Volhynia National University

Volhynia National University (Волинський національний університет імені Лесі Українки; Volynskyi natsionalnyi universytet imeni Lesi Ukrainky; or VNU). A university of a classical type in Lutsk and the oldest existing institution of higher learning in Volhynia oblast, founded in 1940 as Lutsk State Teachers’ Institute. Initially, it had four faculties: philology (with Ukrainian and Russian departments), physics and mathematics, natural sciences and geography, and correspondence education. Its first director was the Kharkiv University-trained zoologist Ivan Sokur. Opened in the former orphanage, the institute lacked its own facilities and resources and relied on the support from other institutions, particularly Poltava Pedagogical Institute.

The teachers' institute was reopened in Lutsk in 1946. In 1951 it was reorganized as the Lutsk Pedagogical Institute (LDPI) and named after Lesia Ukrainka a year later. At that time LDPI had two faculties: history and philology, and physics and mathematics. In 1953 the institute began to publish its main scholarly periodical Naukovi zapysky (series Physics and Mathematics). In the 1950s and 1960s new faculties were opened: for training junior-school teachers (1959) and the English language and literature (1962–3), while the faculty of history and philology was divided into two separate faculties (1969). The 1970s and 1980s saw the construction of new campus buildings, including a dormitory for 800 students. In 1991 the regional headquarters of the Communist Party of Ukraine in Lutsk were handed over to LDPI and became its flagship building. In 1993 LDPI was further reorganized as Volhynia State University. In the early 1990s it consisted of three institutes (social sciences; health; and physical culture) and 15 faculties (mathematics; physics; chemistry; biology; geography; history; Ukrainian studies; Slavic philology; Roman and Germanic philology; economics; law; pedagogy; international relations; continuing education; and pre-college training). In 2001 a new series of construction on campus was completed, including separate buildings for the faculty of philology and journalism and for the university library. In 2007 Volhynia State University was granted the national university status and assumed its current name. However, between 2012 and 2020 it functioned under the name of Eastern European National University.

As of 2021 VNU consisted of 3 institutes (physics and technology; continuing education; and medicine) and 14 faculties (physical culture, sport, and health; culture and arts; international relations; biology and forestry; history, political science, and national security; philology and journalism; economics and administration; information technologies and mathematics; pedagogy and social work; geography; law; chemistry, ecology, and pharmacology; psychology and sociology; and foreign philology). VNU also operates the Professional College of Technologies, Business, and Law (formerly Lutsk Commercial Tekhnikum). Since 2006 VNU hosts the Lesia Ukrainka Research Institute devoted to the study of Lesia Ukrainka’s diverse oeuvre and the publication of her complete works. A separate information and research unit is the Institute of Poland. VNU also operates several linguistic and international centers, among them Center for the German Language and Culture; Center for Languages and Computer Technologies; Center for Canadian Studies; Center for the Swedish Language; Center for the Norwegian Language and Culture; Center for British Culture; and Center for the Arab Language and Culture. There are also five museums on the VNU premises: the Lesia Ukrainka memorial museum, museum of the VNU history, museum of archaeology, geological museum, and museum of ethnography of Volhynia and Polisia. VNU’s library is one of the largest in Volhynia and contains around 800,000 entries. The current student enrollment is around 9,000.

In 2020 VNU has been ranked 58th in the independent academic ranking Top 200 Ukraine, and 10th best university in western Ukraine.

VNU has published a number of periodicals in various academic fields, among them Naukovyi visnyk Volyns'koho Natsional'noho universytetu published in several series since 1996, Litopys Volyni (23 vols, 2000–), Psykholohichni perspektyvy (36 vols, 2001–), Istoryko-pravovyi chasopys (15 vols, 2013–), Sotsiolohichni studiї (17 vols, 2012–), Aktual'ni pytannia inozemnoї filolohiї (10 vols, 2014–9), East European Journal of Psycholinguistics (7 vols, 2014–), Ekonomichnyi chasopys VNU (25 vols, 2015–), Volyn' filolohichna (29 vols, 2006–), and the university newspaper Nash universytet.

Kotsan, I. et al. Volyns'kyi natsional'nyi universytet imeni Lesi Ukraїnky (Lutsk 2010)
Volyns'kyi natsional'nyi universytet: 80 rokiv (Lutsk 2020)
VNU official website: https://vnu.edu.ua

Serhiy Bilenky

[This article was written in 2021.]

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