street in the city centre. The University built and bought new premises, had its library and the largest printing house in Lviv.
The University consisted of two departments (faculties): philosophical and theological. There was a pre-university school for those wishing to continue their studies at university.
Historical records show that in 1667, about 500 students studied and eight teachers worked at the philosophical and theological departments. In the middle of the eighteenth century, the number of students increased to 700, the number of teachers to 15-17. Poles made up 75% of the students, the rest were the representatives of the Ukrainian and other ethnic groups.
The educational process in Lviv University was conducted according to the Jesuit school program developed in the late sixteenth century. Significant changes in the program were made only in the mid-eighteenth century. At the department of philosophy, mainly the philosophical system of Aristotle was taught, which included logic, physics and metaphysics; speaking of physics, the elements of mathematics, astronomy, biology, meteorology were considered; speaking of metaphysics – the issue of psychology and ethics. Besides, history, geography, Greek and others subjects were taught. At the department of philosophy, studies lasted for two or three years. After completing studies at this department, one could get a theological education. At the department of theology, studies lasted for four years. Church history, Old and New Testament, dogmatic and moral theology, canon law, casuistry, the Hebrew language were taught at this department. All university courses were taught by professors.
In the second half of the eighteenth century due to the development of scientific knowledge, certain changes occurred in the educational process of the university. In 1744 the mathematics department was opened, headed by F. Grodzicki who is an author of a textbook on architecture and mathematics. The Mathematical Physics laboratory and the University Astronomical Observatory were opened. Polish, French, German, geography and history were taught as separate subjects. Well-known scientists worked here: historian K. Niesiecki, mathematicians F. Grodzicki and T.Siekierzyński, writer G.Piramowicz, public figure, poet, writer and philosopher I. Krasicki. Such famous people as I. Giesel, M.Slotvynskyi, Ya.Bohomolovskyi and many others were university graduates.
After the dissolution of the Jesuit Order in 1773, Lviv University was closed. Soon, however, a number of units of the Jesuit Academy laid the foundation for Emperor Joseph University in Lviv.
In 1772, Halychyna became a part of the Austrian Empire. In order to centralize and germanize a multinational state, the government of Emperor Joseph II paid much attention to education, including higher education. Lviv envisaged a university. Replacement of the teaching positions at the departments was to be done through competition with admission of candidates regardless of their nationality and denomination.
The university was given the premises of the former Trinitarian Order in Krakivska street. The governmental charter of 17 June 1784 defines the personnel of the faculty and the university budget. In October of the same year, a diploma and a guide for the university administration were issued. In the diploma it was stated that Lviv University consisted of four faculties: philosophical, law, medical and theological. University inauguration took place in November 16th, 1784.
In the period between 1805 and 1817, a school functioned on the premises of Lviv University. This was due to the reform of higher education in the Austrian state. The analysis shows that most subjects continued to be taught in the university scope. The same faculties continued their work.
The highest governing body of the university was the Senate (consistory). It consisted of a rector, deans and seniors (the oldest and the most experienced professors). The Senate resolved the major issues that concerned the overall management of the university. All other cases were resolved by deans that also worked as directors of faculties. It should be noted that the university had certain autonomy.
The high school established in 1784 was responsible for preparing students for entering the university. Training was conducted in German and Latin and lasted for 5 years. In the first three years all students used the Faculty of Philosophy program in their studies. After graduating from the Faculty of Philosophy, students either continued their studies at the same faculty in order to deepen their knowledge on a specific subject or chose one of the higher faculties – law, medicine or theology, where training lasted for four years. Teaching was conducted in Latin, Polish and German. In 1825 the department of the Polish language and literature was opened.
In 1787, Studium Ruthenum functioned at the Theological Faculty. It was a two-year course conducted in Ukrainian. It continued its work until 1806. Such prominent figures of the Ukrainian nation as Markiyan Shashkevych, Yakiv Holovatskyi, Yuriy Venelin (Hutsa) are related to Lviv University of the first decades of the nineteenth century.
Physics at Lviv University in the second half of the eighteenth to early nineteenth century was represented by professor F. Güssman, I. Martinovics, A. Hiltenbrand, Ivan Zemanchyk, A. Gloisner, A. Kunzek and A. Zawadzki, but few of them had scientific achievements in the field of physical science. In particular, prof. I. Martinovics (1755-1795) wrote a two-volume textbook on experimental physics. A renowned scientist of the 1780s, F. Güssman (1741-1806) published in Vienna a two-volume description of the age of the earth in terms of physics. Ivan Zemanchyk did much to increase the amount of equipment available at the faculty. Prof. A.Kunzek (1795-1865), who was interested in physics in addition to astronomy and even taught mathematics and classical philology, wrote scientific papers and seven books (e.g, “The Doctrine of Light”, “Popular Astronomy,” “Popular Science of Meteorology ” etc.).
