Origin and stages of formation and development of Lviv Polytechnic National University

For a long time it was believed that the origin of Lviv Polytechnic National University dates back to 1844, when the Austrian government formed the Technical Academy in Lviv. From this historical fact we learn that the Academy did not appear as a newly created education institution, but as an education institution founded on the basis of the existing Real-Trade Academy. Since in 1844 the education institution was not established, but once again reorganized, the history of Lviv Polytechnic National University should be written from the time of the creation of the Real School in Lviv.


Real School. Investigating the origin

In 1876 the Technical Academy, which, after the detachment of the Department of Trade in 1875, became a fully technical and applied education institution, solemnly celebrated its 60th anniversary since the creation of the Tsisar-Royal Real School in Lviv. On the occasion of the anniversary, there was established and approved the coat of arms of Lviv Polytechnic, the main elements of which represent technical and applied directions of education: architectural, construction and mechanical.


In 1894 Professor and Doctor of Mathematics Władysław Zajączkowski wrote the chronology of the institution starting with the establishment of Tsisar-Royal Real School in Lviv. It was he who, for the first time, examined the history of the education institution and, after receiving funds from Lviv Polytechnic School, published a monograph, entitled The Imperial Polytechnical School in Lviv. Historical Essay on its Foundation and Development as well as its Present State.

Polish historian Zbysław Popławski, in his work The Origin of Lviv Polytechnic, which was published in 1992, writes that in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, higher technical education institutions appeared on the basis of Real Schools. Thus, a similar evolutionary educational process took place in Lviv, which, at that time, was the part of the Austrian Empire.

In 1993, the publishing house of the Wrocław University of Technology published a book about the history of our Polytechnic University, entitled Lviv Polytechnic in 1844–1945. In this collective work Wroclaw researchers point out that the beginning of Lviv Polytechnic dates back to the time when there was established the Real School in Lviv with the domination of the technical direction.


Royal decree

On the basis of thoroughly studied archival documents of the Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine in Lviv, in particular, the Fund No. 146 (1772–1854, 1854–1918) and the General Government, Financial and Court Archives of the Republic of Austria in Vienna, it is possible to state with certainty that the origin of Lviv Polytechnic National University dates back to the creation of the Real School in Lviv and is confirmed by the Royal Decree No. 78 of the Austrian Emperor Franz I that was issued in Milan on March 7, 1816.

The Royal Decree states that the process of creating the Real School in Lviv began on September 4, 1810, when the Extraordinary Court Commission in Vienna for the first time considered the petition of the Galician Governorate «regarding the establishment of a Real School in Lviv by the Emperor’s resolution,» and ended on March 7, 1816, after Emperor Franz I signed the presented project. The report of the Court Educational Commission «on the establishment of a Real School in Lviv» clearly states that in 1816 «the case of the establishment of the Real School in Lviv received wide publicity. The project of the organization of this school is gaining ground. We need your approval. Your idea of joining it with the Polytechnic Institute in Vienna can be implemented, but you have to wait. The beginning of this process has already started. So far, there is no Polytechnic Institute in Lviv. However, the Real School, which can cope with this task, is being established. The institution will provide an ongoing and long-term training and will become the domain of science, crafts, office administration and professional teaching. Later, the authorities in Lviv will be able to transform (convert) this education institution. But now it’s necessary to put it aside.» (Milan, 07.03.1816, with the personal signature of Emperor Franz I) // Act, OstA, AVA, StNK, Ktn.685, 124 ex Martio 1816.

In the Royal Decree of March 7, 1816, it was emphasized that the establishment of the Tsisar-Royal Real School in the city of Lemberg (Lviv) was carried out in order to meet the educational needs of the local population. A technical school was maintained with the help of the newly introduced local industrial tax. In the curricula of the Real School, the main focus was assigned to the subjects of the natural-mathematical cycle, technical drawing, drawing and the study of new modern languages. The educational process at the Real School was based on German educational programs which were adapted to local requirements. The newly created Real School was located in a beautiful house No. 20 on Pekarska Street (now Virmenska St.). In this educational building, together with a large lecture hall, mechanical and chemical laboratories, laboratory for molding materials, a large room for painting and drawing, there were also offices for school administration. At that time, the real education was opposed to the classical one, providing with the necessary technical knowledge for further professional activity. Graduates, who finished the 4-year Normal School, were allowed to enter the Real School.


