Higher Education in Ukraine

Higher education in Ukraine operates several levels, all of which are regulated by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. In early 2016, Ukraine had 802 universities, but the Ministry intends to lower that number to 317. In 2016-17, the number of students in higher education was 1,586,700.

The first higher education institutions (HEIs) emerged in Ukraine during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The first Ukrainian higher education institution was the Ostrozka School, or Ostrozkiy Greek-Slavic-Latin Collegium, similar to Western European higher education institutions of the time. Established in 1576 in the town of Ostrog, the Collegium was the first higher education institution in the Eastern Slavic territories. The oldest university was the Kyiv Mohyla Academy, first established in 1632 and in 1694 officially recognized by the government of Imperial Russia as a higher education institution. Among the oldest is also the Lviv University, founded in 1661. More higher education institutions were set up in the 19th century, beginning with universities in Kharkiv (1805), Kiev (1834), Odessa (1865), and Chernivtsi (1875) and a number of professional higher education institutions, e.g.: Nizhyn Historical and Philological Institute (originally established as the Gymnasium of Higher Sciences in 1805), a Veterinary Institute (1873) and a Technological Institute (1885) in Kharkiv, a Polytechnic Institute in Kiev (1898) and a Higher Mining School (1899) in Katerynoslav. Rapid growth followed in the Soviet period. By 1988 a number of higher education institutions increased to 146 with over 850,000 students. Most HEIs established after 1990 are those owned by private organizations.

The Constitution of Ukraine (1996), Law on Education (1996), the Law on Higher Education (2002) and the major reform legislation Law on Higher Education (2014) constitute the legal framework for Ukrainian higher education. Ukrainian legislation regulating higher education includes also more limited legislation as well as decrees and regulations of the President and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

Because of a perceived lack of quality, 76 higher education institutions and their branches were denied licenses in 2015.