- Schiverek (1742-1807) was the first professor of botany and chemistry at Lviv University. His main achievements include studies on mineral water deposits in Subcarpathia and establishing the Botanical Garden.
One of the first professional mathematicians at the University was F. Kodesch (1761-1831), who wrote a textbook on mathematics. A manual “Elements of Pure Mechanics” brought glory to the outstanding Austrian mathematician L. Schulz von Straßnitzki(1803-1852), who taught at the university in the 1834-1838. The subject of natural history was taught at the University by Prof. B. Hacquet (1740-1815). He was a pioneer in the field of geology in Halychyna.
In the field of philosophy, the name of Petro Lodiy (1764-1829) should be mentioned. He wrote textbooks including Metaphysics and Logic Instructions. A number of works on philosophy were also written by I. Hanuš (1812-1869). L. Zehnmark (1753-1814) was the first professor of history at the university. He was also an expert in the field of auxiliary historical disciplines and wrote a manual on this issue. G. Uhlich (1743-1794) was the first professor of auxiliary historical disciplines. He founded a reading hall in Lviv, wrote a textbook on diplomacy and numismatics. He was also the author of a number of works on history. The professor of general history and history of Austria J. Mauss (1778-1856) was very popular among students.
Classical philology in 1784 was taught by V. Hann (1763-1816), who in addition to linguistics was interested in the problems of aesthetics and published a two-volume collection of his own poems. He also wrote several works on the history of literature. Among linguists, professors I. Pollak (1785-1825) and Leopold Umlauf (1757 – 1807) also deserve attention.
In the 1820-30s, research in local history and humanities revived. A student of the University I.Mohylnytskyi prepared the first Ukrainian grammar published in Halychyna. It came out in 1829. Its preface on the Ruthenian Language contained a brief overview of the history of Ukraine. It also determined the Ukrainian language as independent among East Slavic languages. Professor of Lviv National University
I.Lavrivskyi compiled a six-volume Ukrainian-Polish-German dictionary and translated The Tale of Bygone Years into Polish. A significant contribution to the study of local history was done by professor M.Hrynevetskyi. He collected incunabula and other ancient monuments.
Law science of the time was based on the so-called historical school of law. Prof. J. Winiwarter was an outstanding researcher in the field of civil law. He worked in Ukraine from 1806 to 1827 and published several scientific papers.
The events of the Polish National Liberation Uprising of 1830-1831 and the revolution of 1848 had a significant influence on the development of Lviv University. Students of the university participated actively in the events. During the insurrection of 1848, the university building burned down. Its valuable scientific library, which counted more than 51 thousand volumes, was destroyed. Valuable manuscripts also burnt down. Since the university equipment had been severely damaged, there were no studies going on for a long time.
During the second half of the nineteenth century, university facilities expanded. Since 1851, the University was located in a house in St. Mykolay Street (at present it is Hrushevskyi Street). In 1891, following the project of the architect J.Braunseis, a separate building for chemical, geological and mineralogical and also for pharmacological institutes was established in Dlugosz Street (at present SS. Cyril and Methodius Street). In 1894, premises for the newly formed medical faculty on Pekarska Street was completed. In 1905, the new premises were built for the University Library.
The supreme governing body of the university at the time was the Academic Senate consisting of a rector, a vice-rector, deans, faculty representatives and a secretary. Such aspects of university life as the studying process, research, scientific degrees, and administrative affairs were in competence of the Senate.
There were three faculties at Lviv university almost until the end of the nineteenth century: the faculties of Law, Philosophy and Theology. Taking into account the number of students and teachers and the state priorities, the faculty of Law was leading at the university. In November 1891, after a long delay, the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I ordered the opening of the medical faculty. The ceremony was solemnly held on September 9th1894.
Each of the four faculties was guided by a collective body – professors of the Faculty Council, or a panel, which included a dean, all professors and two elected representatives from lecturers.