Technical Academy

In 1825, according to the Royal Decree of the Austrian Emperor Franz I, the 3-year Tsisar-Royal Real School was reorganized into the Tsisar-Royal School of Technical Sciences and Trade in Lviv (20, Virmentska St.).

In 1835, the School of Technical Sciences and Trade turned into the Tsisar-Royal Real-Trade Academy in Lviv. Here in 1841 the technical department was opened.

In 1844, the Tsisar-Royal Technical Academy with technical and trade departments was opened in Lviv in Darowski building, located in the present 2, Virmenska Street. The part of the Virmenska Street to the intersection with Krakiwska Street at that time was called Academichna, as at the beginning of this street there was the Tsisar-Royal University named after Franz I in Lviv. At the time of the opening, the Tsisar-Royal Technical Academy in Lviv already had a good reputation and was well respected. It was the location of the Technical Academy near Kastrum Square (Zamkova Ploshcha), next to the famous Lviv cultural institutions (University Library, the Municipal Library of Skarbek Theatre, the Academic Gymnasium Library), that provided technical students with the opportunity to use these institutions as effectively as possible.

The Technical Academy (20 Teatralna St.) and later its successor, Lviv Polytechnic (12 Stepan Bandera St.), became the center for the best technical academic staff in Galicia and young ambitious students. Under the supervision of highly qualified specialists, students persistently studied the art of architecture, engineering subjects and modern technological sciences.

After the education reform by Austrian monarchy in 1863, when education was divided into higher, secondary and elementary, the Technical Academy in Lviv, only for 14 years of operating, became a higher education institution, receiving the status of Hochschule in 1877.

From 1894, all who studied in Polytechnic were proudly honored as Technicians.


Fourteen titles of University

After thorough study of the national and foreign archives, it was identified that during its glorious history Lviv Polytechnic National University, due to various objective circumstances, had to change its own title for 14 times:

1816–1825 – Tsisar-Royal Real School in Lviv.
1825–1835 – Tsisar-Royal School of Technical Sciences and Trade in Lviv.
1835–1844 – Tsisar-Royal Real-Trade Academy in Lviv.
1844–1877 – Tsisar-Royal Technical Academy
1877–1894 – Tsisar-Royal Higher Technical School in Lviv.
1894–1921 – Tsisar-Royal Polytechnic School in Lviv.
1921–1939 – Lviv Polytechnic.
1939–1942 – Lviv Polytechnic Institute.
1942–1944 – Professional Technical Courses in Lviv.
1944–1967 – Lviv Polytechnic Institute.
1967–1978 – Order of Lenin Lviv Polytechnic Institute.
1978–1993 – Order of Lenin Lviv Polytechnic Institute named after Lenin Komsomol.
1993–2000 – Lviv Polytechnic State University.
2000–2016 – Lviv Polytechnic National University.


From one root

At the stages of its formation, Lviv Polytechnic National University joined the establishment of well-known universities and academies in Lviv. They are: Ukrainian National Forestry University, Lviv National Agrarian University, Lviv University of Trade and Economics and Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi National Ground Forces Academy. These Lviv higher education institutions in the framework of the implementation of the Bologna education reform in Ukraine have already arranged their chronology to the European standards.

Recently, their chronologies have arranged the leading universities of Ukraine, namely: V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (1804), National Pedagogical Dragomanov University (1834), Oles Honchar Dnipro National University (1918), Zaporizhzhia National Technical University (1900), Zaporizhzhia State Medical University (1903), National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine (1898) and others.

