Tekhnikum. The name given to educational institutions in the USSR, in the Ukrainian SSR, and now in Ukraine which train personnel for industry, agriculture, construction industry, transport, and communications by offering a program of secondary special education. The first institutions called tekhnikums appeared in Russian-ruled Ukraine at the beginning of the 20th century. Their equivalent in Western Ukraine could be considered to be the technical lyceums. In 1922–30 in Soviet Ukraine, unlike in Russia, tekhnikums had the status of institutions of higher education and trained specialists in various narrow technical fields.
During the 1920s tekhnikums were Ukrainized. Whereas in 1922 only 16 percent of the students in these institutions were Ukrainians, by 1928 the figure had risen to 62 percent. In 1928 there were 145 tekhnikums in Ukraine, 80 of which offered Ukrainian-language instruction. In 1931, tekhnikums in Ukraine were reorganized along Russian lines into secondary schools offering vocational education, and the Ukrainization was reversed, in favor of Russian-language instruction. With industrialization the network of tekhnikums expanded, from 165 schools and 89,000 students in 1932 to 693 schools and 196,200 students in 1940. Tekhnikums were under the jurisdiction of various industrial commissariats. Today the program of study can last up to three years for those with complete secondary education, and up to four for those entering with eight years of schooling. Students gain practical work experience and can enroll for full- or part-time study. In 1990–1 there were 742 tekhnikums in Ukraine, with 757,000 students.