Departments in the modern sense of the word did not exist. The department was linked to the person of a professor who delivered a course of lectures. However, there were certain research institutions linked to the university that roughly correspond to the modern concept of the department or office. Practical seminars were held at these institutions. They also had permanent premises, equipment, staff and a library. In September 1894, a university archive was established for storing books published before 1848.
Teaching staff at Lviv University consisted of professors, docents, assistants and lecturers. The right to teach at the university (or venia docendi) could be obtained only after obtaining a doctorate, undergoing habilitation and the approval of the Ministry of Education in Vienna. The size of the faculty constantly increased. There were only 27 teachers in 1850/51. The number of teachers increased to 169 in 1913/14. Students at Lviv University were also divided into certain categories: ordinary students (the ordinary), extraordinary students (the extraordinary) and volunteers. As a rule, women who attended lectures by agreement with teachers were called volunteers. In 1851, 699 students studied at Lviv University (including 302 at the Faculty of Law, 89 at the Faculty of Philosophy, 308 at the Theological Faculty). In 1890/91, there were already 1255 (683, 189, 358 persons accordingly). In 1900/01, the number increased to 2060 students (Law Faculty – 1284, Faculty of Philosophy -309, Faculty of Medicine – 127, Theological Faculty – 340). In 1913/14, there were 5871 students (3493, 1229, 971 and 358 respectively).
In the second half of the nineteenth century, women struggled to be allowed to attend universities. In 1897, women were allowed to study at the Faculty of Philosophy, and in 1900, at the Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Pharmacy. Women repeatedly demanded to be allowed to study at the Law Faculty, but the government would not let this happen.
The majority of students paid for being able to study at university. Students of the Theological Faculty were allowed not to pay for their studies. At secular faculties such privileges were enjoyed only by a part of students (the students who filed a certificate of poverty and successfully passed semester colloquia). In addition to tuition, students paid for exams, colloquia, seminars, and for being allowed to use the library.
There were also student scholarships. Scholarships were funded mainly from donations from private individuals. The most famous were the scholarships named after K. Ludwik, J. Słowacki, Yu. Tsalevych, Hayetskyi and others. Students could use dormitories, but the number of places was limited.
At the Law, Philosophical and Theological Faculties studies lasted for four years, at the Medical Faculty – five, at the Pharmaceutical Department of the Medical Faculty – two or three years. The academic year was divided into two semesters: winter (October 1 to March 20) and summer (end of April – the end of July) semesters. Students had a choice of subjects. In the 70s teaching at all faculties was conducted mainly in German, Latin at the Theological Faculty; a few subjects were taught in Ukrainian and in Polish. On April 27, 1869 according to the special decree issued by the Emperor, Polish was recognized as an official language in the area. As a result, Polonization gradually set in. In 1870, 13 subjects were taught in Polish, 46 in German, 13 in Latin, 7 in Ukrainian. On July 4, 1871, Emperor Franz Joseph I ordered the abolition of restrictions on lecturing in the Polish and Ukrainian languages at the Law and Philosophical Faculties. So, in 1906, 185 subjects were taught in Polish, 5 in German, 14 in Latin, 19 in Ukrainian.
In the 1870s, Ivan Franko, a famous Ukrainian writer, scholar, translator, political and public figure studied at the Philosophical Faculty of Lviv University. He is one of the geniuses of Ukraine, who entered history as “the Titan of Labour.”
Famous scientists, writers, public figures such as M.Pavlyk, O.Terletskyi, V.Navrotskyi, O.Makovey, Yu.Puzyna and others spent their student years at our university in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
The scientific life of Lviv University in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century underwent considerable changes. New subjects were introduced, new classrooms, laboratories were established. Faculty members wrote books and manuals as well as conducted valuable research, mainly on nature studies. In the field of physical sciences the names of professors V. Pierre, W. Urbański, A. Handl, T. Stanecki, I. Zakrzewski, M. Smoluchowski are worth honouring. In particular, Professor V. Pierre obtained the equipment for the physics laboratory which had been destroyed in 1848. W. Urbański published a two-volume textbook Scientific Physics. In 1879, Professor of Experimental Physics T. Stanecki (1826-1891) published many textbooks on physics and mathematics. Since 1899, a world famous physicist M. Smołuchowski (1872-1917) worked at university. The main works which he wrote while working at the university are “The Movement of Gas Molecules and its Connection with the Theory of Diffusion”, “On the Kinetic Theory of Brownian Molecular Movement and Suspension”.