In the process of formation and development, Lviv Polytechnic started the establishment of 14 leading technical universities: in Poland – they are the Wroclaw, Silesian, Krakow, Gdansk and Warsaw Polytechnics, in Germany – Ukrainian Technical and Economic Institute in Munich, on the territory of Ukraine – Ivano-Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas, Ternopil Ivan Puluj National Technical University, Lutsk National Technical University, National University of Water Management and Natural Resources Use, as well as the already mentioned Ukrainian National Forestry University, Lviv National Agricultural University, N Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi National Ground Forces Academy and Lviv University of Trade and Economics.


Lviv Polytechnic National University. The story of success

So, guided by the fundamental principle of historicism, the evolutionary system of chronologies of the European universities, thoroughly studied documents of General Government, Financial and Court Archives of the Republic of Austria in Vienna and the Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine, Lviv Polytechnic National University decided to start its chronology on March 7, 1816, when the Austrian Emperor Franz I personally signed Royal Decree No. 78 in Milan on the creation of the Tsisar-Royal Real School in Lviv.

Lviv Polytechnic National University is the oldest technical university of Eastern Europe and Ukraine and one of the most famous national higher education institutions. University enlists 135 specialties of higher education, conducts scientific researches in 33 branches of knowledge and creates scientific basis for technological, socio-economic and cultural development of the country.

Taking into account a significant contribution of Lviv Polytechnic National University to the establishment and development of technical education and science in the ethnic lands of Ukraine, the training of highly skilled specialists, the establishment of leading scientific schools, raising the intellectual and cultural level of society as well as the international prestige of national technical education and science in the world, it has often been presented with honors and state awards from different countries of the world.

During its existing, Lviv Polytechnic has trained more than 250 thousand specialists, more than 4 thousand of which are foreigners from almost 90 countries of the world. Only during the period of independence of Ukraine more than 70 thousand graduates of our higher technical education institution have been enriching our economy.

By the Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 1059/2000 dated September 11, 2000, Lviv Polytechnic was granted national status and renamed to Lviv Polytechnic National University.


Scientific discoveries

In various periods of its formation and development, Lviv Polytechnic National University has always implemented the best systems of higher technical education in Ukraine and the world. The basis of such educational systems is the principles of combining natural sciences, fundamental training of general engineering and obtaining professional practical skills at enterprises and scientific institutions. Every generation of Polytechnic scientists improved these educational principles in Lviv University. Integrative processes of education, science and manufacturing have become real in Polytechnic. The educational process harmoniously combines sciences and the concept of national education and spiritual revival.

To the Lviv Polytechnic history contributed such well-known Polytechnic scholars as Jan Zeh, Maksymilian Huber, Ignacy Mościcki, Dominik Zbrożek, Kazimierz Bartel, Maksymilian Marceli Thullie, Stanisław Ulam, Karol Skibiński, Julian Zachariewicz, Yulian Medvedskyi, Ivan Levynskyi, Ihor Bohachevskyi, Stefan Banach, Lavrentii Zhmurko, Gabriel Sokolnitsky, Stanisław Fryze, Opanas Andriievskyi, Konstantyn Karandieiev, Yurii Velychko, Hryhorii Denysenko, Mykhailo Maksymovych, Bentsion Shvetskyi and others.

Famous fighters for the independence of Ukraine Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych studied at Lviv Polytechnic, and Hero of Ukraine Yurii Verbytskyi, who died heroically during the Revolution of Dignity, graduated from the Institute of Geology.

In 1939 Lviv Polytechnic was reorganized into Lviv Polytechnic Institute. The institute was made up of six institutes: Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Technology, Architecture and Construction, Road and Water and Agriculture, and in 1940 the seventh institute was established – Forestry. By that time, there were 79 departments with 395 teachers. The education institution was funded from the state budget of the USSR.