Professors I. Lemoch, W. Żmurko, J. Puzyna, W. Sierpiński, Z. Janiszewski were representatives of mathematical science at Lviv University. Practical tutorials on the basics of geodesy by I. Lemoch, “On Mathematics” by W. Żmurko and the two-volume “Theory of Analytic Functions” by J. Puzyna should be mentioned in this respect.
The first department of chemistry was opened in Lviv University in 1801. The most outstanding chemists of the period were Professor B. Radziszewski (1838-1914) and Professor S. Opolski (1886-1919), who was an author of an important textbook in organic chemistry, as well as B. Lachowicz, who was Head of the Department of Inorganic Chemistry since its foundation in 1894 to 1903, and S. Tołłoczko.
Geological Sciences were included in the list of compulsory subjects at the Faculty of Philosophy in 1851. In 1852, Mineralogical Museum was opened. In 1864, the Department of Mineralogy was founded. It was headed by F. Zirkel, the founder of modern petrography and the author of “The Handbook of Petrography” (1838-1912).
In the early 1880s, the University Geography Department was established, headed by professor A. Reman (1840-1917), known for his works in the physical geography of the Carpathians. A significant contribution to the development of Geographical Sciences were made by E. Romer (1871-1954) and the Ukrainian geographer S. L. Rudnytskyi (1877-1937).
The Ukrainian researcher H. Velychko (doctorate in 1889) was the first doctoral student of professor A. Reman.
In 1852, the two Departments of Zoology and Botany were established on the basis of the Department of Natural History. The development of zoology at the university is associated primarily with the names of the following prominent scientists: B. Dybowski (1833-1930), the author of over 350 scientific papers, Professor J. Nusbaum-Hiliarowicz (1859-1917), the founder of the Polish school of evolutionists.
Historical science was highly developed in Lviv. The founder of Lviv historical school was X. Liske (1838-1891). T. Wojciechowski (1833-1919), O. Balzer (1858-1933), B. Dębinski (1858-1939) ranked among notable historians of Lviv school as well as L. Finkel (1858-1930), the author of a three-volume “A Bibliography of Polish History” and “A History of Lviv University”. From 1894 to 1914, the newly created Department of General History and History of Eastern Europe was headed by M. Hrushevskyi (1866-1934), one of the greatest historians of Ukraine, the author of the 10-volume work “A History of Ukraine-Rus”, hundreds of works in history, literary history, historiography, source criticism. M. Hrushevskyi was also a creator the Ukrainian historical school.
Law science in the second half of the nineteenth century moved from a narrow empiricism to the in-depth study of law as well as historical and philosophical subjects. In 1862, two departments – the Department of Civil Law and the Department of Criminal Law and Procedure – began to use Ukrainian as a language of instruction. Many prominent lawyers worked at Lviv university: T. Pilat, E. Till, O. Ohonovskyi, M. Alerhant, O. Dolivskyi, M. Chlamtacz, S. Szachowski, P. Dąbkowski, J. Makarewicz, S. Dnistrianskyi and others.
Ukrainian philology has been taught at the university since 1848 when the Department of Ruthenian Philology was headed by Ya. Holovatskyi (1814-1888), the author of works The Grammar of Ruthenian Language and People’s Songs of Halychyna and Hungarian Rus. In 1849, Ya. Holovatskyi was appointed rector of the university. O. Ohonovskyi, O. Kolessa, K. Studynskyi, I. Sventsitskyi continued the work of Ya.Holovatskyi. O. Ohonovskyi`s greatest achievement was the six-volume History of Ruthenian Literature.
The history of Polish studies at the university is associated with the names of professors A. Malecki (1821-1913), R. Pilat (1846-1906), W. Bruchnalski (1859-1938), K. Wojcechowski (1872-1924), B. Gubrynowicz (1870-1933), J.Kallenbach, J.Kleiner, W.Hahn and others.
Classical philology has great traditions at Lviv University. Prominent researchers like L. Ćwikliński (1852-1942), B. Kruczkiewicz (1849-1919) and S. Witkowski (1866-1950) worked at the department before 1918. Owing to them, Lviv became a prominent publishing centre in the field of classical philology. Lectures in Roman philology have been delivered since 1918.
After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Halychyna was annexed by Poland. On November 18, 1918, the Ministry of Denominations and Education of Poland issued a special decree announcing that Lviv University was to be taken under its control. The University was named after Polish King Jan Kazimierz. Polish was the only teaching language at all faculties except for the Theological Faculty where some disciplines were taught in Latin. All the departments with the Ukrainian language were closed. Within two or three years, Ukrainian professors and docents were dismissed. Ukrainian students were limited in the number of classes they could attend.
University management was based on the University Statute (Statutes of 1924, 1929 and 1934). The Academic Senate, headed by the rector, continued its work as the governing body. By 1924, the University consisted of four faculties. According to the decree issued by the Ministry on October 31, 1924, the Faculty of Philosophy was divided into two separate faculties: the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Mathematics. In the early 1920s, there were 55 departments, 19 units, 6 hospitals, 2 polyclinics, the faculty library, the scientific library and archives of the University, and the botanical gardens at the University.
At the same time, the University had no departments with the Ukrainian teaching language, no professor of Ukrainian nationality. Only in 1933, docent I. Sventsitskyi got a right to teach. In1928/29, the Department of Ukrainian Philology was opened, headed by professor J. Janów.
The number of students in Lviv University was one of the largest in Poland. From 1919/20 to 1937/38, their number increased from 2,647 to 5,026 people. The principle of «numerus clausus» was introduced, according to which Ukrainians had restrictions on admission to the university studies (not more than 15% of applicants, the Poles in this case had no less than 50%). An academic year would start on October 1 and end on June 30. It was divided into 3 parts, or trimesters.
On April 23, 1923, Lviv University was transferred to the house of the former Halychyna Parliament, which became the main building of the University.
In the 1920-30s, Lviv University achieved considerable success in the field of mathematics. Many scientists and mathematicians studied at the university: W. Sierpiński, H. Steinhaus, S. Ruziewicz, E. Żyliński (since 1920), S. Banach (since 1922), W. Niklibor and J. Schauder (since 1927), S. Kaczmarz (since 1929), W. Orlicz (since 1934), H. Auerbach and S. Mazur (since 1936). They created a strong mathematical think-tank, known as “Lviv School of Mathematics”. S. Banakh (1892-1945), the author of The Theory of Linear Operations Fields, is considered to be its head.
Physical science of the period was represented by Professor R. Negrusz, S. Loria, L. Infeld, W. Rubinowicz and others. Professor E. Rybka, who headed the astronomical observatory, worked in the field of astronomy from 1932. S. Tołłoczko, V. Ishebiatovskyi, V. Kemula represent achievements in the field of chemistry. V. Kemula headed the Department of Physical Chemistry created in 1937.
Geological science was further developed at the university. In 1921, prof. Z.Weyberg created and headed the Department of Crystallography. After him the department was headed by L. Chrobak. In 1924, the Department of Mineralogy and Petrography was formed, headed by prof. J.Tokarski.
Geographic science developed under the guidance of the renowned scientist E.Romer. A.Zierhoffer worked in the field of economic geography.
The biological research was led by professor J. Hirshler (1883-1951). Besides him, B.Fuliński (1881-1942), H.Poliushynskyi, K.Sembrat, R.Kuntze, J. Noskiewicz, S.Piliavskyi, L.Monne, Ya.Romanyshyn worked in the Institute of Zoology.
In 1926, the Department of Comparative Anatomy was transformed into the Institute, which was headed by prof. K.Kwietniewski (1873-1942).
From 1918 to 1924, florist T.Wilczyński and botanist-geographer and paleobotanist M.Koczwara worked at the Department of Botany. From 1924, the department was headed by S. Kulchyńskyi. The research work in this period was mainly connected with flora (S. Kulchyńkyi, S.Tolpa, M.Kostyniuk, H.Koziy). The professor of plant physiology S.Krzemeniewski was a well-known scientist.
In the interwar period, new departments at the Medical Faculty, the Department of Biology (1920), General Medicine (1932), Pharmaceutical Chemistry (1932), Health Care and the History of Medicine (1930), Microbiology (1936) were opened.
Works of J. Badian (1930-1937) in the field of cytology of bacteria won worldwide recognition. J.Lenartowicz was a well-known dermatologist. In 1936, N. Gąsiorowski organized and headed the Department of Microbiology. Professor R.Weigl (1883-1957) was the most famous medical microbiologist. From 1922, the Department of Biochemistry was headed by J. Parnas.
Lviv-Warsaw School of Philosophy was well known far beyond Poland. It was founded by K. Twardowski (1866-1938). There was also Polish Philosophical Society working within Lviv University which launched lots of publications. Scientists Ya.Łukasiewicz, A.Tarski, I.Dąbska, S.Lushchevska, H.Melberh, L. Chwistek, M.Borovskyi, R.Ingarden, L.Blaustein and others belonged to Lviv-Warsaw School of Philosophy.