The high stage of development Lviv Polytechnic National University reached at the time of rector Hryhorii Denysenko. Then there were 21 departments (Electric Power Engineering, Electromechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Automation, Electrical Engineering and Physics, Engineering and Construction, Geodesy, Architecture, Radio Engineering, Heat Engineering, Chemical Technology, Chemical Technology of Organic Substances, Engineering and Economics, four departments of correspondence education and two evening departments), and two branches in Lutsk and Ternopil. 27,500 students were enrolled in full-time, evening and correspondence studies. In the 70’s Lviv Polytechnic Institute consisted of 89 departments with 1,589 Professors, Associate Professors and Lecturers, and students could choose from 49 specialties.

In 2009, Lviv Polytechnic National University was awarded the status of research for significant scientific achievements, successful research and innovation activities, integration of education, science and manufacture, successful implementation of international projects and programs, training of highly qualified scientific and pedagogical staff, implementation of scientific achievements, technical and technological developments, for realization, together with other higher education and scientific institutions, the programs on priority directions of fundamental and applied scientific researches, aimed for the solution of important socio-economic tasks in various sectors of the Ukrainian economy.


New scientific achievements

Over the past decade, Lviv Polytechnic National University has become a true leader among universities and academies of Western Ukraine in providing high-quality higher education in accordance with European standards:

the training of bachelor, specialist and master students is carried out by 16 Institutes, where Ukrainian students and students from other countries of the world study 66 bachelor’s degree programs and 135 specialties, 130 of which are for master’s degrees. The educational process at the higher education institution is provided by 2200 academic staff members, among which there are almost 400 – Doctors of Sciences, Professors and more than 1200 – Candidates of Sciences and Associate Professors;

the University Institutes train scientific and pedagogical staff at the Department of Doctoral and Post-graduate studies in 100 and 53 specialties respectively.

Lviv Polytechnic University has 22 Specialized Academic Councils for thesis defense in 52 specialties, 17 of which – for getting the Doctor of Science degree in 45 specialties. The Specialized Academic Councils consist of leading Doctors of Sciences, University Professors, who head well-known scientific schools, as well as scholars from other higher national education institutions, institutes of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, etc. Specialized Academic Councils of University cover the following areas of knowledge: 02 – Chemical Sciences; 05 – Technical Sciences; 08 – Economic Sciences; 12 – Legal Science; 13 – Pedagogical Sciences; 18 – Architecture.

Lviv Polytechnic implements Knowledge Transfer Schemes. This approach enables the full implementation of new study programs for training specialists together with leading technical universities in Europe, presenting two documents on higher education (Ukrainian and European).

Lviv Polytechnic developed and implemented a new concept of training specialists for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the basis of the integration of civilian and military components of education. The result of this concept implementation was the creation, in the structure of the University, of the Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi National Ground Forces Academy, which was transformed into a leading autonomous military high education institution of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.


Our graduates

The Graduates Society of the Technical Academy was founded in Lviv in October 1876 by an initiative group of 22 engineers, among which prevailed railroad engineers (10) and architects (4). The charter of the Society was approved on March 22, 1877, and the first general meeting with the participation of 40 persons took place on May 30, 1877, in the Physics room of the Lviv Technical Academy (2 Virmenska St.).

The founder members of the Technical Graduates Society were Bronisław Bauer, Yosyp Hvanec, Carlo Eduard Epler, Viktor Fron, Edmund Bronisław Grzebski, Mykhailo Holeiko, Stefan Kakovskyi, Vladyslav Klapkovskyi, Ivan Levynskyi, Antonii Lukasievych, Petro Monastyrskyi, Karlo Mashkovskyi, Boleslav Mustianovych, Ivan Ozemblivskyi, Carlo Pauli, Vladyslav Senkevych, Pavlo Stvertnia, Antonii Sviatkovskyi, Mykhailo Varterasevych, Rudolf Weinert, Adolf Wierzejski and Stanislav Zaiachkivskyi. The first head who performed this duty for many years was baron Roman Gostkowski. In 2008, the Graduates Association was succeeded by the Alumni Association of Lviv Polytechnic.

Over its 200-year history, Lviv Polytechnic has trained over 250,000 graduates, and every 12th Lvivite graduated from our Alma mater.

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