Historical research was represented by the prominent researchers K. Chiliński (1880-1938), J. Ptaśnik (1876-1930), E. Modelski (1881-1966), F. Bujak (1875-1953) and many others.
In the history of law, there worked professors O.Balzer, P.Dąbkowski, docent K.Koranyi; prof. M.Allerhand, K.Stefko, E.Tiell, A.Doliński worked in the field of civil law and process, J.Markewicz (criminal law), prof. P.Ehrlich (international public law).
Polish Studies were one of the leading fields. E.Kucharski and K.Kolbuszewski continued to work in the field. Linguistic history of Polish Studies of the period is associated with the names of A. Kalina, A. Kryński, K. Nitsch, H.Ulaszyn, H.Hartner and partly R.Pilat and W.Bruchnalski. The most valuable works of this period include a book by H.Hartner (1892-1935) Grammar of the Contemporary Polish Language.
Ukrainian philology at the university was represented by prof. J.Janów, classical philology by prof. S.Vitkovskyi and R.Ganszyniec (1888-1958), Germanic studies by Z.Czerny.
In 1925-1935, the Departments of Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Turkish, Mongolian, Indian, Iranian Philology and the Department of the History of the East functioned at the University. Prof. M.Sharr, prof. Z.Smogorzewski, prof. W.Kotwicz, prof. G.Blatt, A.Tavaronskyi and J. Kurylowicz were among the well-known Orientalists and linguists.
According to the secret protocol of an agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union, on August 23, 1939, West Ukraine became the zone under the Soviet Union influence. On September 22, Soviet troops entered Lviv. On October 26, 1939, the People’s Assembly of Western Ukraine declared the proclamation of the Soviet power.
During this period, Lviv University underwent radical changes. Under the Charter of the Higher Education of USSR, radical organizational restructuring of the university as an institution of higher education free of charge and free education for all citizens was made. The Theological Faculty was eliminated. Pharmaceutical and Medical Departments were reorganized into a Medical School. In October 1939, new departments were formed including the Departments of the History of Marxism-Leninism, Dialectical and Historical Materialism, Political Economy, the Ukrainian Language, Ukrainian Literature, Russian Language, Russian Literature, the History of the USSR, the History of Ukraine and Physical Education. Highly-qualified teachers were to educate young people on the basis of Marxist-Leninist ideology and materialist worldview.
On Dec 2, 1940, the University Council approved the new University statute, which stated that all citizens have the right to study at the university regardless of their social background, gender, race and nationality.
Famous scientists were invited to work at the university. Among them there were literary historian M. Vozniak, literary critic V.Shchurat, folklorist and musicologist F. Kolessa, writer and literary critic M.Rudnytskyi, historian I. Krypyakevych, a mathematician M.Zarytskyi and others. The People’s Commissariat of Education also invited 45 researchers from Kyiv and Kharkiv. Historian, docent M.Marchenko was appointed Rector.
According to the decree issued by the Presidium of the Supreme Council of USSR on January 8, 1940, the name of the prominent Ukrainian writer and thinker Ivan Franko was conferred on Lviv University.
On January 15, 1940, the university began to work according to a new curricula based on the approved statute. It consisted of five faculties: historical, philological (Departments of the Ukrainian Language and Literature, Slavic Philology, Romano-Germanic Philology), the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics (Departments of Mathematics, Mechanics, Physics), the Faculty of Natural Science (Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geology). The two new governing bodies were formed: the academic council of the university and the faculty council. They resolved questions of education, methodology, scientific work as well as conferred scientific degrees and academic titles. A department remained the main teaching and research unit. In 1940, there were 52 departments. They performed training activities, developed courses, special seminars and teaching programs, conducted research.
At the faculties of humanities studies lasted for four years and at the faculties of natural science for five years. In 1940, extramural studies were introduced at the Faculties of History, Philology, Natural Science, and Mathematics. A branch of Union Correspondence Institute of Law was opened at the Law Faculty.
The first scientific session of teachers was held in January-February 1941. In April, the first Student Conference was held. In 1940, the postgraduate department was opened.
However, the work was stopped by the German attack on the Soviet Union and the invasion of Nazi troops on June 30, 1941. In the first 70 days, eminent scientists of university, polytechnic and health institutions were arrested, and after beatings and abuse were shot in the vicinity of the current Sakharova Street . Prominent scholars, including T.Boj-Żeleński, R. Longchamps de Berier, M. Allerhand, H. Auerbakh, S. Sak, were among the murdered.
In 1942, German occupation authorities closed higher educational institutions in Ukraine. The invaders plundered and destroyed the property of the University. The equipment, which belonged to the laboratories at the Faculties of Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry as well as libraries at the Department of Folklore and Ethnography numbering 15 thousand volumes, were exported to Germany. The main reading hall in the university scientific library was destroyed and volumes of valuable books, about five thousand old books and incunabula and 500 valuable manuscripts were taken away.
The restoration of the University began immediately after the city was liberated from Nazi troops. On July 30, 1944, a meeting was held at the University, where the participants (127 teachers and technical staff) appealed to the intelligentsia to participate actively in rebuilding the economy, educational, cultural and educational institutions of the city.
During the second half of 1944 and first half of 1945, mainly with the help of students and teachers, many university buildings were refurbished including the Faculty of Biology on 4 Shcherbakova Street (now Hrushevskoho Street), the Faculties of Chemistry and Physics on the 6 and 8 Lomonosova Street (now Cyril and Methodius Street). The research library and the hostel on 7 Hertsena Street were renovated. The astronomical observatory and the botanical garden were partly rebuilt.
After more than a three-year break, on 15 October 1944, 194 second, third and fourth year students started their studies at the University. 226 first year students began their training on November 1, 1944. One could enrol on the university even after the start of an academic year. Until the end of March 1945, 799 students studied at the university. Methodological workshops, the astronomical observatory, the botanical gardens, the scientific library, geological and botanical museums resumed their work.
In 1948, Professor H.Savin, a famous scientist in the field of mechanics, was appointed Rector of the University. From 1951 to 1963, the University was headed by Ye.Lazarenko, a geologist, famous scientist, professor, corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences. From 1963 to 1981, professor M.Maksymovych, a scientist in electrical engineering, was a rector, in 1981-1990 – professor V.Chuhayov, a researcher in the field of history.
After the war the changes continued. In 1945, the Faculty of Chemistry with four departments was established. At the end of 1950, the Faculty of Foreign Languages was formed. Consequently, there were only nine university faculties. At the same time, new departments were opened, their number increased to 71. In 1953, the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics was divided into the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics and the Faculty of Physics. In 1975, the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics was divided into the Faculty of Mathematics and the Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics .
In 1959, the University’s General Department of Foreign Languages (English and German) was established for teaching foreign languages at non-specialised faculties.
In 1953, the Department of Journalism was opened as a part of the Faculty of Philology. Next year, it was organized into the Faculty of Journalism.
In 1966, the Faculty of Economics was established on the basis of Lviv branch of Kyiv Institute of National Economy. It consisted of the following departments: Economics, Organization and Planning of the Economy, Finance, Accounting and Statistics, Mathematical Methods in Economics.
In 1975/76, the university had 13 faculties. In the same academic year, the preparatory faculty for foreign citizens was formed. It consisted of the Department of the Russian Language and the Department of Natural Science.
The rise in the number of faculties, departments, the development of new research areas and the improvement of educational process in connection with scientific and technological progress needed expansion of university facilities. In 1950/51, the University had 12 academic buildings with the total area of 42.8 thousand sq. m, and in the 1959-1962, the working area was increased due to the renovation of the Department of Chemistry in Lomonosova Street. In the late 50 – early 60’s, the university received a room in Sichovykh Striltsiv Street (former September 17 Street), which housed the student library, the Faculty of Geography and the Faculty of Law and several private laboratories. In 1966, the university was given the building on Svobody Avenue 18, which housed the Faculty of Economics. In 1971, the Faculty of Physics was given new premises on Drahomanova Street. In 1984, another building on the same street was given to the university. In 1984, the area of university premises was over 55 thousand sq. m.
The botanical gardens are among the oldest segments of the University. In 1957-1959, a plan for its development was worked out. The botanical gardens were divided into two sections: the section of plant introduction and the section of plant physiology. In 1970, it received the status of a scientific institution.
The scientific library of the university plays an important role in the educational process and research. During the post-war years, its collection of sources increased almost by 5 times. In 1985, its funds exceeded 2 700 thousand units.
The development of educational, methodical and scientific activities of the University was contributed to by the creation of the publishing house in 1947. By order of the Minister of Higher Education of the USSR in April 1957, it was reorganized into statutory publishing house of Lviv University. It functioned as a structural unit of the university until 1968 (subsequently reorganized into the publishing house of the publishing association “High School” at Lviv University, and in 1989, it was reorganized into an independent publishing house “Svit”). In 1948, a journal “Scientific Notes” was initiated, which showed the scientific research being done at the faculties. Since 1962, the journal has come out under the title of Naukovi Zapysky (Proceedings of Lviv University). Students also did not remain aloof from publishing activities. Three issues of student “Almanac” (1954, 1956, 1958) came out. A large number of textbooks and instructional materials were printed in the university offset machine laboratory created in 1959.
During the post-war years, the university formed a team of highly qualified scientists. From 1946 to 1965, university employees defended 53 doctoral dissertations, and 52 were defended in the period from 1965 to 1975. From 1946 to 1975, 842 theses were defended. University professors were elected and appointed as academicians and corresponding members of the USSR and also awarded honorary degrees. This shows the general recognition of the valuable contribution made to science. In particular, in 1948, professors O.Vyalov, B.Hniedenko, H.Savin, in 1958, professor I. Krypyakevych were members of USSR Academy of Sciences. In 1961, professor V.Soboliev became a member of the USSR Academy of Sciences. University graduates O.Parasiuk, Ya.Pidstryhach, I.Yukhnovskyi, V.Panasiuk, R.Kucher, M.Brodin, Ye.Fradkin were among the members of the National Academy of Science. Famous Ukrainian writers R.Bratun, D.Pavlychko, R.Ivanychuk, R.Fedoriv, V.Luchuk studied at the University.
In the 1950s and 60s, research teams were formed at the departments and faculties. This provided the foundations for the development of scientific fields, including the theory of plasticity and strength, differential equations, theoretical mineralogy, physical and chemical analysis of metal, national economic resources and culture of western regions of the USSR, historical and cultural ties between Slavic nations. The development of most of these disciplines in the following years defined the scientific paths of Lviv University. In the 1960-70s, state research subjects coordinated by the USSR greatly expanded. The question of economic contracts gradually came into life.
Year after year, the number of students enrolled on the first year of university increased. This contributed to the creation of new departments. In 1950, 575 people entered university as first year students, in 1970, their number increased to 1100, in 1985, to more than 1,300 people. In 1947/48, part-time office started to work, allowing to receive higher education and work at the same time. In 1951-1953, extramural university courses were launched. 300-325 persons enrolled on the course. In 1965, their number increased to nearly 1,200 people. In 1959, the university started admission of students for evening courses of the Ukrainian language and literature, history, physics, mathematics, chemistry. In 1960-1962, evening courses of law, the Russian language and literature, English and German, biology were added; in 1963-1965 – radio physics and electronics, computational mathematics, biochemistry; in 1966 – planning of the economy and industry, accounting; in 1970 – the organization of mechanized processing of economic information. Admission on the first evening training courses in those years was 300-350 people annually. Evening studies were terminated in 1992.
From 1969 to 1996/97, preparatory courses which trained young people for university functioned at the University. Since 1971, the University runs training and retraining. Since 1989, 5,998 people acquired the second major at the Institute for Advanced Studies and Training.
The proclamation of independence of Ukraine is a new page in the history of Lviv University. In 1990, the university was headed by University Professor, Doctor of Science Ivan Vakarchuk. Due to the implementation of large-scale educational reforms, the new faculties and departments were opened. In 1992, the Faculty of International Relations, Faculty of Philosophy were opened; in 1997, the Department of Pre-university Training. In 1992, the Institute of Historical Research, headed by Doctor of History Ya. Hrytsak was founded. Since 1997, the following university departments were formed, including the Law College, the Humanities Research Centre, the Institute of Literary Studies, the Centre for Italian Language and Culture. Since 1978, there is ongoing collaboration with the Lviv Regional Junior Academy of Sciences, which annually has about 1,000 students. The University holds classes, lectures, research workshops for students under the guidance of scholars.
On October 11, 1999, by the Decree of the President of Ukraine the Ivan Franko Lviv State University was granted the status of “National”.
At present, Lviv University is considered one of the most prestigious institutions of our country. It gained high international prestige and became a powerful scientific centre.
On the pediment of the main building of Lviv University there is a slogan: «Patriae decori civibus educandis» (Educated citizens, the glory of the Fatherland). The university community works hard to make this idea come true. The transformation of the University into a modern European institution with the preservation of the best national academic traditions is the main goal of the university community.